To celebrate the release of her latest title, Tiffany Allee is stopping by to share with us what it’s like to plot in an open world (a.k.a. Paranormals are out of the closest) setup! Please welcome her warmly!
Plotting an Open World Paranormal
I don’t know about you, but if faced with a real vampire or werewolf or other supernatural creature, I think that I’d probably run the other way. But what if these paranormal beings were nearly as common as humans?
In the From the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency series, otherworlders are almost entirely out of the paranormal closet. So-called normals (regular humans) are fully aware of the OW’s existence. There are many different types of otherworlders like vampires, lycans, sirens, banshees, succubi, and salamanders. They exist side by side with humans (and each other), but as you’ve probably guessed, this togetherness isn’t always easy.
When building a world where paranormal creatures are out in the open, I think that a writer can go one of two ways: either keep things very similar to the real world and integrate paranormal elements into it, or create something very different. I tried to keep things very similar to the real world, because normalcy can breed acceptance, and it fit the stories I wanted to tell for this particular series.
Plotting in this type of world means keeping in mind how our world might integrate with the supernatural. And in my case, humans chose to regulate and integrate otherworlders, rather than freak out and kill the strange creatures (for the most part). There are anti-discrimination laws in place to keep businesses (or in the case of my main characters, police departments) from discriminating against applicants and employees for their otherworlder status.
Part of the fun of this integrated method for otherworlders was coming up with a way to police them. But how do you police creatures that are so much stronger than humans? Or who can use magic to cover up their crimes?
With other non-humans, of course.
There are specific agencies designed to police otherworlders like the Chicago Police Department’s Paranormal Unit. And, of course, the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency (OWEA), which in my world functions in a similar manner to the FBI.
The heroine of Lycan Unleashed isn’t exactly your run of the mill human. She is a sensitive, meaning can sense the energy emitted by otherworlders, including energy left behind on victims and in crime scenes. This is a super useful ability, but it doesn’t exactly help in a fight. As OWEA agent and lycan Mason Sanderson is quick to point out:
“Pardon?” I turned in my seat to face him.
He sipped his coffee, not at all ruffled by my tone. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to go.”
“Why?” I said flatly.
“It’s not safe.”
“I’m sick and tired of people thinking I’m made of glass or something. Granted, I don’t have any offensive abilities, but a lot of normal cops don’t, and they manage just fine. I have a personal sidearm.” I didn’t add that it was still in the glove box of my car. He could see for himself that I wasn’t carrying at the moment. “And I know how to use it.”
“Not much help against a vampire. Besides, do you even have a permit to carry concealed as a citizen, not a cop?”
“Vampires will go down if you get enough bullets into them,” I countered, ignoring his permit question. I’d never needed a permit before, so of course I didn’t have one. But I viewed that as a technicality. I’d get my badge back, and his point would be moot.
Mason nodded. “Sure they will. If you can get one to hold still long enough to shoot him.”
Although weaker in a fight than most otherworlders, the heroine of Lycan Unleashed isn’t one to step back from doing what needs to be done. Of course, being raised in a world full of supernatural creatures might desensitize a person to their general scariness.
What types of details do you like to see when supernatural creatures are out in the open in a contemporary world?
Thank you Tiffany for stopping by! Your take was really enlightening :)
More about Lycan Unleashed:
Detective Astrid Holmes is a sensitive, a human capable of feeling the energy of otherworlders. When she is dispatched to the horrific murder scene of a local vampire, she expects it to be just another day on the job. But when evidence is stolen on her watch, she is removed—not only from the investigation, but from her job as a member of the Chicago police department’s paranormal unit.
Astrid’s only hope of reinstatement lies with her ex co-worker and almost-lover, Lycan Mason Sanderson. But convincing the OWEA agent to let her assist with the investigation isn’t nearly as difficult as staying alive when the murderer realizes that Astrid may hold the key to unlocking his identity.
Fighting to take down a killer could have deadly consequences for Astrid and Mason, but working together puts their already fragile relationship in jeopardy.
Tiffany & Entangled Publishing are offering one lucky winner a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a signed bookmark featuring the series.
To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!
Ends February 21st, 2013
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