Sharon Clare Talks Paranormal World Building + Giveaway
My guest today is paranormal and historical romance author Sharon Clare. She’s sharing a little wisdom on world building in the paranormal realm with an example from her book LOVE OF HER LIVES.
First a peak at the book!
LOVE OF HER LIVES
Calum and Beth are soul mates who have lived many lives together, lusting, loving and dying for each other. While their lives are often turbulent, their eternal bond is secure—or so Calum thinks—until Beth decides to live a life on her own. Left behind in the Upper World, he sees a wrongful imprisonment in her future, so he bargains with Finn, an elven trickster to return to Earth, rescue Beth and reclaim her heart. Unfamiliar with the twenty-first century, he must determine who plots against Beth while playing Finn’s sensual game, a game designed to awaken her repressed passion and keep them on the run together.
Beth has no recollection of their lives together and didn’t ask this sexually-charged stranger to come to her aid. When she takes a risk to help an abused woman, she is horrified to find her house ransacked and her life threatened. With a secret to keep, she takes the greatest risk of all—trusting Calum. Her unfathomable attraction to the man is as much a mystery as the man himself. Her life soon depends upon re-evaluating everything she thought normal as her risk-taking behaviour pushes Calum to behave like a controlling buffoon. Their eternal bond is only saved if Beth can then rescue the man who spanned worlds to rescue her.
Pick up a copy at Amazon or wherever e-books are sold!
This is Not the Real World
By Sharon Clare
I’d like to thank you, Joan, for having me as a guest today.
In paranormal fiction, I would imagine, most authors build their worlds a little from their imaginations and a little from folklore or mythology or ancient beliefs. When writing my first paranormal novel, LOVE OF HER LIVES, I wondered how soon a writer lets the reader know they are not in the real world.
I pulled some books off my bookshelf to see how some of my favourite paranormal authors establish there’s something not normal in their world.
Kelley Armstrong does it in the first line. In Personal Demon she suggests right from the get-go we’re not dealing with an everyday woman: ‘There was a time in my life when the prospect of watching a man die would have filled me with horror. Now, as I shivered beside the cenotaph, knowing death was coming, what I felt was very different.’
Karen Marie Moning also establishes her paranormal world from the first line in Spell of the Highlander: ‘Aoibheal, queen of the Fae stood in the catacombs beneath The Belthew Building, concealed by countless layers of illusion, a formless projection of herself, beyond any Sidhe-seer’s vision, beyond even her own race’s perception.’
In Eve Silver’s, Sins of the Heart, we know in the second paragraph with this line: ‘Terror had a way of making mortals scream.’
In Claire Delacroix’s Fallen, by the seventh line, we know we’re not dealing with a mere mortal: ‘Feathers were falling, surrounding him with a curtain of drifting white. It took him a moment to realize that they were his own feathers.’
I wrote a paranormal love story set in contemporary times, but based on the premise that the hero and heroine have lived many lives together. Unfortunately for the hero Calum, the heroine Beth has decided to live her life on her own, leaving him behind in The Upper World since he’s become a bit over-protective.
But Calum can’t leave well enough alone. He scrys her future and learns an unwarranted jail sentence is coming her way. Desperate to return to Earth and save her, he begs a human body from an elf with a sketchy reputation.
In chapter one, from the opening line, I tried to establish a setting where past lives, Upper Worlds, and elves are all common enough stuff: ‘In Seraphina, the high city of the Upper World where souls dwelt in tranquility and the Old Ones ruled with wisdom, Calum was seriously pissed off.’
I tried to avoid the dreaded information dump by giving just a little back story on the elves when Calum charges into the Akashic library to get the information he needs to conjure an elf:
‘Calum unclenched his teeth and pulled the seventh volume of Studies of Supernatural Worlds off the shelf. He might lack the power necessary to bring about a change from spirit to human, but that fact was nothing more than a speed bump. He knew where to get
He thumbed the pages to the section on the Alfar. Although the Alfar shared the Upper World, they lived in Alfheim, an immortal realm, and were not considered divine. His interest was in a particular Alfarian named Finn, a potent immortal who’d suffered a fall from grace for his propensity to indulge humans. Finn possessed the alfatofrar powers Calum needed to shift into the human dimension on Earth.’
By the end of the first chapter Calum meets Finn and plans to heed his warning:
‘Be warned, mortal, as a spirit your guidance in Bethia‘s mind was a mere whisper she could easily ignore—no more than the Old Ones allow. In human form, your whisper in her mind will be stronger, enough to bend her will. Not to be used to your advantage. You will keep your thoughts to yourself and stay out of her mind.” Finn‘s high cheekbones rose in a chill warning that was no smile. “Do not think to disappoint me.”’
At least Calum planned to heed Finn’s warning, but the heroine has a way of pushing Calum’s buttons, and Calum has a little issue controlling his temper. Although he does try.
Who are some of your favourite paranormal authors. Could you see yourself living in their worlds?
Sharon is giving away an electronic copy of her book LOVE OF HER LIVES today. Simply participate via the rafflecopter entry form below!
Sharon Clare fell in love with writing at the University of Toronto where she graduated with a science degree in psychology and professional writing.
Inspired by prose, she completed a program with the LongRidge Writing Institute in Connecticut. She has published short stories, art reviews, newsletter and magazine articles.
She continues to feed her love of learning and develop her writing skills with outstanding Toronto Romance Writing workshops, wonderful critique partners and inspiring books of course.