Tag Archive | psychic abilities

Psychics in Fiction vs. Reality

Tarot Card And Candle

It’s been said that everyone is psychic, to a degree. But most people don’t use their latent psychic abilities, so the ones who do seem extraordinary. In fact, we are more likely to gain any knowledge or awareness we have about people with psychic abilities from fiction, television, and movies, rather than true life experiences. Though we are fascinated with the idea of being able to use our minds in unusual ways, it seems to be more acceptable as a fantasy than a reality.

Real-Life Psychics

I have met several “real” psychics in my life, so I know they do exist. I enjoy having a psychic reading now and then, and at least half of those turned out to be accurate, meaning whatever they told me was to happen was specific and verifiable. I’m not talking about generalizations that could apply to anyone, but names, dates, circumstances that no one else would know about in advance, including myself! It seems that some people can “read” you, and tap into something where they can tell you what’s ahead. Sort of like a psychic GPS.

An example- after my husband died, I got a psychic reading in Sedona, Arizona (mother of all psychic places to visit). This was actually a friend of a friend, and I did not pay her, we were just hanging out. She tapped into all kinds of stuff that was going on with me at the time, most of which was so accurate got chills. She even predicted that I would remarry, and she also saw a child involved.

I had just started dating again and being childless all my life, was against dating anyone with children or even contemplating marriage (see my earlier post on that subject here). Well, she told me I would meet him within nine months, but it only took six before I met the man I was going to marry- and his son.

Fictional Psychics

So…that is only one example, and I think it is extraordinary when people can do that. But in fiction we must have conflict, and so here are the most common types of psychics used in fiction:

Crime solvers– can “see” where the bodies are buried, find missing children, etc.

Ghost whisperers– can communicate with the dead

Evil psychics– played for the fear factor, abilities used to hurt and /or control others

Comedic– played for laughs, as in Beetlejuice or Ghost (Whoopie Goldberg)

Being a romance author, I am particularly interested in psychics as people; how they interact with others, how it affects their relationships. But the nature of psychic phenomena lends itself to building tension, or conflict, since we don’t know how it really works or why some people have it. It can be used for good but also things can go horribly wrong, and that is what I am looking forward to exploring in my stories.

Have you ever had a psychic experience? What types of psychics do you enjoy reading about?

Paranormal vs. Supernatural- Time for a new Subgenre?

Teenage me reading fortunes

Teenage me reading fortunes

As a reader of Romance Novels, and even more so as a writer, I am fascinated by the ebb and flow of the market. Genres and subgenres of Romance rise to power and then fade away, and everyone is desperate to determine what will be The Next Big Thing. Cashing in on a wave of popularity can and does happen; many authors do it, but they will tell you it’s not easy. So I just observe what’s happening, and keep it in mind, but as most successful authors will tell you- you should write what you want, and then try to find an audience.

I can’t write to a trend yet, can you? My respects if you can do that, if you are prolific enough and have your process down to a science, and can crank out as many novels as you want per year. I’m not there yet. I may never be. There are enough stresses with the business side of writing, social media, research, and then finding time to write the actual book itself, that the added pressure of having to be sure it’s trendy is too much at this moment in time.

I’ve talked about Romance genres and subgenres before, and even though I have done hours of market research, I am still not sure where my stories will fit in when the time comes to market them. In my last post I talked about my author tagline, “The Power of Love with a Supernatural Twist”. There was a distinct reason I chose the word “Supernatural” instead of “Paranormal”.

The subgenre “Paranormal Romance” is a pretty wide umbrella. Surfing through Amazon and Goodreads you are likely to find stories about all kinds of creatures and extraordinarily gifted humans. But for the most part, the word “Paranormal” usually brings to mind vampires, demons, werewolves, shifters, dragons, fae, etc., as those have been some of the most common characters in Paranormal Romance stories the past several years. The word Paranormal is defined in most dictionaries as, “of or relating to the occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation; phenomena not of this world.”

Witches, ghosts, and psychics have been huddling under the Paranormal umbrella, too, but I think it’s time for differentiation.   The word Supernatural is defined in most dictionaries as, “Above nature, transcending nature, belonging to a higher realm.”

Sure, ghosts and psychic phenomena have not been explained by science (yet). But Paranormal characters are often other-worldly, or complete fabrications of imagination, whereas witches, psychics and ghosts are (or were) mostly human, thus based in nature. (Of course there may be exceptions to this, as they are millions of books in the world, but I am simply looking at trends).

So if we break it down to where Supernatural is human, or nature based, and Paranormal is for anything beyond human, would that help to differentiate stories, so readers could find them? I know keywords and other marketing tools will also help, but the Paranormal genre has become so massive. I believe it is going to splinter into more specific subgenres as popularity of the genre itself reaches critical mass.

Most of the projects I am currently working on feature ghosts, witches, and psychics, and I have been looking for ideas on how to market to the folks who prefer reading these types of stories. I know they are out there, and I know I’m not the only one writing Supernatural Romances. Here’s hoping we find each other when the time comes!

What do you think? Any new genres or subgenres that you think are the next wave? If you could invent a hot new genre or subgenre, what would it be?