What Started my Fascination with Paranormal CharactersAshlyn Chase
I’m afraid my obsession with all things paranormal goes waaaaaaay back. My mother told me that when I was two years old, I asked Santa for a flying carpet. A real one, like Aladdin had. I don’t think we should hold Walt Disney responsible for the kind of books I write, although he may have helped fire up my imagination.
As a child, my favorite fairy tale was Sleeping Beauty. Think about it. We have royals, a wicked witch and good fairies. All the ingredients of a compelling story.
Maleficent, the evil queen, was hurt, because she wasn’t invited to the party. Everyone was celebrating Aurora’s royal birth but her. Instead of just sucking her thumb and feeling like crap, she acts! Of course, she acts like a jerk, but at least she has the power to make people regret snubbing her. We don’t know why she was snubbed. We assume that if she’s bad enough to cast an evil spell over the entire kingdom, she did more than dance with a lampshade on her head.
She puts a sleeping spell on the royal spinning wheel. Did I become obsessed with spinning yarn or knitting? Nope. It was the magic that caught my attention.
Sure enough, Aurora—the name of the princess better known as Ms. Beauty, found the damn sewing machine that everyone tried to hide from her under a tarp, and pricked her finger on the spindle.
The spell was so powerful the entire kingdom fell asleep for a hundred years. Now that makes the witch exceptional—not in a good way, but at least she wasn’t feeble or ordinary, like most of us powerless shlubs.
The fairies couldn’t stop it. They could only limit the damage. So they added a caveat. If a handsome prince kissed the princess, she would wake up. And, of course, she was soooooooo beautiful, any handsome, charming prince could not help but kiss the gorgeous sixteen-year-old in a coma.
The royals don’t have the power in this story. Nope, ironically, they’re the pawns. It’s the witch and the fairies that call the shots.
I could use my psych degree and analyze this to death. But in actuality, even if I studied every facet of the archetypes and my relationship to them, I doubt that would dampen my enthusiasm for writing extraordinary characters. Of course I want to feel special. Who doesn’t? Of course I want to enjoy some control over my life. Who wouldn’t? And because I’m a writer, I am and I can.
Every day, I decide what sort of ‘magic’ will happen in my fictional world. I may not be able to stop people from killing each other in the Middle East, but if I decide werewolves and vampires should get along, I’ll find a way to make that happen on the page. I may not be able to stop racism, but if I believe love can heal the deepest wounds, I’ll create a love so strong it transcends species. And even though laughter might be rare in this world, I’ll try to add a giggle to someone’s day. See? I’m not such a bad witch.
How to Date a Dragon excerpt:
Bliss remembered just in time to put her hand on the door before opening it. It didn’t feel as though there were an inferno on the other side. Staying low, she opened the door. The smoke was so thick she could barely see. She held her breath and charged toward the end of the hall.
Suddenly, her head hit something firm and she fell backward. “Oomph.” The sharp intake of breath resulted in a coughing fit. Looking up to see what she had hit, she realized she had just head-butted a firefighter’s ass.
He swiveled and mumbled through his mask. “Really? I’m here to save you, and you spank me?”
Despite her earlier panic, Bliss felt a whole lot safer and started to giggle. Oh no. My computer! “Wait, I have to go back…”
“No. You need to get out of here, now.” The firefighter lifted her like she weighed nothing—an amazing feat in itself—then carried her the wrong way down the rest of the hallway, through the fire door, and down the stairs.
“Wait!” She grasped him around the neck and tried to see his face through watering eyes. His mask, helmet, and shield covered almost his whole head, but she caught a glimpse of gold eyes and a shock of hair, wheat-colored with yellow streaks, angled across his forehead. She thought it odd that the city would let firefighters dye their hair like rock musicians.
As soon as they’d made it to the street, she could see better and noticed his eyes were actually green and almond shaped. She must have imagined the gold color.
He set her down near the waiting ambulance and pulled off his mask.
What a hottie! But I don’t have time for that now. She staggered slightly as she tried to head back toward the door.
He grabbed her arm to steady her. “Hey,” he shouted to one of the paramedics. “Give her some oxygen.”
“No, I’m fine. I don’t need any medical attention.” Thanks to the gorgeous hunk with the weird hair.
“Please… let them check you out.”
“I’d rather let you check me out.” She covered her mouth and grinned. “Sorry. It must be the smoke inhalation.
He laughed. “Seriously? First you grab my ass, and now you’re hitting on me?”
“I didn’t ‘grab your ass.’ For your information, I ran face-first into your… behind.”
“Oh. Well, pardon me for being in the way.”
His smile almost stopped her heart—or was it the lack of oxygen? Regardless, she had to rip herself away from him and get her computer out of the building before it melted. No matter how hard she pulled, he didn’t budge.
© Ashlyn Chase, 2013
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