Paranormal Mysteries or Killing the Undead

Kaite Stover for MALA/MARRT – Oct. 20, 2011

  • There are sub-genres to this sub-genre.  Kaite reads mystery, not romance.  No “wham bam thank you wolf-man”.  Cross over many genres – this is a subjective genre to the reader.  “Bleed over” is common.  It’s all about the Marketing strategy.
  • Must believe in Fantasy – how much are you willing to invest.
  • Elements of Mystery:  focus on investigator | solve a crime; answer a puzzle | Series and Frame | Mood, Scope and Pacing.
  • Look for an interesting place for the characters to live, relate and meet.  The setting as character.
  • Series allows the author to explore myth, folklore, and expanded stories.
  • Detectives – men, women and other – professional or amateur, public or private, ‘hard boiled’ v. cozy or ‘soft boiled’ (cozy means all killing happens off-stage, so low-gore). Magic is usually scary and hard boiled.  Evil, dangerous nature of the magic – why the detective is scared.  Other as not-detective.
  • Some main characters are Trouble magnets, not detectives.
  • Women are guarded, the men are the soft-hearted ones.  Female detectives have red hair.
  • Own, Read Suggest:  Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita is a PI) | Joanne Walker by C.E. Murphy | Harry Dresden by Jim Butcher and Rachel Morgan by Kim Harrison
  • Magic Kills – Plots involve dead bodies, undead bodies and “the exhilaration of annihilation” – rampaging creatures/gods/goddesses (serial killer plot) and Magic as a dangerous tool
  • Sookie Stackhouse – Charlaine Harris | Kevin Hearne Atticus O’Sullivan, Iron Druid | Felix Gomez by Mario Acevedo | John Taylor, The Nightside by Simon Green
  • Luke Daniels narrates Hearne series – listen to it.  The Wolfhound has it’s own voice…
  • FRAME – Cloud of Pixie Dust
    • Magic is the most important part of the frame
    • Magic should touch all elements of the mystery
    • Propels the plot, impacts how the characters interact with each other.
    • Define how character interacts with their environment, helps set tone
    • International lore taught through Urban Fantasy – included in the stories (arcane details)
    • Speedy, lively pacing.
  • Interesting Frames: WeatherWarden by Rachel Caine | Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey (Dark, graveyard humor) | Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger (Steampunk, witty word play) | Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews (Anita-Blake read alike)
  • Abnormal but not Paranormal: Cat mysteries, Magical Cats by Sofie Kelly and (Cozy paranormal cat series) Dulcie Schwartz by Clea Simon
  • New Demons – Alex Craft by Kalayna Price | October Daye Seana McGuire | Blood Singer by Cat Adams | Morris & Chastain Supernatural Investigations by Justin Gustainis
  • Kaite’s Handout: – All books shown, first book in series and resource list
  • “As heard in the workshop” List  —
    • Cozy – Granny Apples mysteries – she can see/hear ghosts.  Ghost of grandma helps solve mysteries and there is romance.  Aunt Demity has a ghost, too.  Discussion – Kaite will find these and add them to the handout.  Joe Gray mysteries – cat talks – Murphy is author.  Durenda Jones – funny character voices.  First Grave on the Right (good audiobooks).  Cat and Bones – Jeanine Frost – Fantasy and romance.  Nancy Gideon – picked up b/c of cover.  New Orleans police woman / Max Shape-shifter…
  • Caine is OK with being in Fantasy.

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