Thank you for dropping in to read my inaugural Snap, Crackle and Popping Blog. I hope you’ll make this a regular stop on your Tuesday travels into in cyberspace and engage in banter about books and writing. Today I will answer the oft-repeated question: “Sharon, why do you write about werewolves, Jinn (genies) and other weird things that go bump in the night?” This is analogous to asking mountain climbers why Mount Everest calls their name. My response: “Because they’re here, there and everywhere.”
Paranormal events have played a role in my life since childhood. I have always accepted this alternate reality that many others do not experience or recognize. Their disbelief doesn’t dismiss my psychic experiences: dreams that come true, that I think of someone–and that person calls, and that I knew my sister was pregnant before she did. In the 1970’s while a psychology major at the University of Connecticut, I participated in telepathy experiments using the now famous J.B. Rhine Zener cards and other images. My “hit rate” as a receiver was statistically greater than chance occurrence. Curiosity and pragmatism took me down the paths of psychology (BA), neuroscience (MA in Psychology), Nursing (AAS) and finally, public health (PhD). So, it’s really not surprising that I’ve gravitated to paranormal romance as one of my favorite sub-genres to read and to write.
Nor should it be a major revelation that I like to write about the tension between the scientific and paranormal worlds, as I did in Kiss of the Silver Wolf. In this novella, Charlene Johnson is a rational neuroscientist suddenly confronted with family secrets that defy her logical world. Her parents die in a mysterious car crash and the police rule it a suicide, leaving Charlene and her severely disabled older brother destitute. Forced to take refuge in her mother’s home town of Eden, Kentucky, she discovers a family that’s really a pack of werewolves and a passionate lover who is the alpha male in waiting. Denying her own senses, she fights the paranormal world every step of the way. At last, Charlene is forced to make a life and death choice between who she believes she is and accepting who she really is.
For many years, outside the realms of science fiction, horror and paranormal romance, it was felt that science, religion and the paranormal couldn’t coexist–much less cross into each other’s territories. However, Jeffrey Kripal, a highly regarded author who holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University, where he is also the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, recently published Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred. This in-depth examination of four major figures, Frederic Myers, Charles Fort, Jacques Vallee and Bertrand Méheust, researches the links between religious experiences and paranormal reports. Kripal’s scholarship provides a solid foundation and gives other serious scholars permission to explore these intriguing relationships outside the realm of fiction.
In the meantime, for those of us who wish to be transported to romantic paranormal worlds immediately, we need only to find our favorite authors’ works–whether printed book, Kindle, Sony or Nook–curl up in a comfortable chair, grab a cup of tea and read.