Fractured Legacy by Skye Callahan
(Darkness Bound #1)
Publication date: October 22nd, 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Guest Post – Building Paranormal Ideas from Legends
Paranormal stories rely on the author’s ability to create a world that encourages the reader’s suspension of belief.
I don’t do a lot of plotting, but making sure your characters paranormal abilities (and inabilities) are clear and consistent requires some planning. You don’t want to get halfway through the book and have to explain how/why a character suddenly gains a new ability or inability (unless of course you have a good reason to do so). That’s like knowing that the character has a cell phone in his/her pocket, but when they are locked in a room, they can’t figure out how to call out for help. Likewise, a vampire who can suddenly “glamour” a victim two-thirds of the way through the book when he’s never had/used/mentioned that ability is equally problematic.
When I need inspiration for paranormal or supernatural characters, I look for old myths and legends to see where the creatures originated. Creating a basis for supernatural occurrences within historical beliefs creates credibility with the reader. There is a reason certain stories survive, and a reason why certain supernatural elements – ghosts, vampires, werewolves – are so widespread. And understanding when and why legends originated may give you hints into how you can adapt the legend for your own purposes.
The paranormal entities in Fractured Legacy aren’t derived from one particular legend. But there were some old myths that influenced the decisions I made while writing. For example, there are a number of legends that reference the vengeful spirit of a mother who lost her child. In Japanese folklore, the Mu-onna has been known to protect children, but she may also try to merge with them—to do so she must put the child’s soul to sleep. You’ll have to read Fractured Legacy to see what aspects of the legend made it into the story.
Don’t just set out to be original or do something different—give your mind a few pieces of kindling and let it do the rest as it tries to make sense of the legends and stories. The originality will follow as your imagination fills in the gaps.
Kaylyn pulled the covers over her head as if they could block out the ruckus threatening her sleep. After another series of knocks on the front door, she was left in silence again. That wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
She held her breath.
Sure enough, a floorboard creaked, then her sister’s voice rang out. “Come on Kay. You can’t avoid me when I have a key. We’re going to be late.”
“Go away, Cole. I’m sick.”
“Bull shit. If anything you’re hung over.”
“I haven’t had a drink in weeks.” Although at the moment, she thought, I’d kill for one…or several. “We’ve worked for Carlisle for more than three years, he won’t—”
“We have a meeting. Mr. Edwards. Historical Society. Wooden box engraved with occult symbols. Ring a bell?”
Oh yeah. Kaylyn groaned as she flipped the covers off her head. Her younger sister stood over the side table, leaning against the inside of the doorway. A crisp pink collar peeked out from the top of her dark grey pea coat, paired with matching grey slacks.
Always overdressed, Kaylyn thought, especially for a job that often had them crawling in dank and dusty places. She pulled herself up, balancing precariously on the edge of the bed before forcing her body to move toward the closet.
“If you don’t hurry up, the cappuccinos will get cold.”
“You know I prefer it that way.” Kaylyn said as she pulled some moderately business-casual clothes out of the clean clothes pile and headed into the bathroom.
“Weirdo,” Cole called after her.
Kaylyn was thankful for the brief moment of silence as she pulled on a pair of black jeans and a blue long-sleeved V-neck. She smoothed out the wrinkles in the shirt then focused on her matted hair, sweeping it up into a low ponytail.
“Come on, sis, we’re supposed to be there at 9:30,” Cole yelled, smacking the bathroom door.
Three days until the weekend, she promised her reflection. Then nothing is stopping me from sleeping as long as I want.
Nothing except the dreams.
For a chance to win a ecopy of this amazing book, comment on this post. Let me know if you’d read this book, what you thought of excerpt or Skye’s guest post. Comment on here with something related to the content and I’ll pick one winner (Open internationally) to win a copy! Prize received after Oct 14th.