“What got you interested in the paranormal?” Someone asked me that question this week. Since this person definitely wasn’t a fan of the supernatural herself, it’s possible she was subtly asking if I’d eaten paint chips as a child.
Still, it got me thinking about possible influences that may have contributed to my lifelong love affair with the Netherworld. Halloween, television, movies, even campfire tales and urban myths – there was no shortage of things that fed my childhood appetite for ghostly events and darksome creatures.
I’d probably have to choose BOOKS as my all-time favorite source of paranormalness (that’s my word of the week, thanks to a teenage fan who told me to “keep up the paranormalness” after reading my first novel, Heart of the Winter Wolf). I adore the stories of JR Ward, Katie MacAlister, Patricia Briggs, Karen Chance and a host of other paranormal romance writers. I’m also a devoted fan of Stephen King and Dean Koontz, and as a child I devoured the works of Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe and Bram Stoker.
Yet I’ve finally come to the conclusion that all of these things didn’t influence as much as affirm my love of the supernatural. In other words, it’s innate. Why do I think that? I only have to look at my kids. True, they spent their teen years watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, so perhaps it's not surprising that they're all otherworld fans.
There’s one daughter in particular, however, who could have been born in Halloween Town. Long before she even started kindergarten, she had a natural gothic style. As an adult, it continues to be a joyful expression of who she is. Her apartment is papered in horror movie posters, garlands of skeletons grace the doorways, and the shelves in her living room groan under the weight of paranormal movies and books. Tim Burton would feel right at home. I know that I do. My gramma would too. She was a lifelong fan of gothic books and scary movies just like me.
All this leads me to a perfectly natural explanation for my supernatural fascination – it’s in my genes! (I have a mental picture of a scientist discovering a strange black and orange genome and dubbing it The Halloween Gene...)
Of course, the fact that most of the women in my family are psychic is purely coincidental....
Do YOU have The Halloween Gene? Leave me a comment and let me know what nurtured YOUR love of the paranormal.