My mother was born on November 1, All Souls Day, but I think she was meant to be born a day earlier, on Halloween. She never missed a horror movie. I know because she took me with her, and the creatures I saw in those movies populated my nights, so I would crawl in bed with my parents for protection. Horror has always been a love-hate thing with me. I was a latch key kid and I was convinced The Creature From the Black Lagoon lived in the basement. Heart thundering, I would make sure the basement door was latched (yeah, like that would stop a monster, but hey, I was only seven) before unlocking the door to my apartment.
I remember Mom made me take her to see The Exorcist–possibly the story that was simply too real, too close to the bone, for me. Mom, of course, loved it. And then she wanted me to take her to a haunted house for Halloween. Her reaction to the actors in costumes was to inform me she wanted to go to a real haunted house. She and her sister swore their late brother came to both at night while visiting a third sister in New York.
Although I still share Mom’s fascination with the paranormal, I can’t watch a horror movie alone. They make me squirm. My pulse races and I want to squeeze my eyes shut. That’s the point of horror, of course, but I need a hand I can squeeze to the breaking point if necessary, as I used to do with my late husband. I’m a bigger fan of dark paranormal that is closer to the books I write. Buffy the Vampire Slayer has always been top on my list. I probably have seen every episode at least three times because the horror was mixed with humor and incredible internal conflict. I at least try nearly every paranormal offering on television. Last spring it was Being Human. This summer I got sucked into Teen Wolf – some episodes really were great horror, like the one where all the teens got locked in the school at night without lights and WITH the alpha werewolf. That was a really tense hour for me with no hand to squeeze.
So if the paranormal scares me so much, why do I go there? Why do I watch it, read it, write it?
Maybe it’s the monster in me.
I may write fiction but I always know I’m writing something about myself, even when the characters are dark and lost.
HOT TRICK, my October Urban Fantasy Thriller for Carina Press – it’s my second Detective Shelley Caldwell novel. The first was HOT CASE for Silhouette Bombshell. And I wrote two short stories – HOT CORPSE, originally for Avendia Publishing, now available in digital formats, and HOT NOTE for Thriller 3 to be published next summer by Mira Books.
About HOT TRICK:
Detective Shelley Caldwell's career as a Chicago homicide detective is complicated by her city's supernatural underground, her abilities as a sensitive and her half-vampire lover, Jake DeAtley. Meeting a crazy banshee with visions of someone drowning in a trunk, Shelley ignores the warning—until famous illusionist Sebastian Cole escapes from a locked trunk submerged in the Chicago River, while across town a woman drowns in the trunk of a car. Then another victim is found killed in circumstances eerily similar to another of Sebastian's performances.
Shelley is certain there's a link between the magician and the murders, and it’s unsettling that Sebastian invades her mind and stirs her senses. Not to mention Jake's negative reaction to the man. Can Shelley fight off Sebastian's supernatural influence to determine if he's the killer…or another victim?
I love my Detective Shelley Caldwell character. She’s the cop who keeps getting the woo-woo cases, and um, doesn’t want to believe in the supernatural. She also doesn’t want to be thought crazy, so she keeps the paranormal underground secret, whether it’s vampires or mages or demons or sirens. Shelley’s internal conflict about everything paranormal – including her lover – is what makes me want to keep writing about her. I love writing what makes a character most uncomfortable, what gives the biggest bang for the conflict buck. And with Shelley, it’s that love-hate thing when it comes to the paranormal. She has that fear that there’s a monster in her.
Do I really believe in the paranormal?
Part of me obviously wants to just as Mom did.
For more than a decade, my critique group has gone to Lake Geneva several time a year for writers’ retreats. One of the members has a house on the lake. We’d been staying there for several years when I walked into the kitchen and heard the owner talking about the ghost. Um, GHOST? Yep, the house was haunted. Several people had independently seen a man walking between the living room and the staircase – right outside my bedroom door. And I was the only one on the first floor. The other bedrooms were upstairs. Was I freaked or what? A late night person, I started going to my room two hours earlier than I normally would and locking my door because that’s when everyone else was going to bed. And I didn’t come out until daylight. Back to being the latch key kid who believed the creature lived in the basement.
I never saw that ghost or any other, but I know they’re out there...
...just waiting for me.
Artwork for Whispers From the Void™ by Vincent Proce
Because I thought writing in a new medium would be fun, I’m one of the developers and writers for Whispers From the Void™, a new comic book with female “monsters” – ghost, vampire, flesh-construct and the scientist who built her. The first issue will be available in December from Silver Phoenix Entertainment http://silverphoenix.net/index.html. Visit my website http://patriciarosemoor.com/ for information as the new project gets off the ground.
Now it’s time for you to share why you have an interest in the paranormal and whether or not you’ve had something spooky happen to you. Everyone answering will be eligible for a prize determined by a drawing – a signed copy of HOT CASE from Silhouette Bombshell, the very first Detective Shelley Caldwell story.
With more than 6 million books in print – 89 novels for Harlequin, Silhouette, HarperCollins, Dell and Del Rey – Patricia Rosemoor has received two Career Achievement and two Reviewers’ Choice Best Novel Awards from RT Book Reviews and the Golden Heart Award from Romance Writers of America.