Why I Wrote my First Paranormal Romance

This is the first time I've participated in a paranormal blog hop.  I'm still getting used to the idea of myself as a paranormal writer.  My first three books (Desperate Bid, Perfect Partners and The Santa Next Door) were all set firmly in the real world.

I've written science fiction before (for the now-defunct AlienSkin Magazine, and more recently for the anthology Stories from the World of Tomorrow), but although the stories were somewhat 'out there', there was an explanation for the strange occurrences.  Or at least an implication that an explanation existed. Buildings ate people because the scientists who engineered the sentient town forgot to consider that imbuing it with a survival instinct might result in more than just self-repairing walls.  A newspaper proprietor was able always to be at the scene of the next big story due to precognitive visions resulting from a (largely unexplained) genetic mutation.  In science fiction, even if we don't know exactly how things happen, we know that if we dug deep enough into the story world, a scientific explanation would be forthcoming.  If it wouldn't, the story isn't sci-fi.  Which is why Star Trek is science fiction, but Star Wars - spaceships and aliens notwithstanding - is actually fantasy.  What's the Force if not another word for magic?  But I digress... or not.  Because sometimes the line between science fiction and fantasy is thinner than we think.  It's hard to tell the difference between magic, and science that we just haven't quite figured out yet.  As Arthur C Clarke's third law (which I have a bad habit of wrongly attributing to Asmiov) says: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

And that's why my latest release, Djinn and Tonic (coming from The Wild Rose Press on February 19th and available for preorder now) strays over the border into fantasy, or paranormal, territory.  It falls into the broad umbrella of 'speculative fiction' - fiction that asks a question about a hypothetical future, or alternative universe.  In this case, the question is: what would happen if we actually understood, and controlled, our reality, well enough to be able to change things with just a thought. Or, in the traditional language of fairy tale: what would you do if a genie appeared and started granting your wishes?  The fairy tale image fitted so well that I dispensed with the trappings of science and went for a full-on magical explanation of the story's background.  I've always been rather fond of genies, particularly the delightful, funny, blue one portrayed by Robin Williams in Disney's Aladdin. Ashtad, my genie hero in Djinn and Tonic, isn't as funny as Robin Williams, but he is a whole lot better looking - in fact, he's a model, a djinn from an alternative plane who's summoned into our reality by the wish of my heroine, Goth fashion photographer Sally Purdew, for a perfect model to help her win a photography competition.  He looks a little like this:

You can read more about Sal and Ash on Amazon, and find links to the other blogs in the paranormal blog hop here: http://paranormallovewednesdays.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/paranormal-love-wednesdays-blog-hop-jan.html


  1. Thanks for joining the hop today! :)

  2. From science fiction to djinns ... quite a trip. Growing up, my favourite genie book was The Toothpaste Genie. I wonder if that's still in print?

    I just checked; it is.

  3. Ooh, I've never read it but it sounds great fun! One for the wish list...


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