Recently, someone asked me where my weird ideas come from. I guess she meant, why are you so into paranormal? Why do you write about werewolves and demons and monsters from another time continuum?
When I was in elementary school, the D.C. Public Library sent a “book basket” to every classroom every month. In fifth grade, when the teacher put RED PLANET, by Robert Heinlein, up on the eraser ledge, the cover illustration made me want to read the book. So I rushed up to get it before anyone else could.
Thus began a lifelong interest in science fiction and fantasy. They were a big part of my recreational reading for years, with adventure and mystery thrown in.
In the early sixties, I didn’t have a television set. I got a TV for one reason–so I could watch a cool new program that my friends were talking about--Star Trek.
So I come by my interest in the paranormal honestly. The first novel I wrote was a kids' SF story, THE INVASION OF THE BLUE LIGHTS, about a bad alien and a good alien that land in the woods across the street from my house. (Only I gave the house to a 12-year-old boy who was a lot like my son.) In the 80's, the big romance boom started, and a friend asked if I’d like to write one. When I told her I hadn’t read any, she brought me shopping bags full. And I discovered they were all about the subplot that I’d loved in the science fiction and adventure novels I read–the development of a relationship between a man and a woman.
At first, I wrote straight romances. Then I figured out I was better at romantic suspense. And after a few romantic suspense novels, I began incorporating SF and fantasy elements into my stories. At first I wrote what I called stealth paranormals. There’s a ghost in my third Intrigue, WHISPERED IN THE NIGHT. And the hero of PRINCE OF TIME is a space alien. But the reader doesn’t find that out until she’s gotten a chance to know and love him. Now I’m fortunate that Intrigue lets me write books that are frankly paranormal. Like my latest, MORE THAN A MAN. The hero, Noah Fielding, has lived for hundreds of years, although he doesn’t know why. Then a dying millionaire discovers his secret and will do anything to find out the reason for his long life–even kill the woman Noah loves. It’s a fast, emotion-packed story that was a lot of fun to write.
What kind of Intrigues do you like best? And how do you like paranormal elements in them?