A Pitch For Paranormal.
First of all, I must confess that I didn’t set out to write a paranormal. It just came out that way. Like many people I have enjoyed paranormal novels such as Vampire Academy and Twilight. And it’s hard to ignore the whole paranormal phenomenon on the screen. So, subconsciously at least, I must have been soaking it up!
Paranormal means different things to different people. Indeed, I had to do a bit of research to establish the boundaries between fantasy and paranormal. And, I must confess, that the lines are still a little hazy. Paranormal seems to encapsulate anything that defies scientific explanation whereas fantasy seems to hinge on the idea of magic. To me there seems plenty of overlap. After all, surely magic defies scientific explanation, if it didn’t, would it be magic? Tricky one that.
So, do I believe in paranormal? Do I believe in magic? The simple answer is that I want to believe. Trust me; I spent years trying to spot fairies at the bottom of the garden and searching the woods for the Magic Faraway tree. But I can honestly say that I have experienced paranormal for real. When I was ten years old my family moved into a 16th century house in Wolverhampton. It was rumoured to be haunted. A white figure would often walk briskly past the kitchen window. At first we would go to open the front door, anticipating a visitor. But no one would be there. We learned to ignore it, but guests were always telling us someone had arrived! It wasn’t scary. Just a bit irritating. And at Christmas (and this was spooky) you could smell pipe smoke in the house. No one smoked a pipe. Spookier still was the giant cedar tree in the back garden. It dominated the landscape and couldn't be touched as it was placed under a preservation order. I never played near it. We moved after just a few years and I’ve never experienced this again. Of course many people scoff and put it down to an overactive, young imagination.
If I didn’t harbour the belief that paranormal is - at the very least - a possibility, I don’t think I could have written the NightShifters series. In The MacGregor I found a forum for fantasy and paranormal. Best of both worlds perhaps! For me these stories reflect a life time of longing to be - even a little bit - magic. And I still haven’t given up hope.