Margaret’s a good blogger buddy of mine, so I’m delighted to be a host on her tour for Shadows of Penumbra. I’m reading it at the moment and can safely say I haven’t read anything quite like it before. I don’t even know what genre to assign it to, so I’ll let Margaret talk more about that shortly.
The main character, Diane, is tough and independent. Her life is all secrecy and gloom. In fact, in my mind I pictured the action happening in black and white. The title is quite appropriate as this world is draped in shadows. This is not the society we know. I imagined the landscape of the TV show, Dark Angel, the colours/comic book essence of the movie, Sin City, mixed with the tone and themes of The Matrix. Shadows of Penumbra is a complicated story.
There’s a lot going on in this book, but the premise is interesting and unique.
Without further ado, here’s the author, Margaret E Alexander, with her guest post:
Genre Bending Supernatural and Paranormal
When I hear those two genre words, “supernatural” and “paranormal,” I find it hard to believe they can be anything different, and yet they’re hardly alike. Both have the roots “natural” and “normal” alongside “super” and “para.” For those who don’t know, “para” means alongside, as in “parallel.” So what’s the deal?
Paranormal tends to be set in a reality that is anything but normal, and all that is weird and unnatural to us in reality is actually everyday stuff. Like zombies and ghosts. They exist and you better believe it. Everyone else does.
Supernatural, on the other hand, is typically set in what we believe to be our normal world, except it reveals eerie things do exist, like angels and demons. Other times ghosts and vampires. The important difference here is setting and state of mind of the majority surrounding the main characters.
So when I wrote SHADOWS OF PENUMBRA, I actually created both worlds, a supernatural world and a paranormal world. The story starts off in a supernatural world: a world where everyday life seems more or less believable to the reader, but where supernatural creatures turn out to exist. I wanted to create a new type of supernatural being, so I played around with an angel/phantom hybrid, which I ended up calling Shadow.
The rest of the novel is set in a paranormal world, a world that exists in the mind and which you can visit in spirit called Penumbra. There, everything is more than natural, but it’s the norm. The story follows Diane, a fearless 19-year-old who swaps between the supernatural and paranormal worlds to solve the conspiracy behind an impending apocalypse.
The thing with genre bending is you don’t always have to know what you’re doing, but it will always become obvious in the end. That’s probably my favorite part of storytelling, that moment when you realize you’re not such a crazy mad writer after all. Or are you?
Margaret has always gone after creative, thought-provoking books with deep characters. When she didn’t find too many with that exact blend, she decided to try and write some of her own. She explored her creative side with a major in engineering and a minor in studio art, and traveled half-way across the globe, from Bulgaria to the tropics, and finally the California desert. Maybe that’s why her characters never sit still. She loves to read, illustrate, watch historical movies, ice skate, and dream, and has a high regard for culture, martial arts, and the French and Japanese languages. At the end of the day, there’s nothing she enjoys more than a good story.
Enter the paperback giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Shadows of Penumbra, the first book in the urban fantasy series by Margaret Alexander. The giveaway will last until June 12th when the winner will be announced! Entries will be limited to U.S. residents only.
Shadows of Penumbra on Amazon
Best of luck, Margaret! I loved your guest post and your bio is unique!