Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Magic Moment with Guest Blogger: J.E. Cammon

Welcome supernatural fiction 
author J.E. Cammon to the blog today!

Here to discuss all things paranormal and here's what J.E. had to say...

Simply put, my favorite element in paranormal stories is magic. I enjoy it because so many different things can be done with it, and not just inside the story but outside of it as well. A writer gets to decide what magic means, and how it's used, and what its truest nature is.

A new show I enjoyed watching this past Spring was Once Upon a Time. In that show, the premise is put forth that magic is a force responsible for anything and everything, which made it similar to fate or destiny, but in addition to that it could also occur as a liquid or a mineral. So not only did it make things happen, anyone could possess it if only they could figure out how to get their hands on some.

In other popular settings, one might find magic to be almost like art, wrought with precision and care, mastery of which is the result of years of diligent practice or blessed blood, and in some settings both exist which creates the argument between hard-earned skill and fate-given gifts. For me, I like to think of magic as another word for science that people haven’t discovered the inner workings of yet, like how a cave man might describe a flame thrower, or a 17th century soldier might think of a guided missile.

But whether it’s enchanting swords or protecting castles, whether it’s bright and shiny or hidden and obscure, I like how it gets to be the stuff of miracles, and everyone is in agreement of that fact with only a single word.

One of my series of books is actually paranormal, Where Shadows Lie. The first two books, Where Shadows Lie: Bay City and its first sequel Where Shadows Lie: Hunting Grounds, are available now.

I did what one might call research before starting the series, and in so doing can confidently say the tone and flavor of them might remind a reader somewhat of the Being Humans and Hellboys and Angels. The characters are adults, and one of my main ideas in writing it was to lend a great deal more realism to concepts that tend to not be as grounded. I strongly believe that one of the best qualities of the paranormal genre is that it tends to be overlaid onto our real world. There might be shape shifters, but there also tends to be day jobs and boring marriages and neighborhood scandals.

Unlike sci-fi or fantasy, paranormal gets to be the seasoning on very familiar, identifiable situations.

In regards to their saturating the market place today, I agree that there are a lot, which makes the question of overdone a very valid one, I think. But I I’d feel more comfortable using the word “underdone” before overdone, which is to say a lot of them, to me, don’t take advantage of all the potential that exists when one thinks of not only the genre, but how the genre might be written about today.

There are many, many books which stop at the romantic notions of the vampire’s immortality or the werewolf’s fire, and I can understand writing about a given subject with a target audience in mind, but very often nowadays when someone thinks about paranormal stories and paranormal characters, half of them are mostly naked, and most of the stand-out examples of the genre are only half realized.

A Note from the Book Boost:  I'm both intrigued and terrified of the notion that magic is simply something that hasn't been "discovered" or learned to use properly.  Imagine the possibilities.  Great, thought-provoking post.  Thanks for joining us today, J.E.  Please tell us more about your latest!


Nicholas Hughes has finally gone to ground, but that doesn’t mean that he’s done running, or that Scarlet’s done chasing. When last he saw her, she promised to take his head, but when next he hears of her, she’s waist deep in trouble and he’s the only one that can help her out of it.

This time the problem isn’t so much choice. It’s price. After all, he has his own battle to fight, with things speaking into his ear and looking over his shoulder. She told him too that all debts
come due, and among all the shadows, it’s difficult to see the face of the clock that’s counting down.

He’s not in Bay City anymore, but then again, Nick also isn’t the same man, but that doesn’t mean the man he’s become won’t regret the decisions made by the man he was.


“I need your help,” Scarlet said, followed by a snicker and a chuckle from the darkness.

“Well, supposing you do, you certainly went through more trouble than most people would to get it. Call the police.” That sounded like the conversation was over.

“He is an exile from the Academy.” Scarlet had bought into the sniper story. She did not move. “I trust you know what that means.” After another moment, the darkness spoke again.

“Well, we aren’t an assassination squad. We go where we’re needed,”

“By the time he makes himself overtly known it will be too late. I’ve been tracking him,”

“And you lost him,” the interruption stung the pride. Scarlet nodded.

“Yes, he was in league with a vampire and a lycanthrope, and together they killed those with me,” but it would have been more correct to say the ones she was with.

“And you survived?”

“Yes.” The answer sounded ridiculous even to her ears. For a brief moment, she thought she might actually be shot and left dead on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere. In the moment after the bullet didn’t arrive, she briefly contemplated her situation more objectively. She had to accept that she was alive for reasons out of her control.

A broad, plain-faced woman stepped from the shadows beneath the overpass. Her dress didn’t say stalker. It said farm-wife. A plaid shirt and blue jeans with her hair pulled back, she was wearing work boots and holding a shotgun trained steadily on Scarlet. She was cautious, and yet confident. At ten feet distant, she stopped.

“Well, you look like maybe you could play the part,” the woman said. Up close, she was somewhat tall, too. “If I put your story together right, then that makes you,”

“Just like you.” Scarlet jumped at the opportunity to interrupt her. Strangely, the woman smiled. She was more handsome when she emoted, but only slightly.

“Not so much. I gather we do things a little differently here in the new world. You sound like a foreigner. Where you coming from recently?”

“Bay City.”

Want More J.E.?

Visit on the web here:  http://www.jecammon.com/

Follow the blog here:  http://thought-drive.blogspot.com/

Pick up a copy of the book today!  Click here.


blcsdina said...

Great book! Great interview! Dina Rae

S.A. Hunter said...

Enjoyed your post, J.E.! Imagine "magic" being something you might find in stone shape on a beach...not a concept I'd thought of using...mostly I've depicted a hard-won personal skill type of magic. Paranormals do have the advantage (?) of a given/understood setting, but the limitless possibilites are still there. Congrats on your great book -loved the excerpt.

Carrie Lynn Barker said...

Nice interview! I loved the comments on the paranormal overlapping into reality. That's when I most enjoy the paranormal genre, when it can feel like something I can almost relate to. - Carrie Lynn Barker