Monday, July 2, 2012


When writing historical romances, my story fits into a definable historical period. Thorough research on that period yields background info including historical characters and chronology and lifestyles, as well as established social classes, family structures, government, religion, ethics, mores, and beliefs. The historical info is woven into the fabric of the story to provide a rich background for the characters and the plot.

What if the author is writing a paranormal story? He/she must craft deviations from the “normal” that are both believable and entertaining, then weave those deviations into the “normal” world to create a story. Whether the paranormal characters hide from, coexist with, or attempt to conquer the “normal” characters in the story is a part of the plot.

Although the author doesn’t need to dump an entire alternative universe on the reader, there should be a thorough outline of the elements of the alternative culture. One of my personal favorites was the Highlander series (with that to-die-for music by Queen) whose creators maintained a book that provided a guide for the series development. Then, there is the magnificent and sorely-missed Anne McCaffrey whose Dragonriders of Pern series created, in my opinion, one of the best alternative worlds in science fiction.

The author who is creating a worldview of his/her own must answer certain questions and keep those answers in mind when crafting their story. For instance, What is our society’s explanation of the world?; Where are we heading? (the future); "What should we do?" (ethics and values); "How should we attain our goals?"; "What is true and false?" (knowledge); and Where did we come from? (origins). The answers to those questions form the basis for an alternative culture/world.

In August, Champagne publishes my first paranormal story, Into the Lyons’ Den. It’s a shapeshifter paranormal in which a wealthy recluse, Anthony Lyons, offers a mint to lure Marie Maxwell, Atlanta's most sought-after event planner, to coordinate a wedding and reception for a "very special couple" on his isolated estate in the mountains of North Carolina.  Marie accepts the challenge of planning a wedding for 200 guests in 10 days but she is confronted with a mysterious stalker, two thwarted murder attempts, and dark shadows from her shrouded past. She finds an ally in an amorous feline of some unknown species. Read an excerpt at  Later, Rita Bay

PS It is my pleasure to annouce the publication in April 2013. by Champagne of The Aegis, a vampire with a twist paranormal novella   Rita


Rosemary Gemmell said...

That's a really interesting and informative post, Rita - looking forward to that novel! And well done on the new acceptance.

January Bain said...


Excellant post filled with great advice. Looking forward to The Aegis and will keep it on my "must read" list.


Best, January

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Intriguing plot, well described. We'll look forward to it.

Rita Bay said...

Thanks so much for commenting, Romy, January, and Julie. Paranormal stories certainly provide an opportunity to create a new world. I am SO excited about the upcoming publication of Into the Lyons' Den and-next year-The Aegis. Rita