6 Reasons To Read Books That Feature The #Paranormal

Let’s jump straight in…

What does paranormal mean?

The Cambridge Dictionary says it is: ‘all the things that are impossible to explain by known natural forces or by science.’

From angels to wizards, the paranormal can feature in a huge range of genres and sub-genres.

1 ) It takes you back to your childhood: ‘You’re a wizard, Harry….’ (Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling):

Those words still send a thrill of delight through me even though I’ve read the series a number of times. Witches, wizards, ghosts, spells, pixies and unicorns are just a few of the elements which can be found between the pages.  Remember reading those tales of magic and wonder beneath the bed covers when you were a child?  Paranormal books can give you that same feeling―that maybe, just maybe, it really is possible….

2 ) It’s not all about the love triangle

The young adult paranormal market is huge, but in the past it has been overpowered by the love triangle. If you remember Team Edward, Team Jake, or Team Not At ALL , then you might agree that Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series torpedoed vampires and werewolves into the young adult romance market with a capital L for love triangle. But it’s now been overdone and although it is still popular, lots of authors have moved on.


3) A ghost isn’t just for Christmas or Hallowe’en

Charles Dickens’ ghosts in A Christmas Carol have become classical figures over time. I quite fancy meeting a ghost, but I’d like to be picky and meet a good one, not one filled with malevolence.

In 2017 Hari Kunzru released White Tears, which was a ghost mystery set in New York and featured Blues music. I’ve not read it yet, but it’s on my wish list.

A couple of other books with ghosts that I enjoyed were The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker and Yesterday’s News by Sam Cheever.

4) You shall go to the ball, meet a prince, kiss a frog…. but it won’t be like when you were 10 years old!

I love fairy tale retellings; as with Harry Potter, they bring back childhood stories and give them a whole new meaning.

Marissa Meyer’s Cinder was a cyborg in her science fiction twist on Cinderella.  While Sarah J Maas re-told Beauty And The Beast in her A Court Of Thorns And Roses books.

Indie authors such as Sarah E Boucher, who wrote The Midnight Sisters (based on the Twelve Dancing Princesses), have featured on my blog.

Or how about a darker twist on Alice In Wonderland? Sarah J. Pepper’s Death Of The Mad Hatter had me absolutely engrossed:

‘no matter how badly I tried to hate him, I couldn’t. That made what I was about to do so delightfully horrible that even the wicked Queen of Hearts would be impressed–Alice Mae.’

5) You’ll discover changelings….

From garden fairies to brownies and imps, the fae are notoriously secretive and slippery.

Until recently I had never heard of changelings— ‘a child believed to have been secretly substituted by fairies for the parents’ real child in infancy.’

However, I’ve since come across several books where they have featured.

Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield delighted me with its storytelling,

‘On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic?’


Two more books which feature changelings:

The Story Collector by Evie Gaughan is set in Ireland.

‘When Harold Krauss, an Oxford scholar, arrives in the small village of Thornwood, he finds a land full of myth, folklore and superstition. He hires a local farm girl, Anna, to help him collect stories and first-hand accounts from the locals who believe in the fairy faith.’

Also The Changeling by Victor Lavalle which I discovered when writing this article and is another book that has now made it to my wish list.

6) They stretch boundaries

Egyptian gods, travelling across the universe and Atlantis all mix in one of my favourite TV shows which can also be read as fan-fiction. Although the Stargate series is primarily marketed as science fiction, it also contains lots of elements of myth and legend. Just where do the lines of fact and fiction end? I love the characters from Stargate and was delighted to discover authors such as Sally Malcolm and Jo Graham who write extra episodes in book format.

I’ve discovered paranormal in mystery, fairy tale re-tellings, horror, romance and young adult books, what are your favourite paranormal stories?

Wednesday Wing….Should you write dreams into your work? #wwwblogs #WriterTips

Welcome to my new feature called Wednesday Wing where I’ll be passing on

observations, tips and information to readers I’ve made a note of.

Rosie's Notebook

Today I’m passing on a tip about DREAMS in you writing.

Using dreams in your work has been used for years, just look at Charles Dickens and “A Christmas Carol” but now it’s a technique which is often used poorly in writing. Kirsten Lamb explains it really concisely and much better than I ever will to check out this post

When Dreams Go Bad—Dream Sequences, What Works & What Flops

What happens when I read about dreams as a reader?

Opening lines

If your book opens with a dream sequence my eyes roll upwards and I think “OH NO!” This is because as Kirsten explains, the hook you use to open the book, becomes a lie and you are in fact sublimely saying to the reader at the end of the dream sequence “Ha, ha tricked you, this isn’t real”. Then the reader has to start all over again when the “Real” story begins. If you opened with a lie, the message to the reader is “You can’t trust my writing”.

It can be much better to go WHAM into a story with a high impact opening which will get a reader asking questions – a murder (murder mystery), a plane crash (thriller), an explosion (Sci-fi), a wizard in broad daylight on the streets of London (fantasy), hot rugged man stripped his shirt off (Romance). All these scenes well written will have me asking “Why is this happening?” and I WANT to read on to find the answers.

Dreams within the book

How useful are dreams used within the main body of the book? As Kirsten says in her article unless the dream moves the storyline forward in a significant way, DO NOT use them. So often they are used as an information dump, or a back story or a filler, authors use them badly as convenient ways to find answers and solve puzzles. Some writers try to disguise them as Day dreams or reminiscing BUT I’ll be HONEST here, as a reader this is a MAJOR area where I WILL SKIP these sections because TOO often they are BORING.

Dream scenes are NOT new, they are NOT cutting edge writing, they have been done before, are over-used and turn readers off.

So if you’ve used dreams, go back and check to see if they are REALLY needed and if you can, CUT them out.

Here are links to previous Wednesday Wing Posts.

May 6th 2015 – Checking your WordPress is linked to your Twitter helps others share your posts http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7L2

May 13th 2015 – Writer’s Craft books by Rayne Hall full of REALLY useful tips http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Ma

May 20th 2015 – Hyperlinks, Short links and Linkys http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Rl

May 27th 2015 – Making your post titles easy to share on Twitter to maximise views. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7SA

June 17th 2015 – Creating Twitter pics that fit http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Y4

June 24th 2015 – Creating a slideshow on WordPress http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Yo

July 1st 2015 – Getting the most out of Google+ posts http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7YM

July 8th 2015 – Automated Tweets, LOVE ‘EM or HATE ‘EM? make use of them http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-7Za

July 15th 2015 – What’s Your Book Genre? http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-84S