Clendon Kiernan has always preferred the shadows. A place where he was free from the hate and fear, from the stares and ridicule of others. One night Clen discovers the shocking truth of why. He is a Shade. A thing of darkness. A creature with the ability to shred souls. When a vile whisper tells him to destroy everything around him Clen does the only thing he can.
But he cannot run from himself. The darkness growing inside Clen will soon consume him if he does not learn to control it. In his quest to do so, Clen learns that there is an entire world that exists in the shadows of Ellis, a world that has been hidden from him – secret clans with extraordinary abilities, the ghosts of a hidden past, and a war that’s been brewing for millennia. Clen must uncover the true history of Ellis, see through the generations of lies and deceit, and suffer betrayal and heartbreak if he is to save all those who hate and fear him. But when he learns the truth, will he want to?
Angry Neighbor Zombie Attack, Or Why We Read Paranormal Fiction
We have a fascination with the paranormal. Things we can’t explain. Ghost stories. Monsters under the bed. Monsters out in the open, fighting epic wars for control with clans of other monsters. Zombies. Zombies are the Justin Bieber of paranormal creatures. Paranormal has become pop culture.
Why? Why is it such a popular genre? Because debating who would win in a fight between Werewolves and Vampires never gets old? Because planning for the zombie apocalypse is morbidly exciting? Those are probably part of it. But I think there’s a deeper reason, the same reason why science fiction and fantasy are so popular - they allow us to explore the deep, dark recesses of human nature and the haunting possibilities of human potential in a way that grants us more comfort to imagine.
Let me explain with these two scenarios.
Scenario One: You live in a poor neighborhood in a poor city. The economy has collapsed around you. You’ve lost your job. You have no money to buy food, but your kids are still hungry. It’s the same for everyone of your neighbors. You’ve all been struggling for weeks, months, years and, finally, just can’t take it anymore. Riots erupt. The city burns. Anarchy. Chaos. The mass of anger swarms on your building. Some of the rioters break your door down, hellbent on taking any and everything that they want. Your knuckles turn white as you squeeze the handle of the baseball bat. Your kids cry behind you. Your neighbors, people you’ve known for years, people you’ve eaten meals with, you had him over for dinner after his sister died, she watched your son when he got off the bus and you had to work late, stalk toward you. What do you do?
Scenario Two: Imagine all of that - only now they’re zombies! What do you do? You start popping zombie heads off like they were dandelions. You went to kindergarten with that guy, but he isn’t that guy anymore. He’s a freakin’ zombie! Smack! Old Miss Miller is 105 years old. She’s lived through two world wars. She has 33 grandkids, 21 great grandkids and a great great grandchild on the way. But now she’s a freakin’ zombie! Splat!
Adding paranormal elements to a story allows us to more comfortably navigate layered and complex human thoughts and behaviors. We can more easily put ourselves in the shoes of someone from scenario two, beating back a zombie horde, than we can someone from scenario one, forced to confront their most basic of instincts when society falls apart. In using zombies or ghosts or robots as metaphors, we can learn more about who we are.
About the author:
Cody was born in Upstate New York. Eventually setting off to seek his fortune, he worked in a paper mill, a whipped cream factory, cleaned apartments, and administratively assisted several organizations before returning to the Adirondacks with a wife and child that he picked up along the way.
He approaches life as though it were a page – frequently rearranging paragraphs to make it more interesting if not wholly true, fudging with the margins to fit more in, and, sometimes, erasing entire sections altogether.
When not altering reality, he is scouring comic book shops, lying on the ground, or floor (whichever he happens to be standing on when he feels the need to go horizontal), trying to convince his wife to make french toast (she makes amazing french toast), and searching for the darkest cup of coffee in existence.