Friday, May 27, 2011

Paranormal Inspiration

Posted by: Melinda Leigh

When I sat down to write my first paranormal story, my sources of inspiration came from some very strange places. History and science, even some odd facts from those theology classes I took in college an eon ago popped back into my head. Yes, that’s right. My supernatural world has strong roots in the real one.
You see, I am a nerd. A total and complete geek with a capital “G.” I love to plunk down in front of the big screen TV with a huge bowl of popcorn to watch…
The Smithsonian Channel.
Or National Geographic or The History Channel. You get the idea. An entire hour on the Saxon invasion of Britain? I got goose bumps thinking about it. A special on the building of the pyramids? I’m setting my DVR to record as soon as I finish writing this post.
I know I’m weird because my teenagers inform me of this on a regular basis, right after they whine long enough that I gather my popcorn and retreat to my bedroom to find out how the Mayans built Chichen Itza. But those documentaries on NatGeo about the Amazon Rainforest come in darned handy when my writing partner and I are working on the Amazon Heat series. Did you know Amerindians used the toxic secretions of dart frogs to poison the tips of blow darts? I did, and you can look for that fun fact to appear in story number two. And I’ll admit it right here, my werewolves in my last WIP share some behaviors with Cesar’s pack. Obviously, I’ve watched too many episodes of The Dog Whisperer, but we all have our guilty pleasures.
Let’s not forget all the fabulous mythology that was an integral part of many ancient civilizations. A show on ancient Greece wouldn’t be complete without a good dose of Greek mythology. Paranormal stories aren’t anything new. Tales of monsters, gods, demons, and other supernatural beings date back to the very start of mankind.
I think the best fantasy uses elements of reality to make the paranormal world feel authentic and to pull the reader in. What do you think?
Melinda Leigh


  1. I have to agree. I love out there stuff in a paranormal, but at the same time I like to have some basis in scientific fact when I write. I guess for me it just makes everything feel a little more plausible.

  2. I agree, Melinda. Paranormal that starts from reality and then asks "what if?" and supplies a convincing yet impossible answer is tops.

  3. Rayna, science is awesome. And paranormal that sounds like real science sucks me right in.

    Jenny, "what if?" is one of my favorite games. I play it when I watch the news. LOL.

    Thanks for stopping by,

  4. Pass the popcorn : )
    I particularly like documentaries about ancient Rome and lost South American civilizations. Love the shows Michio Kaku does too.

  5. Eleri, I watched a special on the Colosseum last week that was absolutely unbelievable (and more than a little horrifying!). Loved it.


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