What Is Paranormal

Since the early decades of the 20th Century, the word Paranormal is tossed around a lot. Paranormal activity, paranormal romance, etc. Usually it is used in reference to ghosts, strange phenomenon or in the case of fiction, vampires and other shifters. So does the first book in the Paranormal Shadows series count as Paranormal?

Let’s take a gander at the Google search results. I typed in the phrase “What is Paranormal?

par·a·nor·mal
ˌperəˈnôrm(ə)l/
adjective
 denoting events or phenomena such as telekinesis or clairvoyance that are beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding.

Lets dig a little deeper into the etymology of the word.

I’ve read actual word is derived from the Latin use of the prefix para meaning “outside or beyond” what is considered normal.. Para- ‎(above, beyond) +‎ normal;

So, based on a couple days research into the word, it refers to things that could exist but cannot be proved by science… yet.

Now, let’s drop into the fiction aspect.

Paranormal romance is a sub-genre of both romantic fiction and speculative fiction. Paranormal romance focuses on romantic love and includes elements beyond the range of current scientific explanation, blending together themes from the speculative fiction genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.

Let’s hear it for the vampires, were-wolves,  were-leopards and I have recently discovered were-bears. I’m still waiting for a were-budgie. There is a story there waiting to be told.

Not all paranormal romance contain a shifter of some sort. There are many books out there that contain other elements of the paranormal. Ghosts and magic. What the Paranormal Shadow series focuses on it the magical aspects of the paranormal. Magic is a tool. I treat magic as if it were a branch of science that can be measured and identified.

That means that magic has rules. My variation of magic is based on the six elements.

Wait! you say. There are only five elements, right?

Are there? I use six. The six elements are Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Spirit, and Normal.

Yes, I treat Normals as the sixth element. For the purposes of my story, 99 percent of the population is Normal, meaning they cannot use magic, although some are aware and can sense it.  I point to the many neo-pagan practitioners who focus on getting in touch with that side of themselves.

So what are your thoughts on what Paranormal means?

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About Admin

Madalain Ackley Posted on

Madalain Ackley is the author of the Paranormal Shadows series of novels including Watching Shadows. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, son and mildly psychotic cat. She has written in a number of genres including Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy and has been known to dabble in Fan-fiction.

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