Last time, I focused on a specific set of stories (the Aisling Grey series). Today, I’d like to explore a little deeper what it is about the supernatural that I like so much. While Katie MacAlister’s Dark Ones series feature the same character types and “romance story” stereotypes that I cited in the last post, her concept of “Beloveds” is actually a prime example of what can be done when you write about the supernatural.
In her books, each vampire (or “Dark One,” as she calls them) has a specific “Beloved” – the one woman in the history of time who is meant to share her life with him. Through the process of Joining (which includes a unique connection, kissing, exchange of blood, etc… thus the romantic nature of the books ;-P ), her love and sacrifice is what allows the Dark One to redeem his soul. The stories are not Christian-based, but even so, we get a glimpse of how love – real love – can bring about redemption.
And that’s where my fascination with the supernatural comes into play. Paranormal romance goes beyond the inanity of simple romantic clichés. I see these stories as an opportunity to blur the lines and explore what it means to be human. Creatures such as vampires and other monsters take the dark side of humanity – our sins and shortcomings – and blow them out of proportion, giving us a better look at our own fallen nature. Concepts of love, devotion and sacrifice can come to life in a very vivid way that you don’t always see in the real world.
Also, I think I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of “everyday magic” – of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. I love magical objects and people who are not what they appear to be on the surface. Paranormal stories question the world around us in a way that contemporary romances do not – and it is those layers of complexity that truly fascinate me.
What’s more, common themes among the paranormal – such as blood and death and the redemption of lost souls – give a shadowy reflection of that which we find in our faith. Our Savior bled and died for us, sacrificing His life so that we might be saved… It’s not the same, but on a smaller scale, these stories can remind us of how deep real love can be, and how nothing worth having comes cheaply.
And that’s where my books come in. I want to take things to the next level. Instead of merely hinting at deeper issues, I want to draw them out and make them integral parts of the story (whoever said you couldn’t learn something while reading for pleasure? ;-) ). And not only do I like to directly weave in the Christian elements, but I capitalize on the intensity of the supernatural world. The “darkness” of the paranormal makes a wonderful backdrop for the “light” of love and hope to shine against :-).
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
Until the next time, keep reading!
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I have two passions: reading and writing. You can't write good stories without first reading good stories - that's my theory, anyway. So this is where I'll share with you the depth of those passions: background on what and why I write, as well as talking about the books that I read and how they impact my writing.