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  • Brantwijn

Paranormal - What is it?

I love writing stories about the paranormal. Perhaps that comes from the fact that I also love reading them, and watching them, in film, TV, or even animated form. I love stories about ghosts and hauntings, eerie possessions and exorcisms, and of course, supernatural creature features. So it's no surprise I've fallen in love with the world of vampires, werewolves, demons and angels.

It should come as no surprise that I'm a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer die-hard. I can even tell you which season we're watching based solely on Sarah Michelle Gellar's hair. But what's important about my love for Buffy is that it's very much the soil from which the seedlings of my own paranormal world of Blood and Fire first bloomed.

I'll never forget Buffy's speech to a cult of vampire worshippers in Season 2 of the series:

I've got a news flash for you, braintrust: that's not how it works. You die, and a demon sets up shop in your old house, and it walks, and it talks, and it remembers your life, but it's not you.

This very line sums up the foundation of my Blood and Fire series. Whether it's a vampire, a werewolf, a witch, an incubus, or a shadow-walker, the demons are not the people they were before they were transformed. The change destroys the person that was, and brings on a true creature of the damned in its place.

Have you ever looked at the word "paranormal"? It literally means, "to one side of normal; beyond normal". It's the world we know, everything that's normal, but it's twisted away, lying at some illogical angle. So when your good friend becomes a werewolf, zombie, or vampire, they're not the good old normal person you knew; they're skewed.

Paranormal is like a funhouse mirror for the soul. The world of the paranormal, now, that's a whole house of mirrors, where everything is just to one side of what you think you recognize. Everything is so beautifully, beautifully strange.

The best paranormal tales, in my opinion, are ones rooted in actual mythology, with deep ties to true beliefs. Vampires compelled to count the grains of salt you throw at their feet. Werewolves whose weakness isn't just silver, but silver inherited from another. I love it when the paranormal isn't easy to deal with, and requires knowledge, ritual, coordination, and sacrifice. Even if we want a hero to prevail over the dark, uncanny valley of spirits and monsters, we still want to delve into those secret passages and discover all the fascinating mystery.

And if it's strange and eerie and haunting and bizarre, that's all part of the thrill. It's a funhouse, dahlings...go on in, and enjoy the journey through.


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