Today on Spacedock 19, fantasy author, Darke Conteur, has stopped by for a drink and a chat. She's written the Watchtower series: The Watchtower, Under the Cover of Wicca, and Of Covens and Packs.
MP: Craze is off getting ready for the next unveiling, Darke, so I'm tending bar in his place. Have a seat. What'll you have?
DC: Sweet! And it's not even nine am! Rye and coke, wait, I like those too much. If I have one, I'll want another and then I'm rambling about stuff that makes no sense. Better make it a glass of white wine, please.
MP: I see supernatural and paranormal used in fantasy. Is there a difference?
DC: People claim there is, but honestly, I don't think so. Two sides to the same coin as far as I'm concerned. I believe these words were invented to give some kind of identification to things man couldn't, or weren't allowed to understand. Things that were considered to be part of the Divine or unholy.
The word PARANORMAL is somewhat new. Created to describe occurrences that were considered outside the range of normal day to day life. If you want to get technical, any science fiction could be labelled 'paranormal', as it's outside the norm of how we live now.
Both words conjure images of spooky things that go bump in the night, lurking in the shadows to harm mankind, To me, both of these words feel wrong though. SUPER=greater than, NATURAL= nature. Nothing is greater than Nature, but we need these identifying labels to distinguish a frame of reference for our stories.
MP: So, it's a fine line distinction, if any at all. So what exists in your series that some would label as outside of nature?
DC: My series has many aspects; a half-breed demon, a Druid who controls the elements, two psychics; each having a different talent (psychometry and claircongnizance) and a medium. They live in our world, but see things that a normal human can't because of their connection to the paranormal. Each of them are 'the best' (so to speak), so their talents are powerful. For example, one character Barbara Dole can learn things from touching items (psychometry), but more than that, she can move through the timeline of the object she's touching; right to the point of it being made or born AND she can stop time and look around at her surroundings.
MP: Now that's a fascinating ability. A bit like time travel. How far back in time has she gone?
DC: In the stories, not that far back; maybe a couple weeks. In the character's backstory though, she's used her talent to swindle people out of their money. Imagine touching someone and learning their bank account numbers or pin numbers for their credit cards, combinations to safes, knowing where these things are. It caught the attention of the police, not to mention other unscrupulous people. Unfortunately, this has come back to haunt her.
MP: So do these extra abilities your characters have, are they known by everyone, or do they have to keep them a secret?
DC: No, the other characters know about them. It's one of the reasons they're all together. These people, coming together at this particular time, is a prelude to a major event within the paranormal world. Martin Cunningham will be the final 'piece'.
MP: So, if you were to enter your story, would you become a character you've already written or write yourself in fresh?
DC: I think I would enter fresh. The fun part about creating in this world is coming up with new abilities. To see just how far I can stretch my imagination.
MP: If you lived in the world you created, what fascinates you most about it?
DC: I think it would be the mythology behind the story. I've tried to model Hell off of Dante's Inferno so a hell with different levels and different punishments for that particular sin I found very interesting. Mind you, there are no witches or fortune tellers in hell. :D The thing that fascinated me the most, was a scene I wrote where the characters had to travel during a full moon. The supernatural world was revealed in the moonlight, and it also revealed what our souls looked like; who we really are or would become, or were. The idea that we could look at who we really are/were/would become was fascinating to me. So many possibilities.
To learn more about Darke Conteur and her work: Darke Conteur's Books / Facebook / TwitterHer latest release, Of Covens and Packs is now available:
Terin Global is on the brink of exposure. Something Detective Raleigh Darch could do with a simple warrant. Yet there are other problems. The increase of paranormal activity worries Jezryall and dregs up personal demons for some of her staff. A planned visit to the Spire-a forgotten relic from the ancient world leaves them with more questions than answers, along with a cryptic message from the spirit of a werewolf. One thing is certain; something is stirring within the bowels of Hell. Jezryall and her team must discover the reason behind the increase in demon activity before things become too big for even them to handle.
I'm really partial to that ability that lets you see the history of an object. What ability would you pick?
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