30 March 2007

Not Quite on the Dark Side

Anyone else ever wondered why a person who is gifted with immortality, superhuman strength, the ability to fly or shapeshift or basically bend the world to his will would get his panties in a bunch about never seeing sunlight? Or a flower?

Sounds like somebody needs a refill for his Prozac. See a mental health professional, buddy.

Or better yet, get a sense of humor.

Maybe I should introduce myself. My name is Sela Carsen and I wrote romantic comedy. With monsters.

Of course, your definition of monster may vary.

My first story with Samhain was called Not Quite Dead. It’s about a high school guidance counselor looking for a nice, normal steady guy. She winds up with a corpse.

My next one, coming in the Celtic Love and Lore anthology this fall, features a cranky Selkie. Sushi jokes abound.

Paranormal stories, by their very nature, flirt around the edges of darkness. Sometimes they dive straight into the heart of it. Our characters often battle despair, disillusionment and grief, utterly human emotions. However, I don’t know many people who can sustain that level of darkness for long without some kind of relief.

Through that misery, those characters still have to speak to us and give us hope that Happily Ever After isn’t a myth, even for the undead.

Humor is a natural reaction to that kind of stress. The pressure has to be let out somehow and my characters laugh it off. The world finds its balance again in laughter and the sound keeps the darkness at bay.

So next time you find your vampire wallowing in desolation and gloom over never seeing another sunrise, hand him a pair of rose-colored glasses. Or maybe a buttonhole flower sprayer filled with holy water. Come on. You *know* that’s funny!

29 March 2007

Thursday Thirteen

I'm one of those people who have heard of Thursday Thirteen, but don't actually know how to hook up with it. Still, I thought I would list my last thirteen shapeshifter reads. Going backwards in time. I liked them all—I don't finish books unless I like them :)

  1. Moon Called Patricia Briggs - urban fantasy, compelling characters, first in a series
  2. With Love JL Langley - gay romance, short, sweet, hot
  3. A Hunger Like No Other Kresley Cole - Lykae hero, half-vampire heroine, first in a series
  4. Elizabeth's Wolf Lora Leigh - okay, not quite shapeshifter, but the hero has wolf genes, excellent book, part of the Breeds series
  5. Mystic and Rider Sharon Shinn - fantasy, two characters can shapeshift into anything, part of a big series
  6. Without Reservations JL Langley - gay romance, same world as 2, loved it
  7. Enforcer Lauren Dane - hot heroes, yummy sex, strong writing
  8. Kiss Me Deadly Shannon Stacey - shapeshifting bird! crisp, sharp writing and funny
  9. Kitty and the Midnight Hour Carrie Vaughn - excellent pack dynamics, first of a series
  10. Hunter's Pride Shiloh Walker - shapeshifting cats!
  11. Wolf's Moon Charles de Lint - um, I don't remember this one well :\
  12. Blue Moon Lori Handeland - neither hero nor heroine shapeshifted
  13. One Eye Closed Karen Whiddon - part of SIM before Nocturne came on the scene
Well, lots of series up there. I just have to add that I loved Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks, an older read.

So what are your recent shapeshifting reads?

ETA: Forgot Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston. Loved her voice.

28 March 2007

A New Beginning

Hi, there, I'm Jenna, and I'm a Samhain Author. While that sounds like something from a 12-Step program, please, don't offer me a cure, because I won't accept it. I'm proud of the fact just as I am to be the one to pop Beyond the Veil's blog cherry.

As you can see from the lovely d├ęcor (thank you, Bianca), that as well as being Samhain authors, we're all paranormal authors too, which leads me to the subject of my blog. Hey, I'm doing pretty good, I got to it quick this time. Spooky huh?

The paranormal genre seems to be ever expanding and includes so many sub-genres; I'm not going to attempt to count them here. Many credit Bram Stoker with beginning our love affair with the things that go bump in the night by creating the most famous bloodsucker of them all, Dracula. His character spawned countless plays, movies, and books about him. Over the years though, he's gone from being a pale , demonic freak to a tall dark and deliciously sexy hotty that you'd beg to bite you. Now, that's progress or a good PR guy, take your pick.

However, you've heard the term, behind every man, there's a great woman, right? Well, time-wise, at least, that's true because before, Bram was born Mary Shelley wrote one of the most enduring monster stories of all times, Frankenstein. While she was inspired to write this while watching them reanimate frog legs with electricity. She also said she simply wrote what would scare her because that would scare her readers as well. As we know, her nightmare has captured and held the interest of readers and moviemakers for almost 200 years after it was written.

But, I think to find out the real beginnings, you have to look even farther back, perhaps even before written language to a time when people sat in the dark around a fire. A storyteller wove tales of curses from the gods turned men into beasts by the light of the full moon; ghosts of separated lovers that haunt certain rivers and mountain passes; beautiful mermaids caught in fishermen’s nets/or fishermen were caught by the mermaid’s song depending on how they were feeling that night. Fairies, dragons, skinwalkers, nymphs, and weres, oh my, the list is endless. From all walks of life, you have legends and myths that more than likely began as a great story over a fire. Or did they?

Paranormal can either been seen as a wonderful genre of fiction or it can be seen as a valid field of study. I myself like to take the middle road. While I know for a fact that the werewolves, dragons, vamps and freaks that I write about don’t exist outside of my own insane in the membrane mind, I can’t discount the existence of something out there that I can’t explain. Heck, I love surprises. Just let me know about them first, ok?

My question for the day is, how do you gentle and not so gentle readers think the paranormal genre has changed to reflect the changing world around us?