April 23, 2015

A Dark Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance Thriller: a guest post by Eric Turowski, author of "Inhuman Interest"

Inhuman InterestThirteen words in a want-ad turn Tess Cooper’s world upside down after she signs on as a paranormal research assistant to the mysterious Davin Egypt. He reveals a world of grave robbing, clockworks artifacts in blue amber, antique revolvers that fire strange ammo, and powerful forces beyond human comprehension. 

As ancient occult energies threaten to destroy her city, Tess must use her journalistic instincts to stay one step ahead of the public works director, Drew Dawson, whose agenda seems bent on destruction rather than maintenance. And possibly murder, but will anyone believe her? 

Yeah, right. When garbage trucks fly. 

If Tess teams up with the hunky police lieutenant, Kirk Gunther, and the pale, oddball Mr. Egypt, they might be able to save the city in time. That is, if Egypt even wants to. And if Tess overcomes her phobias long enough to do battle in Granddad’s 1983 Subaru Brat. 

Things are about to get icky.

Available on Amazon.com

Inhuman Interest: a Dark Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance Thriller
by Eric Turowski

There I was, writing horror novels, which according to publishers and agents and bookstores, have no readers. Which seemed silly. I was always looking for horror novels. Television is filled with horror programming. Horror movies fill up your Netflix feed. What was the deal?

The deal was, probably, to stop smashing my head with a two-by-four and write something new.

So I kinda wrote Inhuman Interest on a dare from my buddy and fellow author Julia Park Tracey. Write something you usually don’t, write it quick, make it short, and find a genre popular on Amazon (instead of horror, dummy). Checking what was popular, I ran into Dark Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance Thrillers, and I figured, I could do that!


While it wasn’t exactly in my comfort zone, I had some experience with the genre. I’ve read Dark Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance Thrillers, and some are pretty good. The witch with the Clint Eastwood movie titles is a favorite, and the were-coyote mechanic series is interesting.

But when is enough enough? Personally, I didn’t see much point in my rehashing the same stuff. As much as publishers like to flood the market, the market can become fickle in a hurry. Besides, how much could I change a colony of vampires or pack of werewolves to be both different enough from existing series and still recognizable? Plus, I’m something of a purist. To me vampires are cold, undead blood drinking nocturnes; werewolves uncontrollable animals during the full moon. It went against the grain to write domesticated lycanthropes and sexy walking corpses.

Still, I knew that something about these Dark Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance Thrillers made them highly desirable. After putting all the ones I’ve read into a mental strainer, leaving as pulp the stuff I didn’t like, I squeezed out the following: The books have relatable characters. The books have supernatural creatures. Sometimes the twain meet, sometimes not so much.

In my mind, if we’re talking about people with superpowers and relationship issues, we’re talking comics. And the dare was to write a novel, not a comic book. So strike the super-powered pro/antagonist.

Because they were not supernatural beings, I needed to pump up the characters. I went to the most memorable series characters I could think of. They weren’t paranormal. They were Stephanie Plum and crew from the Janet Evanovich books. They were funny, quirky, stuck in your mind like freakin’ memes, and very human. So I had a blueprint to work from.

Because I’m me, I needed to dump some sort of supernatural something into the book. And I really had to think hard about it. Vampires, werewolves, assorted Little Folk were not so much paranormal as folkloric. Witches, demons, angels and the like were actually religious. That left me with Bigfoots, lake monsters, space aliens, ghosts and Slenderman falling into the paranormal category. All of these have been overdone recently, though in the supposed documentary medium. Maybe there’s such a thing as a really great Yeti or lake monster Dark Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance Thriller, but I wasn’t the one to write it.

So I shied away from known monsters-- from known anything--and named my supernatural stuff the occult. And this occult wasn’t paranormal, or folkloric, or religious. It’s more Lovecraftian, esoteric, proto-historic and New Age-y in nature, but with rules (the first rule being that the occult is not folkloric, religious, or paranormal in nature). This tends to make the occult vague and incomprehensible, sure, but that’s all part of the fun in dragging our relatable heroine, Tess Cooper, into this very strange and dark world.

In a nutshell, Inhuman Interest is funny, quirky memorable characters dealing with the Lovecraftian, esoteric, proto-historic New Age-y occult. Maybe it breaks too much new ground for a Dark Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance Thriller. But, hey, maybe readers want something other than romantic walking cadavers and hunky were-beasts.

Maybe it’s time for something new.

Eric's Bio: Newspaper founder, bookstore owner, artist, musician, and man-about-town Eric Turowski writes lots of mixed-genre books when he’s not too busy playing laser tag with Tiger the Cat and his fiancée Mimi deep in the Central Valley of California.

You can learn more about Eric at www.ericturowski.com.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Gef, thanks for hosting this blog for me. I really appreciate it.