For me, paranormal embodies the immensity of the inexplicable, the unseen, the unquantifiable. Science fiction, fantasy, supernatural and horror all blend together in a realm of pure creation where boundaries don’t exist. It boils down quite simply, where do I want to live?
Writing paranormal allows me to invent mind-boggling worlds full of characters with limitless potential and a bit of love story thrown in. Any story, any character quirk, any scenario flipped into a paranormal venue means my writing can go into the past, the future, the nether world, outer and inner space. No boundaries… as an artist, I love that freedom of expression. So with Smitten Image, I jumped into the future and immersed myself in painting, which I know, and magic, which no one knows! How much fun can a writer have?
(Excerpt) She had pulled her paint smock off over her head, skimmed out of her T-shirt and unzipped her jeans when she heard a loud sucking sound behind her. Turning, Lily watched in horror as the figure in the painting moved. Just a twitch of a hand at first, a stretch of an arm. Then in one violent lunge, the man tore himself free of the canvas and stepped onto the floor, real, animated, looking around her apartment with every naked inch of his skin gleaming in fresh oil.
In Smitten Image, Lily drinks a love potion that torques her inherent magic into an omnipotent power, volatile and unpredictable. Magic can be as simple or complex as the story needs. As a writer, I chose language and imagery to illustrate the paranormal phenomenon I wanted the characters to feel, sense, fear.
(Excerpt) It took no great leap of imagination to see that this sudden green house explosion came from magic. Lily’s own damned magic! Somehow her lovely houseplants were feeding off her powers as if she’d offered up bloody fingers like the clerk in Little Shop of Horrors!
She hauled a ladder up from the basement and was cutting free the ceiling when she heard a tinny voice near her ear. “Half a league, half a league, half a league onward!”
On the string of lights dangling amongst the leaves, a pink flamingo grinned at her. Lily’s jaw dropped, and so did the shears, and she hugged the ladder in sudden, disconcerted vertigo.
Another voice spoke, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” God’s Afire, the plastic flamingos were quoting poetry! Shakespeare and Tennyson, no less.
I absolutely love writing dialogue and in a paranormal context dialogues just aren’t normal! I can have as much fun and go as far with humor as I need a mood to take the reader. That doesn’t always mean keeping it light. Sometimes, contrast and conflict make for terrorizing rides into the deep dark.
(Excerpt) Half afraid a complete body sketch might jump to life out of her sketchbook, Lily focused on drawing only the model’s hands in different positions, the angle of his arm meeting the shoulder, or a foot curving into an ankle. Tonight she felt wound tight as a hair trigger, waiting ... waiting for the articulated body parts to animate themselves like zombie limbs in a B horror flick! Long before the session ended, she’d slapped her sketchbook closed and splurged on a taxi cab ride home. That night she dreamed of headless torsos walking the streets and woke screaming, clutching the geode to her chest like a talisman.
The idea that an incomprehensible power she couldn’t control lived like a freakish thing inside of her became a kind of suspended panic in her mind. She painted like a mad fiend, slapping tumultuous emotions onto every canvas along with the paint. Loneliness consumed her…
So leap into 2039 New Chicago with Smitten Image, Lily Barnett, her best friend Daniel, magic, love, fear… and me. You’ll have fun, I promise.