Genre of Choice: Paranormal Fantasy & Horror

blog-hop-buttonEven as a small child, I was fascinated by the forbidden. I was the geek in the corner of the room with her nose in a tome of The Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Even with the sanitized endings, I knew the stories told of gruesome things. The story of Bluebeard was my favorite.

Bluebeard is the shadow in us all. One of many illustratons at

My favorite authors are Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Karen Marie Moning, Jim Butcher, and Kevin Hearne. They all incorporate elements of the monstrous and the forbidden with the ethereal seductiveness of the Fairy Tale. They tell of death, destruction, and gruesome things happening in an alternate history from the one in which I live. So close and yet so far away.

A deep part of me yearns for the magic of the Fairy Tale while the part of me that has seen the ugliness of humanity knows that the gruesome is just beneath the surface. The genre explores themes of acceptance, good v. evil, the beauty v. the beast, and loyalty v. betrayal. The action never stops and the characters are gritty and powerful.

When I grow up, I hope to produce epic works in the genre I love to read. That doesn’t mean I will. Sometimes what I love to read does not come out in what I write. There is a part of me that balks when I ask the question, “How can I make my protagonist suffer even more?” Hopefully, I will outgrow this situational compassion and destroy worlds.

Copyright © 2014 “Genre of Choice: Paranormal Fantasy & Horror” by I.O. Kirkwood. All rights reserved.

Published by I.O. Kirkwood

Vibrational Alchemist ~ Medium ~ Writer

19 thoughts on “Genre of Choice: Paranormal Fantasy & Horror

  1. I, too, enjoy paranormal. Reading and writing it. You’ll get used to making your characters suffer. After all the more they suffer the sweeter their reward. 🙂 Great post.


  2. Ooh. I was always to freaked out by horror. To this day I can’t even watch a scary movie.

    I’m sure this doesn’t count, but last fall I fell in love with Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl In Cold Town. It had horror elements, but was so beautifully written. I didn’t even notice all the blood and gore (plenty). Maybe I’m growing (up)

    Leanne Ross ( & @LeanneRossRF )

    1. I cannot watch scary movies unless they involve the paranormal. For some reason, watching a werewolf and a vampire fight to the death only encourages my bloodthirsty nature. Get a fragile human involved and I cringe in my seat and cover my eyes. My friends find it most entertaining. XD

  3. making your characters suffer takes practice and perseverance. i’m usually several drafts in before i feel my protags are battered enough to be interesting. great post!

  4. Your first paragraph in particular reminded me of the television series Once Upon a Time, which fascinated me, especially the first season. Interesting post – thank you for sharing.

    1. I don’t watch TV. I don’t own a TV (am I weird?). I checked out Once Upon A Time via Google and I want to thank you for bringing it to my attention. I may have to start watching a few select programs.

  5. I love fantasy and dark worlds, too. I love some of the dark worlds of beauty that Daphne Du Maurier creates. Or Margaret Atwood. But this is not what you’re talking about, is it, I.O.? You’re talking about the Night of the Living Dead type of stuff, ghoulish and bloody? That’s not for me.

    1. It is but I’m including the zombie stuff too. I like the psychological dark and feel that’s more my style but the blood and gore fascinates me also. I like murder mysteries too…

  6. While it certainly doesn’t come out in my writing – and I really wouldn’t want it to – if push comes to shove, Edgar Allan Poe is my favourite author. Though dark and painful, the picture he paints with his words is vivid and powerful. In that way, I would love to write like Poe . . . while remaining character-focused. Now there’s a challenge!

    1. Yes, Poe had an extraordinarily vivid voice. Since I’m from Baltimore and an Irish-heritage family (we did round robin poem story song and joke recitations at family gatherings), I am well acquainted with Poe.

  7. I.O., keep at it… and I hope you produce that epic tale when the time is right. I have too many fear issues to be able to read horror, but I understand the love of a genre and the desire to write a sweeping tale to do it justice!

  8. My favorite author is Kresley Cole. Her Immortal After Dark series is amazing and I pre-order everything she has coming out. I also love Laurell K. Hamilton and I’ve enjoyed the few I’ve ready by Kim Harrison. I’ll have to check out the others!

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