Monday, January 10, 2011

Paranormal: A Search For Heroes?

Charles Dickens began his book, A Tale of Two Cities, with the words: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness…”

I got to thinking, the other day, about the times I live in and how those times are reflected in what I read and what I write.

I’m drawn to paranormal and truth be told, I always have been. As a kid, back when I predominately drew my stories; I did a piece on a cemetery. There were ghosts and monsters but the girl in the story made friends with one of the monster beasts and the ghost he traveled with. When the girl went to bed she had an invisible cadre of animals who lay on her bed. They were her protectors. Yes, I was a strange child, lol! I also lived next door to a cemetery at the time.

I’ve always loved stories set around mythical beings and special abilities. It’s probably why I was drawn to Sci-fi. It was a blending of some of my favorite things—mythology, adventure, tough characters and an element of romance. That depended upon the author, of course.

I think I read everything Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne wrote. Loved their imagination and the golden age of adventures. I also read all of what Andre Norton wrote (she also loved animals and I loved her alien cats). I also loved Alan Dean Foster. I love how he can entertain me and make me laugh. I have to admit a special fondness for Pip (a mini Drag)—big surprise I’m sure. But then I discovered an author (whose name I can’t recall and I’d have to search my stored books to find) from the late 70’s who wrote a series with a rather sexual woman heroine. Oh, how cool sex, romance, and sci-fi? Woohoo!

Even my favorite romances had elements of otherworldly before it was popularly coined paranormal. While I read and enjoyed Ann Rice’s Vampire series, it left me wanting a bit more romance. Who remembers Draycott Abbey stories by Christina Sky? Or Knight In Shining Armor? Breathe of Magic? I devoured those stories. I’ll admit I fell hard with Christine Feehan’s 1999 Dark Prince and the world of Carpathians. What did I love about them? Strong women dangerous men.

I’ve since read many paranormals, dark and light, serious and funny (I enjoy Kerryln Sparks, Judi Fennell, Linda Wisdom’s Hex series, and Gabi Stevens. I also love Sherrilyn Kenyon’s sense of humor although I wouldn’t classify hers as light).

I’m a sucker for strong women characters able to take care of themselves, some who are warriors themselves—like Jax in one of Feehan’s stories, or Tabitha in Kenyon’s book. Both men and women can be dangerous in Christine Feehan’s books. How about those female and male Ghostwalkers in Feehan’s series? I like dangerous men who can be tamed, okay slightly domesticated, by love. Strong enough to be faithful and cherishing while kicking ass on the bad guys.

I think the appeal of Para, at least for me, is while there may be monsters but they can be defeated. Those monsters can be damn scary, too. God knows we have enough scary and evil beings living in our real world. Perhaps we gravitate to those sorts of stories because we need to know the bogeymen can be beaten and conquered. That love is just as strong and can conquer and modify a person. I guess in darker times we need heroes tough enough to fight the forces of darkness but aren’t bad themselves.

Perhaps we need to feel evil can be defeated although it may take special powers to conquer some evil. In dark times we need things to laugh about, too. We look for books and movies that make us feel good. We need to believe in the power of love.

  • What do you think? What makes you feel good?

  • What are some of your favorite otherworldly characters? Or movie characters?


Tonya Kappes said...

I'm not a big paranormal reader outside of the new cozy mysteries with paranormal elements. So, I'll go with a movie. The new Tron is pretty cool and high-concept that made my kids imaginations run wild after we seen it.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I want to see Tron. Haven't yet.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I'm sick as a dog, so I'll be rather scarce.

I've added Alka-Seltzer cold remedy to the breakfast bar. There are extra blankets to snuggle in and some of my mom's special Chicken soup.

Olivia Cunning said...

Keep your germs to yourself, please. Hope you feel better soon.

Two of my favorite characters of all time are Ripley from Aliens and Sarah Conner from Terminator. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have time to read much these days. I do love a woman who kicks alien and robot butt though.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like the same genres as you, Sia, although a little less horror and more science fiction and fantasy.
And my favorite characters are Pengergast (Preston & Child) and Aragorn from LOTR.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Congratulations Alex on winning in the book trailer contest!

Love Aragorn, Alex.

I'm not a reader of horror. The closest I come is in paranormals with the supernatural bad guys.

I do love good stories that explore the final frontiers of space and it's inhabitants. Lot of stories in that. I need to find some more sci-fi authors to read.

aries18 said...

I've always loved science fiction and fantasy, still do. Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Norton, Busby, Farmer, McCaffrey... I'm sure I left out tons of authors. I would find a new author and read every single thing they wrote. I also love mysteries, Christie, Fey, Grafton, Warshawski(sp?), Paretski, Evanovich and many more.

I think I read the things I do for several reasons. For one I love seeing chaos brought into order. For another I treasure the worlds in which the bad guys lose and the good guys win... the win may be hard fought but it is won.

Now I read some great new authors... Olivia Cunning, Judi Fennell, Adina Pelle, Ken Coffman, Dale Cozart, Pat Bertram.

Sorry for the long post but I kinda got on a roll. To further answer the question I loved Lazarus Long, and any Dragonrider from the Pern series.

Entertaining blog Sia.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Wanda, no worries for long answers. No rules here on word counts. I loved Dragonriders of Pern and *visit* with them frequently. One of the few series I've probably read, in it's entirety, at least a dozen times. :-)