I’m very excited to have Erica Hayes on my blog today. I met Erica through Romance Writers of Australia and have been working with her as a fellow contest manager for a few years now. She is one super switched on chick with a sassy sense of humour and a massive talent. She won the premier award the RWA has – the Valerie Parv Award – a number of years ago, a win that helped to launch her career and since then has become a successful paranormal author whose books can be found in all the major book retailers in Australia and oversees.
She has a new book out, Scorched, which she is here to tell us about, but first, given I’ve been asked alot lately about why I write paranormal and what I think makes up a paranormal story, I thought I’d ask to get her ideas on it.
So, over to Erica and her thoughts on the paranormal and paranormal creatures.
Hi everyone! Thanks so much to Leisl for hosting me on her blog today.
What makes a creature paranormal? Is it inhuman magical powers? The ability to cheat death? Strange eating habits? Sharp teeth? There’s such a range of paranormal fiction these days that it’s hard to tell.
Back in the day, there were vamps and weres, and that was about it. If it didn’t suck blood or do the funky furry thing, no one cared. Certainly romance readers didn’t care! Everyone loves a hot alpha vampire, right? The hotter the better. Orgasmic blood-sucking, improbably large man parts, endless hard-ons, whatever you like. Hell, the guy’s dead. No circulation! We’re just making this stuff up anyway, right, so let’s make it good.
My point: everyone’s favourite creatures weren’t just humans with added magic—they were something else. Something other.
But then we started to branch out. Demons, angels, dragons, coyote shifters, whatever monster floats your boat… but whatever the paranormalicality is, it has to be sexy. Zombies—the rotting, brain-munching kind—are out. Likewise the yukky kind of shapeshifter. Spiders and bugs are definitely no-go. (Unless you’re talking about villains. Then you can be as creepy as you like. Brr.)
But we’re also talking magical people. Witches, psychics, people who move things with their minds or cast hexes or bring other people back from the dead. Paranormal doesn’t have to be a creature feature anymore. No monsters required.
Even superheroes are cool again. The line between paranormal and contemporary is blurring—after all, what’s a rock star or an improbably young and sexy billionaire but a superhero of a different sort? He may not have magical powers, exactly—unless you count improbably large man parts and endless hard-ons… oh, wait…—but he sure as hell isn’t ordinary.
Maybe this is why I find the everyday kind of contemporary so uninspiring. The ones with normal people leading normal, boring little lives. Snore. For me, there’s no magic without a little fantasy. Sorry, but there it is. Enough with all this BDSM thing so we can pretend it’s dangerwous, too.
Danger, pfft. When’s the last time you got your leg chewed off and munched to bits by a horny rock star? Or accidentally came back from the dead and suffered in crippling bloodthirst FOR ALL ETERNITYYY from a hot night of whip-and-chain action?
Danger?? Please. Just give the dude fangs and be done. Fantasy, folks: you know you want some.
Thanks for that, Erica. I love your take on that and the way you pull no punches. I’m rather fond of the paranormal as well. Can’t wait to read your new book. Speaking of which, here is a little bit about it:
In a world where everyone wears a mask, you can’t trust anyone… not even yourself.
Verity Fortune was once Sapphire City’s top crime-fighter, wielding her powers of telekinesis to battle the city’s most despicable villains. Now, she’s consumed by a single burning desire: revenge. Against those who took away her mask, her memory, and nearly her life. Having escaped from the asylum they left her to rot in, Verity dons her mask once again and becomes the Seeker, a vigilante warrior for truth.
But when she unwittingly uncovers an evil conspiracy deep within her own family, she’s suddenly on the run, alone and hunted by those she thought were on her side…