Friday, January 8, 2010

TENtalizing Tidbits: Kiersten White

Kiersten White is the author of the Paranormalcy series. The first book, Paranormalcy is out in 2010. She has a well written and well read blog, with interesting and amusing anecdotes about everything from writing to The Punctuation Nation.

Hello, Liyanaland! You can't see me, but I'm waving madly in the general direction of Singapore. Thanks for inviting me to play here today and talk about my upcoming novel, Paranormalcy (9 1/2 months and counting...and believe me, I'm counting).

When I was a little girl I used to lay in my bed at night, look out the window, and see monsters and witches congregating in my backyard. Not imagine them there, or wonder if they were there, but SEE them there. (No, I wasn't a weird child, why do you ask?) (This was also the reason I spent every night on the floor in my parents room.) (I got over it.) There isn't a country in the world without a rich history of supernatural legends populated by incredible, fantastic, and bizarre creatures.

Last January I was daydreaming (as I am wont to do), when I started thinking about one of these legendary creatures: the vampire. So maligned, so glorified, so sensationalized. But then I wondered how, if you didn't want to stake the dang things, you would control them.

Which got me thinking about those masters of misapplied control, Government Agencies. Which got me thinking about a girl--a sixteen year old girl--a sixteen year old girl with a very unusual ability--who happened to work for said Agency. And who, as it so happened, wasn't too enamored of this paranormal world she was forced to be a part of. Because, unlike what pop culture tells us, vampires in real life? Not so sexy. Pretty sucky, in fact. Blood sucky. Still not as bad as hags, though. And if you were sixteen and had a full-time job protecting the rest of the oblivious world around you from the things that stalk them in the night, well, you'd probably have quite the story to tell.

And a lot to complain about.

Like kissing. Where does a girl who spends all of her time processing and regulating supernatural creatures find the time (or even just the boy) for kissing? And even if maybe Evie's finally found someone she's quite certain she'd very much like to kiss, what's she supposed to do when these paranormal creatures she's been protecting the world from suddenly start turning up dead?

Ah, the teenage years. What made writing Paranormalcy so fun was that I could combine all of this supernatural mythology with a very modern setting and voice, and use it to tell a very basic story--a story about a girl who can't figure out where she belongs.

Because really, who can?

As for me, I sleep with my blinds closed now. I'll leave spotting the scary beasts to Evie. After all, it's her job.

Thanks for giving us this insight into your inspiration for writing Paranormalcy!

Kiersten White
Kiersten Writes

Cross-posted at: LiyanaLand! on 10 December 2009.


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