Love with the Perfect Supernatural

It happens. All the time. Some unwitting human falls head over heels for a supernatural creature. A Vampire who makes them buzz with sexual desire. A Fae  bad boy who charges their batteries. A Werewolf who completely understands them. Humans are extremely susceptible to supernatural beings. Even Trolls have a sweet side, even though they tend to smell a little like burned dirty socks. Supernatural sexuality is dynamic, diverse and nothing like a human expects. Look around you. How many of your friends do you think are involved with or married to a Leprechaun, Gnome, Pixie or Shape-Shifter. My guess is that lots of people fall for these beings. They lust for them, fight with them, break-up with them and never, EVER recover from the experience.

Let’s play a little SUPERNATURAL DATING GAME. Which of these creatures do you think you’ve already had dinner and a movie or more with?

VAMPIRE – He or she works the night shift, prefers Bloody Marys or beer with tomato juice over vodka-anything. They tend to be pale and avoid the beach at all costs, wears sunglasses all the time and talk quietly. They are volatile in nature, argue at the drop of the hat and have a criminal record hidden somewhere in their past they never talk about. In bed, well the experiences are off the chart. Your Vampire lover wants sex all the time, especially in the middle of the day with thick curtains drawn and a glass of cranberry juice on the nearby dresser. They have no opinion on your day-to-day life, and expect you to drop everything when they call. (Hey, I just described both of my ex-husbands!) They are selfish but protective of their possessions (including and especially you) to the extreme. When their full attention is on you, they make you feel like the best thing walking on two legs.

PIXIE – Well these guys and gals take the cake for sexual dynamos. Surpassing the Vampire by a mile, Pixies simply can’t get enough and they don’t particularly care who it’s from. Loyalty and fidelity are not part of the Pixie lexicon. They’re stunning to look at, have not a single working brain cell in their head and avoid conversation at all costs. You’ll never notice though, because a Pixie can distract you with a sensual look, a teasing touch and a few magical sighs that drop you right onto your back, ready, willing and able. Pleasure is the name of the Pixie game, and if they can get a few laughs along the way, it makes their lives even better. Go ahead, date a Pixie but don’t be looking for anything with promise. One day, maybe in the middle of the best sexual climax you’ve ever had, they’ll simply disappear … off on the next adventure. You will have a few grains of Pixie dust on the carpet to sweep up, though.

WEREWOLVE – Ah, the damaged, troubled, doe-eyed lore of the Werewolf is irresistible to humans.  Even if you’re the kind of person who seeks out relationships with self-empowered, self-sustaining, emotionally-stable partners, one whiff of a Werewolf will change all that. These creatures are deeply broken by their lot in life. Beautiful, strong and powerful, they are emotionally shattered, constantly worried … the kind who over-insure themselves to protect their mates. A Werewolf is definitely the marrying kind. Children may not be in the cards because they’re so afraid of passing on their terrible curse, but you can’t find a better wife or husband. Loyal as a Labrador and partial to quiet nights at home, what you’ll have with your Werewolf is plenty of peaceful evenings, snuggled on the couch with a beer and a good movie partner. Once a month your Werewolf will disappear for a few days. At first you won’t notice, then you’ll get jealous because he or she is unwilling to explain where they’ve been or who they were with. Then you’ll cry and walk away. It’s just how it is. But you’ll always fondly remember the sweet lover who brought you the newspaper every morning.

TROLL – Trolls are the hoarders of the supernatural world and they bring it right into your world the minute you hook up with one. A Troll loves to collect things – stamps, old film posters, Civil War memorabilia, tea pots, thimbles, you name it. As soon as the two of you shack up together, the first thing your Troll does is build shelving and buy curio display cabinets. At first it won’t bother you one bit, after all, a hoarder also collects skills that come in very handy in the bedroom. But soon enough, you will find yourself picking pathways between boxes of stuff waiting for new shelves to live on. Before you know it, there’s no room for you! Then … you discover that your Troll has been collecting something else while you weren’t looking. Trolls are another supernatural race with no regard for fidelity. Trolls collect divorces.

SHAPE-SHIFTER – You already know this guy or gal. You’ve already come across them at work, at the country club, and in your dating life. These are the ones who can change on a dime. One day they have brown hair, the next, flaming red locks. One day they work as a financial analysis and the next, they decide to become housepainters. One minute they’re happy and laughing and the next, out-of-control pissed off. They know things they shouldn’t know, like what the whale on the Discovery Channel program is thinking, or what you talked about in your women’s support group. They recall things more clearly than any human and for a while, you think your lover is just insightful or has a photographic memory.  It’s nice at first, but soon all the always-being-right stuff rags on your nerves. The uncertainty of never knowing what your lover will look like or say or do in the next minute will drive you batty. Unfortunately, when you throw this one out on their ear and adopt the stray kitten that appears at your door a few moments later, the one thing you will miss most is that Shape-Shifters ability to know what you love most between the sheets – all those things that made you squeal with delight. Ah well, for now you have you new kitty friend to talk to. That should be enough to get your life back to normal.

GNOME – Ever met someone who is happy all the time? A not-so-pretty and rather short person who makes you smile and laugh and feel better about yourself? Those, my friends are Gnomes. Wiki’s Mythical Creatures and Beasts Directory says that Gnomes are tiny creatures, but I can tell you that over time, they’ve grown. Some area as tall as five foot five! Short women and men have no issues with partners that height, so the intermingling of these two races is on the rise. Gnomes never make you cry, they never argue and they always see the bright side of everything. Some people like that. Personally, I’d toss a Gnome across the living room is he told me “life is a bowl of cherries”. Gnomes are great gardeners. In fact, most find fantastic careers as landscape and garden designers. It’s not just the green thumb, it’s the instinct for soil, root and bloom that make them so good at it. Real Gnomes never have silly plaster garden gnomes in their yard. It’s a reminder of so many generations of being too short to have sexual relations with the pretty women whose skirts they’d been looking up. Even a silly Gnome knows where heaven is.

LEPRECHAUN – These dudes are more pleasant and luckier than they should be. Never taller than five feet ten, the Leprechaun is the lover who talks about counting cards in Vegas during dinner, develops a system for knowing when his numbers will hit the lottery while having sex with you, and decides which horse to bet on at the track while showering with you. You don’t mind one bit and do you know why? Because this guy ALWAYS wins! Life with a rich Leprechaun can wash away a plethora of evils. You’ll live in a fabulous mansion, wear designer cloths, travel the world every year and, when your Leprechaun lover isn’t thinking about winning the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, enjoy fabulous sex with an Irish accent! How bad can that be?

FAE – The Fae like multiple relationships and multiple marriage partners and they’re right up front about it. This is the lover who asks for a ménage a trios on the first date. This is the one who loves swapping partners in a group setting. The more the merrier! The Fae are stunning, strikingly gorgeous and completely irresistible. Needless to say, most humans go with the flow wearing a goofy starry-eyed look and bigger than possible smile plastered across their faces. The Fae have an agenda, but no human understands it or can survive a relationship long enough to figure it out. The circus of sexual tension becomes crazy and it’s easy to get sucked into the vortex too long. More than one human involved with a Fae has awakened, years older, exhausted and in need of medical attention. The best thing to do when a Fae crosses your path and asks “Do you wanna?” is to run the other way, but of course, we don’t. The biggest issue with Fae/human relationship is that even though the Fae has been up front and honest about their desires, we still foolishly think we can someday have him to our self. Sad but true.

Okay, now we’ve explored relationships with supernatural creatures. Seriously, would you date any of these guys?

Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of The Twice-Baked Vampire Series. Book #1, Cold in California

COLD IN CALIFORNIA

 

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Urban Fantasy – The Character of Environment

Readers and writers know all about characters – that they require fleshing out and development, names and backgrounds, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Readers become attached to the mental image of what that character must look like and how his or her voice might sounds. But there’s more to it than that. More than the description of hair color or warts, more than the story … more than the era or genre.

 

There’s the environment. And I’m not talking about a little rain or maybe a vague description of a fictitious city here, I’m talking ENVIRONMENT on steroids!

 

Take Twilight. All that thick cloudy gloom of the Pacific Northwest combines to create a total package for Bella and her experiences. It does more than serve as a literary tool to permit vampires not to sparkle so much as to be recognized, it sets the mood. Now skip over to Charlain Harris’s Dead Until Dark (True Blood). The environment in this series is painted by poor and lower middle class Northern Louisiana. The prolific environment there is the sordid haze of southern prejudice and bigotry.

Environment tells more of the story than plot or characters! Ask any reader about a story they loved and the answer will include everything from location to weather and cultural influence, perhaps before even one character is mentioned. It’s the careful setting of the stage that makes the difference.

 

In my book, Cold in California, I was determined to make the environment a character in and of itself. Yes, California is the clothing this character wears, but the true environment is the warehouse where 60 or so dead and double-dead supernatural creatures live together. There, secretly hidden in West Hollywood, they try to find ways to behave themselves so they can take advantage of their one last chance to earn heaven. It’s about redemption in a city knee deep in anything but redemption. The warehouse needed to be a canvas for these creatures. It’s not exactly “the island of misfit toys’, it’s more like the Murphy’s Law pathway to the Pearly Gates. This environment needed to do two distinct things. First, the warehouse had to create a safe environment for dead supernaturals to be themselves, and second, it had to be real-world recognized for what it is, a holding tank for the world’s incorrigibles.

 

The space wanted to feel scrapped together with furniture left on the street for trash pick-up. It needed a system that reminded readers of the unemployment or social security office. And it had to serve every kind of race that might end up there, even Stick Man who is 12 feet tall, so he has a double-wide room where he sleeps on two beds head to head. The warehouse is bricked with history no one knows or wants to know. It has secret areas where the head honcho – like Crudo, the troll in charge – can find a few hours of peace and quiet when he wants. This warehouse makes love to it’s inmates by providing everything each one needs, high walls for one character’s vast collection of murder mystery books, dark corners for the double-dead vampires to lurk and meet and squabble within. Private places for pixie/leprechaun (uh-hem) interaction and a door that closes so that loner and soon-to-be hero, twice-baked vampire Gabriel Strickland, can sulk and bemoan his situation, at least in the beginning.

 

The warehouse keeps secrets and exposes treachery. It provides safety and yet is extremely vulnerable. It breathes with a life of its own. And it does all that without one line of dialogue or one action. Now, how’s that for a stellar character?

 

What book environments have impressed you most as you read or wrote them?

 

Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of the Twice-Baked Vampire Series! Cold in California

Cold in California cover, lgCOLD IN CALIFORNIA

 

What’s in a Title?

 

I went strolling through the bookstore for inspiration the other day. What struck me … even more then the vibrant covers … were the names of the books, specifically, the KEY WORDS found in so many Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance book titles.

For example …

KEY TITLE WORDS IN URBAN FANTASY BOOKS

  • Hunter
  • Huntress
  • Guardian
  • Angels (fallen, of course)
  • Faerie
  • Demon
  • Blood (blood and more blood)
  • Dark
  • Light
  • Night
  • Moon
  • Wicked

 

KEY TITLE WORDS IN VAMPIRE BOOKS

  • Secret
  • Kiss
  • Thirst
  • Blood (of course)
  • Werewolf (odd)
  • Moon
  • Beginning
  • Hell
  • Desire
  • Devil Fire

Now I walked over to the Young Adult Fantasy department and this got pretty interesting. No wonder why teenagers are so scary!

KEY TITLE WORDS IN YA FANTASY BOOKS

  • Demons
  • Shadows
  • Darkness
  • Blood
  • Witch
  • Dragon
  • Night
  • Fallen
  • Powerless
  • Evil
  • Moon (Red, Black, Dark and a few other frightening versions)
  • Guilt
  • Dead
  • Dread
  • Fire
  • Godless

Sheesh! Do you think maybe it’s our fault the Young Adults are so damn angsty?

Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author the Twice-Baked Vampire Series. Book 1, Cold in California

Cold in California cover, lgCOLD IN CALIFORNIA

What’s a Self-Respecting Pixie to do?

Pixies. These are supposed to be mythical creatures of ancient folklore. Are they from Cornwall? Britain? Sweden? Some tell me they have Germanic or Scandinavian origin. Who knows? Are they related to the Fae? Or the tiny demon Tommynackers or Scottish Brownies? Are they related to the Leprechaun? Are they part Sprite? Or maybe they are just memories of the aboriginal spirits at the building of Stonehenge?

I’ve heard stories that Pixies love pretty things and like to steal your jewelry or hair combs, but I always thought that was just something to take the suspicion off my younger sister. My grandmother, a fine woman of Polish descent, used to tell me there was a Pixie in the house if things fell off the counter. Never mind that I didn’t put it securely on the counter, it wasn’t my fault, it was the Pixie’s. In fact, even if I did do something wrong, she always blamed the Pixies. Pixies loved to create mischief and I really loved my grandmother!

Enter … FICTION. This is what I love most about fiction because in truth, fiction writers care less about what history tells us and more about what our grandmothers said.

Between what my grandmother told me and my imagination, I see Pixies as mischievous sexual dynamos. Creatures that are so damn pretty and attractive they can get away with anything, even murder. Think Hollywood, think furs and diamonds and Elizabeth Taylor. Think Marilyn Monroe! These are gorgeous creatures that cause havoc just by walking by. When I write a Pixie into a story, he or she is oozing misbehavior. The word Tomfoolery comes from a famous Swedish Pixie named Tom Fool who was so sexy, hundreds of women in one village alone left their husbands just to get a few moments alone with him. Seriously. Well, not really, but my fictitious Pixies are that kind of powerful.

They like to cause trouble, but they also have a job to do, just like everything else in the universe. See in my books, Pixie have, throughout all time, been the creatures you want to seek out to help find lost things or people. Misplaced your queen? Find a Pixie, and if s/he isn’t currently entangled in some amorous activity, your queen will be found and returned to you … minus a few jewels, of course. Not only does a Pixie deserve payment, they also love to snarf sparkly things.  And don’t even think about accusing them of theft. You never want to come face to face with a pissed off Pixie!

Well, those are my Pixie thoughts. What are yours? Have you read something that supports or contradicts my ideas? If so, I’d LOVE to hear them!

Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of the Twice-Baked Vampire Series. Book 1, Cold in California

Cold in California cover, lg

COLD IN CALIFORNIA

 

Next Age, New Wave, Sparkle Mange, Twice Baked, it’s still Vampire to me!

What’s the first supernatural book you ever read? Where the Wild Things Are? Interview with a Vampire? Twilight? Dead Until Dark? Dracula? Whether the book was written by Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, or Bram Stoker, it caught our fancy and twisted our imagination into scary, curious and challenging ideas.

The mythology of every supernatural character slips and slides from ancient fears and superstitions to current, real life roll-play games or social behavior liken to vampires, werewolves, the fae and any other supernatural creature you can think of. Today, I want to explore mythology and how it still plays a big part in our lives, whether we’re simply looking for reading or viewing entertainment, or trying to live our day to day lives.

Who willingly walks under a ladder or doesn’t change their direction when a black cat crosses their path? Who doesn’t have a lucky sock, charm, piece of rock, rabbit foot or ( insert item here )? How many times a day do we question Fate or blame her for something that happened or didn’t happen? Whether we want to admit it or not, mythology and superstition are laced through just about every element of our lives. We may not call it superstition. If you’re like me, you blame it on your OCD, because see, if I don’t do it exactly this way every single time, something bad will happen! I’ll forget something else or mix something up wrong! It’s all connected!  I can’t change ANYTHING. OCD or Superstition? Did I create a reason to be superstitious because of my OCD, or did my OCD develop out of some ridiculous superstition?

The way we relate to the supernatural and paranormal world is the same Catch 22. Guess what? There really is a supernatural and paranormal world and it really is just on the other side of the veil. You’ve seen Ghost Hunters.  You hear all the time about hauntings in the neighborhood and even though you might not be as sensitive to these events as another person, you still have to admit, it’s happening. (If you don’t, you’re in denial and probably not someone who follows Vampire Explored, LOL.)

The rules are pretty simple, at least in our human heads. A ghost either a) doesn’t know he’s dead, b) doesn’t like being dead or c) is the ghost of an evil person who sticks around and haunts us. I get that. Lots of times I’m someplace I don’t want to be too and often I act out. Can’t give a ghost a time out though, so we hire and take the advice of ghost hunters, mediums, psychics and self-proclaimed experts in the paranormal field. Or not. Some of us just shrug and move on to the next thing.

Now, let’s talk supernatural. Sometimes the ghost hunting evolves into demon or spirit hunting and that’s where the supernatural come out to play. See, some of those scary mythological creatures look a lot like the paranormal experiences no one can explain away – a really mean entity who can create a nasty smell becomes a “demon”. Strange lights that terrify corralled horses in Montana become Native American “angry spirits”. All kinds of ideas come to us on how to appease and send these entities away so they’ll bother someone else on some other astral plane, but in truth lots of those solutions are right out of our fertile imagination.

These are my theories, developed from a long string of personal experiences and creative ideas. The supernatural world just is. Leave it alone and it’ll leave you alone. You make friends, expect them to stick around a LONG time, after all, all they have is time, right? Take your deepest imaginings about the paranormal, the supernatural, the vampire, shape-shifter and fae world and write them all down. Follow and/or boldly change other writer’s ideas. Watch the mythology splinter and shatter and regroup into all new concepts for our imagination.

That’s what this blog is all about! Peeking into the Fictitious World of Supernaturals. Werewolves can be your next door neighbors. Vampires can sparkle or fly or make mistakes or gain true love … or not.  Faeries can be beautiful or hideous or crafty or just plain flighty. We imagine these creatures as we wish them to be, they grew from some myth or legend, they develop for each generation and oh, one thing I will tell you … I LOVE that this generation has a little fun with it all. I mean … seriously … even the meanest vampire has gotta have a sense of humor.

At least that’s what I imagine! You have any thoughts on all this? Comment away, I’d love to hear your ideas!


Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of the Twice-Baked Vampire Series. Book 1, Cold in California  !

Cold in California cover, lgCOLD IN CALIFORNIA