Thursday, 14 October 2010

Paranormal Week - Influences in Paranormal Writing

Who are J. Morgan's influences in paranormal writing?

JMO: I grew up on reruns of Dark Shadows -- the grandfather of all modern paranormal goodness. Sure, it was cheesy and as low budget as you can get, but to an impressionable kid of 7 or so, it was the coolest thing in the world! Vampires, werewolves and the hottest witch to ever live. Angelique, how I love thee to this day. That show was my first taste of the paranormal. Let's not forget Scooby Doo. What kid didn't sit there wanting to be Shaggy and hanging with Scooby? If anything, those two shows are directly responsible for my love of paranormal and if you've read one of my books you can see their influence on my writing. Somewhere around 1985, after a long love affair with Stephen King, I discovered Anne Rice. Interview with a Vampire was okay, but the second I started The Vampire Lestat, I wanted to be a vampire instead of chasing them down and staking 'em but good. From there, I dabbled with other authors but was never satisfied. Until I read the most amazing book of all time, Sunglasses after Dark. It was written by a true visionary, Nancy A. Collins. Collins-Barnabas: Collins-Dark Shadows. A connect? Probably not, but my love of Vampires had come semi-full circle.

Let's fast forward a few years. I snagged a book off my wife's bedside table. Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I'd fallen out of reading romance for a few years, but this book dragged me back kicking and screaming. Then another foray to the wife's side of the bed yielded Derik's Bane by Maryjanice Davidson. Werwolves could be funny? Who knew? Undead and Unemployed fell into my greedy hands next. Vampires could be funny? Who knew? Well, I did now!

Needless to say, I had just discovered what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to be a funny Scooby Doo romance writer! And, here we are 4 years later and closer to making that dream come true.

Who are Stephanie Burkhart's influences in paranormal writing?

STEPH: Some of my early influences include Anne Rice and Victoria Holt. More recent influences include JK Rowling and Elizabeth Kostova. Heck, now that I think about it, only Holt wrote romance.

Once Creature Double Feature went off the air I took to books and discovered Victoria Holt. She didn't write about vampires and wolves, but she did write gothic romance and paranormal romance has it's roots in the gothic. Here's all too true confession: My love or romance has deep roots with Holt. I feel in love with her settings, her themes, and I loved her style. She was so easy to read. I wanted to write like that. My Gothic Heroine, Ms. Holt, wrote in the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's, passing away, I believe in 1993. She left behind a legacy of work and even now I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a story by her.

Let's face it – you can't get creepier than Anne Rice. When I think Goth, I think Rice. I love her vamps and witches. Why? Because they are so deliciously human. I love how Rice creates mythology. Very creative. My desire to create my own myths and legends come from her.

JK Rowling is the bomb. Her style is easy to read and she created a wonderful paranormal world with witches, wolves, and eerie creatures of the night like Voldemort.

Elizabeth Kostova wrote a book called "The Historian." Based in historical fact, a historian goes on a chase through Eastern Europe looking for Dracula. I loved how seemingless Kostova wove fiction into fact. That's what I strive to do as well when I write.

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