When I wrote When Fates Conspire, the bones of the story came from a dream. I enriched it with experiences which fit the story; but it had to go a certain way. I did not attempt to make it fit a genre. It had to be what it was. I also did not expect it to lead to a trilogy.
The others came to me as an explanation for the first book. It took me into a land of monsters, Druids, sorcerers, demons, and spirit guides.
To begin, I called my first one metaphysical because nothing in my book was not what I had been told could be or had been by other humans. The more standard designation, however seemed to be-- paranormal romance. The first might not have seemed so much a romance, but it was. The other two are more obviously romances, but I did wonder about the paranormal part. I am used to thinking paranormal means werewolves, vampires and other fantasy beings. Mine though did have fantasy beings-- or are monsters real?
It was in 2002, when I asked myself that question for the first time when I wrote Sky Daughter. There was something weird going on in that family, that community, but the question, of what, was open to being purely imagination or a real other worldly figure. As I got to the point in the story where I had to make a choice, I opted to make the monster real. That led to research into stories by those who claimed to have seen or been hurt by monster beings. Yes, there are books out there full of such stories.
In all of my books there is always an underlying theme in the story which can be taken allegorically-- a lot of books are like that. What happens illustrates a truth of life that may not be written out but can be seen if one is looking for it-- certainly created monsters can be that way. We can begin thinking a certain way and more and more create a new reality for ourselves which might or might not be true-- and sometimes ends up a monster in our lives. Once we realize what we are doing, we then have a choice on continuing that way or turning around.
Basically as much as I understand paranormal as a genre, it does not have to be way out there but it can be. Humans with psychic abilities, space aliens, time travel, stories set in other worlds, certainly urban fiction all can be under the paranormal umbrella.
Another term which I like even better for my books is speculative fiction which is defined as a broad literary genre encompassing any fiction with supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements.
A paranormal or speculative novel can have suspense, mystery, romance or even be historical. It leaves the writer with one obligation-- stay consistent within the world they created. You can mix it up with human relationships, witchcraft, monsters, the occult, but there is one firm rule for these books keep them consistent to their own truth and that world.
Sky Daughter because of the mix of subjects (suspense, romance, paranormal, nature, speculative, Wicca, family) has been a difficult book for which to find tags that help readers find it. I decided to put it on sale for the month of June to kind of celebrate the third book in the Diablo Canyon Trilogy being published June 17th. So if you haven't had a chance to read my books, haven't been sure you'd like them, wonder about speculative fiction, for 99¢ you can give it a try at little risk. And don't forget to check back June 17th for Storm in the Canyon. More coming on it next week.
Meanwhile, a snippet from Sky Daughter as Maggie realizes more and more that her grandmother had a dimension she had never known:
She felt depressed and walked into the other room sitting on the edge of her bed and staring into space. What was she to do?
Look in the book.
She didn’t have to wonder what book. It wasn’t really her grandmother’s voice-- though it certainly seemed like it. She swallowed and walked over to the dresser, taking the box from under her lingerie. Now what?She wondered if she had the right to open the book. Her grandmother’s note had specifically said it was intended for one in the Craft. She was not and never would be. And yet perhaps there was something within that could help her. Spells and incantations she didn’t need but wisdom she did.
She opened the box. On top was a piece of paper. A pentagram, drawn with a fine, steady hand covered half of it. She recognized her grandmother’s fine handwriting at each point of the star-- Spirit, air, fire, water, earth. The other half of the paper had words.
'When I enter into the sacred circle, the consecrated ground that is holy to Thou, I ask to always remember what through me flows. I wish to be a conduit of Divine will. Never to allow my own will to interfere with what which is meant to be.'
She could almost hear her grandmother’s voice speaking the words. It brought tears to her eyes. She noticed then a photograph beneath the paper and saw herself, her mother and father. She looked to be about nine and then she remembered when it had been taken. Fourth of July and they had all gone for a picnic to the springs. The lunch had contained all of her favorite foods and the day one that still glowed in her memory. She turned the photograph over and saw her grandmother’s writing in pencil on the back.
'Sharon, Reese and Maggie-- a day of spun gold with love they glowed.'
Love did glow. She could see it in their faces, in hers. She sighed. What was done was done. Gone forever, but she lived, and it was time to begin anew. She closed the box and put it back into the drawer. It would have to wait for another day.