I really like that question. That one, and its cousin, Why Not? But I’ll save the latter for another post.
I ask What If? all the time—mostly for fun and occasionally to scare myself. (Okay my husband would shake his head here and say that I scare the crap out of myself way too often with my What Ifs?)
What if, at any moment, a weapon or a natural catastrophe thrusts us all into a post-apocalyptic world? What if creatures from our nightmares can follow us into the waking world? What if dark, intelligent beings exist on just the other side of the shadows? (And what if they were hot? Yeah!)
For me, this is fun stuff. Great stuff. No sooner do I ask the question than I’m making up a story about that scenario. One question begets another and another until a whole new world shimmers out of my imagination.
You know the saying, “scared of your shadow?” Well, have you ever looked at your shadow and wondered if might have an agenda of its own? Has your shadow ever scared you? There’s no hiding or fighting your own shadow. You’re stuck together, forever, whether you like it or not.
I’ve got an enovella releasing June 1 called Shadow Touch. The premise? What if a person was born divided into two separate, but connected manifestations of a single self—flesh and shadow?
Eleanor Russo is the heroine of the story. Her flesh and blood self is rational, moral, and follows the mores of society. But her shadow is impulsive, curious, lusty—as if Ellie’s id (think Freud) is able to act on its own. The story’s hero, Cam, is charged with helping her and gets a whole lot more than he expected.
And that’s why I love to read and write paranormal romance/fantasy. The genre is full of fantastic What If? questions. Add the promise of a (hard won) happily ever after for the hero and heroine, and the scary What if?s become all the sweeter.
Do any of you have a What If? that fires your imagination?