From VBC: Today we have author Amanda Havard on the blog as part of a blog tour. Her second novel in the Survivors series, Point of Origin, will hit shelves on Tuesday, June 12. We’ll let her explain how she fell into writing paranormal fiction, and then give away signed copies of both her Survivors novels and a most excellent swag bag to one lucky VBC reader.
I’m intrigued by most things. Interesting things are interesting for obvious reason, but I’m the kind of person who believes the mundane can be made interesting quite easily. It only takes asking yourself why? Or what if? I do that a lot actually. People ask me how I come up with so many crazy, deranged things to write about, and I tell them I truly just wonder things like What if that were a little more messed up? What if that were all connected? What if…
I write paranormal because I like to wonder what if. Every culture has a legend for nearly every supernatural creature you’ve heard of. The interpretations of magic, witchcraft, special powers or superhuman abilities, of vampires and shape shifters and zombies (oh my!) are rampant in every century in every corner of the world. And why? Where did it come from? How do we all seem to believe, in some degree and in some version, in things that, by and large don’t (or shouldn’t?) exist. That’s what I want to know.
When I started writing Survivors, I set out to write a story set in the world you and I live in, whose rules were simple ones: the history is our history, and it is all true. The mythology, legend, and lore is our mythology, legend, and lore, and it is all true. Go.
And I went. I connected the dots. I found things from Romanian legends to colonial documents to couture gowns, and, man, somewhere in there a story fell down from the sky. And then in that mix of every legend, creature, myth, or bit of hysterical magic in between, I wanted to create a creature you’d never heard of. One you couldn’t know because they didn’t know themselves. And so I made Survivors.
I do all this because writing the kind of books I do allows me to use the truth to find my fiction. Legends and lore offer rich insight into a culture, a place, or a belief. And bringing all that to life? Well, that’s the fun part.
I actually rarely refer to my books as paranormal, not because I don’t think they are but because I think there is a baseline simpler than even that: They are supernatural. I’ve been fascinated by the supernatural for as long as I can remember because it is the hotbed for fantastical stories that can still hit so close to home. I grew up on comic book heroes, and can’t you tell? Comic book heroes, villains, and innocent (and not-so-innocent) by-standers have human stories, human selves (most of them do, or once did), and are trying to exist in a human world despite the glaring differences that set them apart, and despite the larger-than-life tragedies, responsibilities, and tasks they’ve been saddled with. And isn’t that Sadie? Isn’t that every character in my books? And won’t it be every character in the world I’ve created, in one way or another?
Our daily lives are more than interesting and more than boring. They’re something we’re familiar with, value, and yet take for granted. But sometimes, taking just one step toward the fantastical somehow allows us to see the world around us in a clearer, better light. The supernatural takes us one step further from ourselves, and it brings us one step closer to the truth.
Amanda was kind enough to provide signed copies of her books The Survivors and Point of Origin as well as an excellent swag bag (winner will be asked for their tee shirt size, hint hint) for one lucky VBC reader. This contest is open to addresses in U.S. and Canada only. Contest ends on June 21.