Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Take on Paranormal: The Gifted Among Us

I'm a dreamer, always have been. My mind is nearly always pondering some far-fetched idea, only they don't seem so far-fetched to me. My husband says I think too much. He's right- one shouldn't be up at 3 AM thinking, “Gee, I wonder what would happen if Hancock and Storm had a baby?”

I'm a fan of the movies, shows, and books that capitalize on the idea of the paranormal in the modern day world we live in. Will Smith's movie, Hancock, comes to mind as a good example. The story of a character with extraordinary powers in today's world is one that always intrigues me, though some may say it's been done to death. In the case of Hancock, the very presence of the powers that some folks might welcome is what has made the main character a lonely, bitter outcast, with the temperament of an angry fire ant. When you think about it, stories like this are really a study of the human condition, social mores, and how we treat those we perceive to be different.

That's the reason my multicultural paranormal romances, the PHOENIX Files series, take place in the very world we normal folks occupy. (Normal being a relative term ;) ) I feel that placing characters with amazing abilities in a world full of people who are uncomfortable with anything they don't understand helps draw out the character's true essence. For example, in Darkness Rising, the first book of the series, heroine Lalah Norris has spent her entire life hiding the fact that she's panthera(a panther shifter):

(click cover to purchase Kindle version)

Lalah awoke in a pool of cold, sticky blood. Her clothes clung to her like a slimy second skin, the metallic scent invading her nostrils. Corbin, Dell Christopher's thug, lay a few feet away from her, unmoving. His body was covered with claw marks, and a particularly large one traversed his chest beneath the jagged, ripped halves of his dress shirt. I must have shifted.

Her head throbbed, and she cursed. If Corbin woke up, he would demand to know how she, a petite black woman, had suddenly been replaced by a ferocious panther. It wasn't a conversation she wanted to have.

I'm not a killer. But if I'm here when he wakes up, what choice will I have?

As you can see, living life with that kind of secret complicates things...a lot. So far in the series, all the characters with special powers live this way, only sharing their secret with trusted friends and their partners in the PHOENIX organization.

PHOENIX is a covert operation which exists to use the special talents of the “supernaturally gifted” in squelching crime and bad deeds. Branches exist in every major city in the world, and work in cooperation with various law enforcement agencies to get the job done. They take on the cases INTERPOL, FBI, and all those other alphabet agencies don't want to touch.

When it comes right down to it, we all have a gift of some kind. Whether it's supernatural or not is beside the point- everybody's got at least one. Think about the things that make you a unique person. Are they points of pride, or embarrassments? I'd love to hear from you about it.


Alexandra Kane

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