Paranormal is scorching hot, burning through the pages of books and jumping out of movie screens. Look around you, at the success of the Twilight series books and movies. Look at the Harry Potter phenomenon. I haven’t read the Twilight books, but I’ve read all the Harry Potter books and seen all the movies. I love Harry Potter. I love the world J.K. Rowling has spun. I hate to leave that world when a Potter book or movie ends.

And who can forget sexy vampires? They’re all the rage now, and they’re everywhere – in books, movies and television. True Blood is a tremendous success. Friends of mine love it. I admit I’ve never watched it, for the same reason I’ve not read the Twilight books or seen the movies: I’m afraid of vampires because I believe they exist. I know the new vampires are sexy beasts, but I can’t get past the old image of Bella Lugosi who played Dracula in the movies for so many years. He scared the heck out of me. I tried to read Ann Rice’s first vampire book and had to put it down. But I loved her Mayfair witches series.

One movie in particular stoked my fear of vamps and made me believe they’re real. That movie was Dracula’s Daughter, a little known black and white Forties-something movie. One night when I was a young teen, my parents went out and left my Aunt Rose to babysit me and my younger siblings. It was a school night, but Aunt Rose let me stay up and watch a movie with her. That movie was – you guessed it — Dracula’s Daughter. The movie was so realistic, and although the female vampire was tortured and conflicted, she kept sucking the blood from unsuspecting victims. It scared me so much I didn’t sleep at all that night and I’ve been petrified of vampires ever since.

But like so many today, I love the paranormal- witches, ghosts, werewolves. I loved the movie The Sixth Sense, and I loved the TV series Ghost Whisperer. I believe spirits exist and that they speak to us. But, unlike vamps, ghosts don’t scare me. I believe in animal spirits too. I know I heard my dear cat Sabrina’s cry soon after she had to be put down. I still feel she’s with me in spirit.

I especially like witches. Remember Samantha from Bewitched? Don’t you wish you could twitch your nose and get anything you want? Sometimes when I’m cleaning house, I wish I could be Samantha. I’d twitch my nose and my house would be sparkling. Or if I had a party to attend, I’d check out the fashion magazines, see a dress and shoes I liked, and Voila! A twitch of the nose and they’d be mine.

But real witches can be quite dark. That’s okay. Sure there are the scary, ugly witches like in The Wizard of Oz. But there are sexy witches too. I’d like to write a story about a sexy witch with awesome powers. It’ll be fun.

I like werewolves too, not the Lon Chaney type werewolf in the old Wolfman movies, but the werewolves we see in today’s romance novels. In those stories, as in my paranormal romance, Cursed Mates, the beast shifts into the form of a real wolf. In my story, my hero, Nick transforms into a white wolf with yellow eyes. I love real wolves. When I worked, my cubicle was decorated with wolf pictures. I have some wolf pictures in my office at home now. I wanted to write a werewolf story that would be a tribute to the real animals, those magnificent creatures so maligned through the ages.

Shifters of all kinds and demons are also very popular in romance novels now. Fallen angels are gaining in popularity. I’ve read stories about men and women who shift into mountain lions, panthers, jaguars. I love them all. My villain in Cursed Mates is a very evil and ancient demon. I’m fascinated by fallen angels. How about a fallen angel who redeems himself for the love of a woman? I’d read that story. Maybe I’ll write it. Or maybe it’s already been written. It sounds familiar.

The paranormal is exciting and makes us forget, for a while, the real dangers and problems in our world. Some who study popular culture say that people turn to the paranormal when things around them begin to go awry. Makes sense, doesn’t it? But then maybe the paranormal speaks to that hidden, primal part in each of us, that part that civilization can’t quite suppress. Or maybe we all long to have supernatural powers which will give us more control over our environment. What do you think?

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