Starting tomorrow, I'm on the road for a few days. Monday, I'll be hooking up with Casey, (and many other wonderful mystery authors), at The Festival of Mystery, sponsored by Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, PA.
But first, I'll be attending DemiCon 20 at the Hotel Fort Des Moines in Des Moines Iowa. I'll be doing a workshop, a reading and book discussion, and a couple of panels. In fact, tomorrow night, I'll be doing a panel with Stephen Zimmer (THE EXODUS GATE) and Lettie Prell (DRAGON RING). Our topic is "Trends in Paranormal Fiction." I started thinking...just what is "paranormal" fiction? Is it mystery, urban fantasy, science fiction, horror...or all of the above? So I looked up paranormal in the dictionary:
Paranormal-that which is not scientifically explained.
To me, that's defining it with a pretty broad brush. (To this date-no ones ever been able to explain bad hair days to me, but I hardly think they'd qualify as a "paranormal" experience.) I guess my personal definition is "things that go bump in the night," and when you stop and think about it, stories dealing with the paranormal isn't that new. Legend and lore about witches, werewolves, shape-shifters, ghosts, and vampires have been around as long as we have. I suspect even our ancestors sat around in caves talking about it.
In modern times, there's a rich history of novels, short stories, poems dealing with the unexplained. Oscar Wilde and THE CANTERVILLE GHOST; Dion Fortune-THE GOAT-FOOT GOD, THE SEA PRIESTESS; Edgar Allan Poe; H.P. Lovecraft; the list goes on and on. (My particular favorites have always been Barbara Michaels' mysteries with a paranormal twist.)
So is the paranormal really a trend? Or has it always been a part of our lives? (I vote for the latter.) What's your vote? (And while you're at it, who are some of your favorite "paranormal" authors?)
That's it for this week-everyone have a good one!!