I want to take just a moment to say how happy we are that N.J. Walters is serving as our guest blogger this week. Please take the opportunity to check out her links for more information!
Religion and the Paranormal:
Religion and the Paranormal:
By N.J. Walters
By N.J. Walters
The Paranormal fascinates most of us. It is the lure of the unknown, of the possible and the impossible. Vampires, ghosts, werewolves and magick all abound within the pages of fiction. But there are books of non-fiction that deal with the same subjects. Some of these are religious texts that examine faith, the afterlife, death, birth, demons and angels.
Personally, I don’t think there is any dilemma between religion and the paranormal. As a reader, I can pick up a book on vampires or werewolves and immerse myself in that world for several hours. Does it change my beliefs about life and spirituality? Not really. What is does is entertain. It also helps to open up my mind and remind me that we don’t know everything there is to know about this world in which we live.
In a world where all the lines are blurring and information is streaming at us at an alarming rate, it seems only natural that religious ideas would find their way into mainstream fiction in one form or another. I’ve seen a rise in the number of books that feature ghosts, demons and angels. The themes of good versus evil, redemption and salvation all play a roll in these books. And why not? These are subjects that have obsessed mankind since the beginning of time, and certainly since the beginning of the written word. The Epic of Gilgamesh and Dante’s Inferno immediately spring to mind and there are hundreds more examples of writers who have examined these subjects in their works.
These themes are just too big and too interesting to be ignored by the fiction writer, and especially the romance writer. Love, sacrifice, and redemption are too juicy for a writer to resist. I’ve written my share of paranormal stories, including my Dalakis vampires. Seen as an abomination by some, these vampire brothers have their own code by which they live. They are dark by nature, but there is good as well.
In Stefan’s Salvation, Stefan Dalakis has reached a crossroads in his life. He is filled with despair at never finding his mate, the woman who is meant for him. After hundreds of years of searching, he has given up hope. It is then he finds Laurel Rose. She is the light to his dark, but there is evil surrounding her, waiting to do her harm. Like a fallen angel, Stefan rises from the darkness to protect Laurel Rose, and in doing so, finds his own salvation.
Religious imagery sometimes finds its way into my books, mainly because they’re symbols that are universal and understood by all. A church is a sanctuary, or it should be. If it’s not, then that makes the situation all the more horrific. In the fifth Dalakis Passion book, which has not yet been contracted, an old stone church high in the Carpathian Mountains is important to the plot. The place itself and the elderly priest who resides there are of great comfort and help to the heroine who is morally and spiritually lost.
As the elderly priest, Father Patrescu, says to one of the characters, “God made you as you are,” he paused slightly before continuing, “and I like to believe that he knows exactly what he’s doing.”
There is plenty of room for the paranormal, and indeed religion, in books. After all, the goal of books is to entertain and to sometimes make us think. In the strange and wonderful world we live in, it is always a good idea to remember that we don’t know or understand everything. Things that were deemed impossible and mere fantasy hundreds of years ago are now considered fact. What remains constant is mankind’s search for meaning and understanding of our life here and beyond.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/awakeningdesires/ (newsletter group)
A Legal Affair—Samhain Publishing
Jackson’s Jewel—Ellora’s Cave
Enticements—Ellora’s Cave Print Book
Book 3 of Dalakis Passion
Stefan Dalakis has been wandering the countryside for months. Ever since both his brothers found their mates, loneliness has been his constant companion. He’s been searching for five centuries but has been unable to find the one woman whom he can love. When his travels lead him to a small roadside bar in North Carolina, he overhears a conversation that will change his life forever.
Laurel Rose McCaffey always knew she was different. Some say she has the Sight. Others say she’s a witch. Most are afraid of her, but they’ve left her alone. That’s always been fine by her. But now strange things are happening and the peaceful life she’s built for herself is being threatened. Developers want her land and a lot of the townsfolk are pressuring her to sell.
A dark stranger enters her world, a man who both fascinates and frightens her. As her world spirals out of control and the threats escalate into outright violence, Laurel Rose turns to the one man she’s come to trust—a vampire!