Saturday, August 1, 2009

Jada, Will and The Holiday Inn -- Part One

Okay, so if you hadn’t read the limo scene in Can You Believe first, you might have thought I stole the idea from Jada Pinkett Smith’s exploits with her husband, Will, on the way to the Academy Awards. Nope. But as reality confirmed, Fallon and Naymond’s luxury backseat tryst is entirely plausible.

That’s the fun and challenge of being a paranormal writer – plausibility. How do you get someone to believe in a world you’ve made up yourself? I have to start with being honest with myself. That means that at least for today, my author interests don’t lie in creating languages and aliens. I think life in good ole Detroit, Michigan, provides plenty of fodder for a trip to the incredible.

Someone asked me just the other day where I get my ideas from. In my last post I wrote about words being where you find them. And for me they are, though it’s not a literal use. For example, my heroine in Where Souls Collide claims a matriarchal psychic lineage.

Well, we don’t have any clairvoyants in the family that I’m aware of, but I’m always tickled by my elderly aunt’s stories of my great-grandmother who was known to leave a man in a heartbeat. If he got on her bad side, she got her trunk and hit the road. Then there are my grandmothers, one who went to cosmetology school and opened her own beauty shop after her daughters were good and grown, and the other who was widowed with three small children and kept her household and faith intact. My mom, too, forged her own path – starting with integrating her high school. The theme I extracted from all this for my story was strong women.

My stories are contemporary. (For now, I’m not doing historicals or futuristics.) They involve familiar settings and situations thrown askew by supernatural intervention. For Fallon and Naymond, the physical therapist and her real estate-selling/wannabe singer husband in Can You Believe, a simple gift gives the couple a glimpse of their future. A reader recently wrote and asked me where she can find that item. Don’t I wish….

I enjoyed the reader’s email because she let me know that I did what I set out to do. The story offered enough of a stretch from the every day to make her want it to be real. I got her to believe.

My father always told me that anything can be rationalized. So in my reality-based fantasy and paranormal, I know it’s key to establish the rules of my world and let the reader know what those are. Anything's possible if I want it to be.

Now, I hope I’m a little more refined in my storytelling than Jada is sometimes (do know, I love me some Jada, and I have since A Different World), but I’m saving the topic of TMI for my next blog on Aug. 16.

See you then.


Anonymous said...

I have read all your books they are just great. i can't wait until someone makes a movie of all your books. They really deserve it.

Farrah Rochon said...

I'm looking forward to that TMI post, Stefanie!

Liane Spicer said...

I like that couple, but Jada is a trip!

Building a believable world for your characters to inhabit is a vital task, and I get the impression this is much more of a challenge for writers of sci-fi and paranormal.

Phyllis Bourne said...

I totally LOVED your idea for Can You Believe? I read just about everything, and it was such a fresh twist!

LOL! I kept asking myself, "Dangit, how'd she come up with something so fricking cool!?!?!"

Unknown said...

Anonymous -- Thanks for the support. And stay tuned!

Farrah -- I'd be interested to know what folks really do consider TMI these days.

Liane -- The world-building aspect is what forces me to keep notepads and sticky notes handy.

Phyllis -- Thanks Phyllis. Warped imaginations do come in handy.