To begin with, I want to thank Kait for allowing me to be her guest. If she hasn’t told you already, I’m giving away a Kindle on May 15th to a lucky follower of the REUNION blog tour. You can get the details about the book, the tour, and the contest at jeffbennington.com. Good Luck!
Paranormal Love and the Unknown
Writers have it made. That’s what I think anyway. We get to write about life and play all the scenarios through our mind, real or imagined, examining the dialogue and motives of our characters. Great practice for the real thing, huh? Actually, it doesn’t work that way. I can write a really cool verbal exchange with two of my characters who are madly in love, and then my wife will ask why I never talk like that.
My answer: I don’t know.
I can write it, but living it is something completely different. Expecting that from a writer is like watching Bruce Willis jump from one burning skyscraper to another at the movie theatre, and then asking him why he can’t do it in real life. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been known to do my share of tall-building leaping and laser-eye zapping, but I couldn’t talk my way out of a wet paper sack if my life depended on it. Writing is good practice for life, but it doesn’t mean the writer has it all together. It just means we have a good imagination and we get caught up in the moment.
The act of writing is an emotional undertaking, but in real life, when it counts, you don’t get to delete your words or revise your last monologue. What’s in the published book is, or should be, a polished version of the story. What happens in real life is a rough draft saved as a PDF—it’s permanent.
Maybe that’s why I enjoy writing about the supernatural: the unknown, the spirit world, the things that we hope are possible, and the things that we hope are not. As a writer, it’s a lot of fun engineering the best way to defeat a dark entity, because no one really knows how, with the exception of the clichéd priest who splashes holy water and flashes a crucifix. As a writer, I get to bring a reader from the mundane and thrust them into a world where they are fighting alongside a demon chaser, hoping to steal his lost love, mistakenly cast into the pits of Hell, back into his arms. (Hmm… that’s a good idea. I think I’m going to add it to my que.)
You see, no one knows how far the chasm is between life and death, between real and the imagined. And the truth is, very few of us have actually experienced the paranormal. And that, my dear Kait Nolan blog reading fans, is the key to writing in the supernatural/paranormal sub-genres—the unknown. In my opinion, it’s the unrevealed secrets of life, death and eternity that attract readers to the paranormal genre. We want to know. We want to imagine. We want someone to paint a picture of what the other side looks like, or what that thing lurking in the darkness sounds like when it’s creeping up the stairs into our room.
Literary artists have a responsibility to their readers to paint well. We don’t have to use the exacting hues of the color wheel. We don’t have to paint like Vincent Van Gogh. We can mix, tint and try different mediums. The point is, to write something new and fresh. As a writer in the paranormal genre, my job is to figure out how to paint the picture of my story in a new way, in a way that captures and captivates, bringing a reader into a world where they can escape from the usual, into the unusual.
What do you think? Why are you attracted to the paranormal?
Thanks for reading. Be sure to subscribe to Kait’s blog, and then follow the rest of the REUNION Blog Tour for more unique posts about the book, the characters, writing, etc. Go to jeffbennington.com to learn more and to check out the tour schedule. Be sure to get your copy on April 15th to help thrust REUNION to the top of the rankings by purchasing en masse.
You said this perfectly!! I am terrible at saying what I feel in person, but have no trouble writing a 4 page monologue of deeply felt emotions. The safety of the delete key is amazingly freeing for a writer, even for someone who simply “plays” with her journal & blog like me.
Hi Kimberly, I just looked at the keys on my Mac and I realized that the delete button is more polished than any other. The thing of it is, I think writing has helped me to become a better communicator. Thanks for visiting!
I hope I can remember to make my purchase on April 15! :0) I checked out the description of your book on your website and it sounds intriguing.
Thanks Lauralynn! I can’t wait to hear what you think about it after you’ve read it.
Hey Jeff. It’s fun when characters in your head hold an interesting conversation, especially when you can manage to get it down on the page. The paranormal is intriguing because it tends to come up when you least expect it and is mostly unknown. I want to know more about it, but without exposing myself to anything too scary. Maybe that’s why it’s funner to read paranormal or watch paranormal, rather than live it. Much safer.
Excellent post, Jeff. I also write (and read) about the paranormal. Something about creating the mystery of a whole other world and making it as believable as possible is so alluring.
Very true, LJ. Have you published any of your titles?
Kait, Just wanted to say thank you for the opportunity! -Jeff