WHAT'S PARANORMAL, ANYWAY?
(by Jaime Rush)
I've always been drawn to the paranormal. Not necessarily monsters, though those occasional reports of the Chuppacabra, Big Foot, and the Everglades' Skunk Ape are interesting.
I like the weird stuff, like people for no apparent reason going up in flames, weird nature, and all things psychic. The appeal for me is that there's some truth in it. It could be real...maybe. Possibly.
I think we're all psychic. Most people have had feelings about things, that gut instinct, hunches, call it what you will. Some people are more in tune to that ability and have real psychic abilities, some have vague abilities, and others are, of course, downright shams. That's true of all things, like those video clips of the guy in the monkey suit trudging through the forest.
Many of my earlier Tina Wainscott books had some kind of paranormal thing going on: someone dying and coming back in another person's body, psychic connections between two people who have never met; near death experiences; cellular memory. Eventually, I felt that the paranormal elements limited my audience and I left them out of my last few books.
But now I'm with a new publisher, doing a new series, with a new name...and the paranormal elements are back! I missed them, actually. I loved THE X-FILES, HIGHLANDER, ROSWELL, and I love LOST (though I often am!).
I've been calling my "Offspring" series paranormal romantic suspense. But a review on Amazon made me wonder: are psychic elements considered paranormal? They are, after all, in the realm of reality, though they transcend it.
My group of people has abilities such as pyrokinesis (the ability to set fires psychically), telekinesis (the ability to move objects psychically), healing, the ability to get into other peoples' dreams, and remote viewing. They definitely transcend normal, and the definition of paranormal is, according to www.thefreedictionary.com, "Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation: such paranormal phenomena as telepathy; a medium's paranormal powers."
I posted the question on Romantic Times' reader boards and got a mixed response. Some did consider psychic elements paranormal and some didn't. It's an interesting question and has made me think about how I categorize my books. The Romantic Times review for the first book, for example, was put in Romantic Suspense with Paranormal as an identifier. So, I'm now calling my series psychic romantic suspense.
Here's what the first book, A PERFECT DARKNESS, (Avon Books, February 2009) is about:
A sexy stranger wakes Amy Shane in the dead of night with an urgent warning: he is among a group of people with extraordinary psychic abilities who are being hunted...and she is one of them. Before he can tell her more, three men burst in and haul him away. To find him, and the truth, she must use the psychic ability she abhors, strike up dangerous alliances, and risk not only her heart, but her very life.
Her ability, by the way, is seeing people's auras, and another ability she discovers along the way.
Out of the realm of ordinary? Definitely. Paranormal? Maybe probably. I guess I'll go with that old saw: call them paranormal or call them psychic, just call them (or in this case, buy them!).
What do you think?