by Skye Callahan
(Darkness Bound #1)
Publication date: October 22nd, 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Kaylyn Anderson’s fascination with abandoned places and dark creatures kindled her work as a paranormal investigator. But when dreams begin to distort reality, she questions what is real and pulls away from everyone she trusts. The opportunity to investigate the Teague Hotel–a long-abandoned landmark that has always piqued her curiosity–provides a chance to redeem herself. Unraveling the hotel’s secrets won’t be easy, but Kaylyn soon finds herself the target of a dark entity that has been trapped in the building for decades.
If Kaylyn stands any hope of defeating the spirit, she’ll have to accept that her fears are real and convince fellow investigators that she hasn’t lost her mind.
Building Paranormal Ideas from Legends
Paranormal stories rely on the author’s ability to create a world that encourages the reader’s suspension of belief.
I don’t do a lot of plotting, but making sure your characters paranormal abilities (and inabilities) are clear and consistent requires some planning. You don’t want to get halfway through the book and have to explain how/why a character suddenly gains a new ability or inability (unless of course you have a good reason to do so). That’s like knowing that the character has a cell phone in his/her pocket, but when they are locked in a room, they can’t figure out how to call out for help. Likewise, a vampire who can suddenly “glamour” a victim two-thirds of the way through the book when he’s never had/used/mentioned that ability is equally problematic.
When I need inspiration for paranormal or supernatural characters, I look for old myths and legends to see where the creatures originated. Creating a basis for supernatural occurrences within historical beliefs creates credibility with the reader. There is a reason certain stories survive, and a reason why certain supernatural elements – ghosts, vampires, werewolves – are so widespread. And understanding when and why legends originated may give you hints into how you can adapt the legend for your own purposes.
The paranormal entities in Fractured Legacy aren’t derived from one particular legend. But there were some old myths that influenced the decisions I made while writing. For example, there are a number of legends that reference the vengeful spirit of a mother who lost her child. In Japanese folklore, the Mu-onna has been known to protect children, but she may also try to merge with them—to do so she must put the child’s soul to sleep. You’ll have to read Fractured Legacy to see what aspects of the legend made it into the story.
Don’t just set out to be original or do something different—give your mind a few pieces of kindling and let it do the rest as it tries to make sense of the legends and stories. The originality will follow as your imagination fills in the gaps.
Skye Callahan was born and raised in Ohio and has seen enough unbelievable stuff to feed a lifetime of paranormal stories. When not writing or working at the dayjob she hangs out with her ethnomusicologist husband and pet ferrets, reads, and takes long walks through the cemetery.