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Thursday, December 31, 2009


Since I write horror, fantasy and science fiction under another name and used the same ideas for my paranormal romances, I want to talk about some of the influences in my life that lead me to write like I do.

I grew up reading Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Madeleine L'Engle, JRR Tolkien, and Ray Bradbury. I had been writing stories by long hand since I was eight. But these authors were the shapers of my imagination and wonder, the building blocks of me becoming a writer.

Darkness and dark things intrigued me. They frightened me, but I wanted to dissect more of the power that rippled beneath the skin of the monsters. Poe had his monsters, but much of his stories were of the mind. Lovecraft wrote of cities beneath the sea and on land that had terrifying majesty. Creatures that if we peeked into the shadows and caught a glance of them, would drive us insane.

Three times I had written Lovecraft stories. All three are horror, but two were love stories of a sort. Unwitting Sacrifice, my upcoming one, is like that, and yet, there's dread and madness too. I keep going back to Lovecraft, as ideas form in my mind. What if that handsome lover is something more? Not a werewolf or a vampire, or a spirit or a demon, but something that came with others from beyond space and time, revered as dark, terrifying gods in our world. Lonely gods. Even monsters fear being alone too.

Why do I keep returning to this world? Maybe it's my way of exorcising these monsters, trying to tame them, and hopefully to banish the darkness that is within them. Maybe to bring a bit of sympathy to them. Maybe it's because they're different from the normal stream of monsters that hover among the pages of books these days.

What authors of horror, fantasy, and dark fantasy inspired you, the ones you keep going back to read over and over?

Sapphire Phelan is an author of erotic and sweet paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance, along with a couple of erotic horror stories. One of them, Being Familiar With a Witch just made EPIC Awards 2010 finalist. She also writes as Pamela K. Kinney, for horror, fantasy, science fiction, and two nonfiction ghost books, Haunted Richmond, Virginia and Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats, Ripley and Bast.

She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house and husband sometimes suffers for it!

You can find out more about her and what she has or will be coming out at her website:

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Patricia Altner said...

I read my first Lovecraft story when I was 8 and couldn't understand many of the words, but the atmosphere of horror came through. Later when I could understand what I was reading I literally felt terrified during and after.

To combine Lovecraft with paranormal romance takes a creative, imaginative mind. Unwitting Sacrifice sounds like just the title to add to my TBR pile.

Thanks for a very interesting post.

Anonymous said...

Ooo,horror, and madness, and love, oh my. Thats the makings for a story that would keep my attention. Paranormal romance lets all those crazy thoughts that fight for space inside my head,flow freely onto the page. Keep those stories coming.

Boone Brux

sherry said...

I love paranormal books and I use to read horror but after I read horror books I would have to many bad dreams. I had to give up horror books and movies to be able to get any sleep.

Anonymous said...

I feel like a paranormal book junkie....When I finish a book and do not have one ready to read I panic. I usually have 3-4 books placed randomly around the house so that where ever I am, I can read! I can't wait to read your book, "Being Familiar With A Witch!" I read all "witch, ghost and vampire" books that I can find! Keep up the great work!

Virginia C said...

Hey, Sapphire! Happy New Year! I was born and raised in VA, and I still reside in the Old Dominion : ) VA is so rich in history, some of which involves very harrowing ghost stories and paranormal events! The two masters of the macabre which stand out for me, the ones who made me afraid to sleep without a nightlight, are Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley!

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

robynl said...

hi and welcome Sapphire; a Happy New Year to you and yours.

You have 2 cats- do you ever have animals like cats in your books? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

In Being Familiar With a Witch, Robynl, Charun, my demon Familiar takes the form of a blsck cat.
And of course, in my erotic paranormal, Beast Magic, my hero is a werelion, plus there is a wereleopard in it that is one of the two heroes for the sequel to B.M. that I am working on now. So just big cats in those. :)

I am also working on sequel to Being Familiar With a Witch, too.

Anonymous said...

That's cool, Virginia C. I wonder what part?
Yes, Virginia is rich in ghostly lore. I loved Bram Stoker--read him and Shelley. Though Lovecraft and Richmond, Virginia's own Edgar Allan Poe stand out for me.