07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I don’t believe in magic. Except I do.

To be clear, I don’t mean “magic” tricks as in the art of illusion for entertainment, which uses sleight of hand and/or deceptive contraptions. Obviously those are real things, and there is nothing supernatural about them.

I’m talking about magic when it refers to the very real practices of sorcery, witchcraft, wizardry, occultism, etc. These Black Arts are called that for a reason: because they involve mere humans dabbling in unfamiliar powers that can neither be controlled, nor safely engaged.

I am a Christian by faith. That means that I believe there are only two sources of power in our little 3-dimensional universe: God and Not God. God is the source of all good things in our world: love, truth, beauty, hope, and real life. Not God is the source of all that is not good: hate, lies and deception, ugliness, hopelessness, and real death.

As humans we are titillated by the idea of supernatural powers, whether in the form of Marvel and DC Comics characters, or in something as (seemingly) innocuous as a Ouija board. Humans are born with an understanding that we are not the be-all and end-all of existence, so it’s natural for us to want to enter that mysterious not-3D realm. And let’s be honest; at some point, we all will.

In the meantime, messing with dark things that we really don’t understand can hurt us – now, and later.

I had to grapple with this when I decided to write a paranormal trilogy. I am walking a careful line between what could be God possible, and not allowing Not God to take any part in my story. So that means no demonic creatures, no shape-shifters, no zombies, vampires, or dead-people ghosts.

My solution? A Viking caught between life and death during Norway’s historical shift from Paganism to Christianity in 1070.

My precedent? Enoch, Elijah, and Lazarus.

My happy ending? My hero eventually gets his body back at the end of book two and picks up his life again.

After being stuck in the ether for 950 years.

Will traditional paranormal readers like him? Maybe. But he might be too tame for readers who regularly dine on blood and evil.

Will my Hansen Series fans like him? I think so. His unusual circumstance aside, he fits into the family quite nicely, as both the beginning and the end of my historical timeframe. Plus his contemporary heroine is a hoot.

Either way, the cross-dimensional and unique relationship between an 11th-century Viking and a 21st century woman is the kind of “magic” which I can happily embrace.


Coming in 2016:
An Unexpected Viking
A Restored Viking
A Modern Viking


Judith Ashley said...

Thoughtful post about an intriguing concept and character. And a unique way to bring your historical readers to the 21st century!

Sarah Raplee said...

Your new series sounds intriguing, Kris! No everyone who likes paranormal stories is a lover of blood, gore, and demons. You'll find your audience, beginning with your current audience. I'm looking forward to these books!!!

Diana McCollum said...

I like the concept of your new series! I'll be buying it for sure. And I'm one of those paranormal readers who is not crazy about a lot of blood and gore.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Interesting take on paranormal, Kris. I'd probably like your hero more than the typical vampire or werewolf. :-)

Kris Tualla said...

Thanks everybody! I was nervous about how this post would be received, but I had to be true to me. ;)

Amber Polo said...

There are a lot of light paranormal readers out there. Not all require kick ass heroines.

Anonymous said...

Interesting take on the walk between magic in your books and your Christian faith. I would say that magic, like most things in life, can be good or bad and tends to be a reflection of the person wielding it. Though I don't like blood and gore, I do like stories where the magic and its control reflects the conflicts within a person's heart. Sometimes those conflicts can be very nasty.

It is hard to determine how much of the "dark side" to bring out in a story--whether that is paranormal, suspense, or a contemporary romance. Walking that line is something every writer needs to struggle with and determine for herself how much dark and light they are willing to present.