Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Mundanity in the Supernatural
For the five years I have been writing (though this is my first novel to be published), I have sought to set out the answers to questions that have plagued me since childhood concerning the logistics of the paranormal. A sampling:
- Do vampires go to the bathroom?
- What does garlic do to them anyway?
- Do werewolves accidentally try to scratch themselves with their toes while in human form?
- If clothing can survive a transformation, what about things in pockets? What about ropes binding them? If clothing can't survive transformation, how do you handle a character turning up naked all over the place?
My need to address the pragmatic, at times embarrassing, aspects of any type of "condition" lead to Halloween Romance being more of a romantic dramedy rather than a straightforward, family-friendly romance. This is not to say that I don't enjoy an epic romance of fire and lyricism. I see that niche being filled admirably by many of my EP elders. This just happens to be what I'm good at.
Verisimilitude is a quality that inspires affection and loyalty in readers. I strive for it by taking mundanity into account. Sometimes you don't want to have characters to fantasize being, but characters you can imagine having over for a movie night. Characters who, despite their exotic trappings, have human pains, human pleasures, human flaws.
My favorite thing about my leading couple, Selene and Ferdinand, is that they are fully and wryly aware of their shortcomings. Selene is overly emotional and cries during the ending of The Phantom of the Opera on their first date, making Ferdinand feel a tad awkward. She blows her budget on rare steak and has trouble eating her vegetables. Ferdinand's sister describes him as "such a wet blanket that he can put out whole forest fires", and since he is so recently turned he forgets how strong he is and does things like accidentally crushing a hole in his car's dashboard.
The sequel, a coming of age story called Bite Me, will be out in September. I actually have written an entire series, which I call "Legends of Laconia, USA", starting with Halloween Romance that eventually involves multiple generations of four mixed-"race" families. I am waiting to share them, because they have been my neighbors for a long time, and I love them for their magnificent humanity.
You may purchase Halloween Romance at Eternal Press: http://www.eternalpress.ca/halloweenromance.html
Or at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Romance-Donaya-Haymond/dp/1926704266/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249454122&sr=1-1
And you can learn more at the Google Site: http://sites.google.com/site/legendsoflaconiausa/
Become a fan of my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/#/pages/Donaya-Haymond/193150455153?ref=mf
Or gaze at this humorous drawing for Halloween Romance that I comissioned from a friend and am thinking of putting on a t-shirt:
(Ferdinand's opening the envelope with his fangs.)