Unforeseen by Lauren Grimley

October 19th, 2012 Kimberly Guest Post 34 Comments

19th Oct
Today I am delighted to have Lauren Grimley author of the paranormal novel Unforeseen here on the blog! She is going to talk about the challenges and fun a writer experiences when changing the mythology of paranormal creatures in their novels. Please make her feel welcome, check out her novel.

Remystifying the Mythology Behind Our Favorite Fantasy Creatures by Lauren Grimley

Fantasy has seen a tremendous resurgence in the last decade. You can hardly walk into a bookstore without bumping into half a dozen new releases chock full of ‘things that go bump in the night.’ As a fantasy fanatic and book geek extraordinaire, I have my own shelves organized into sub-genres: vampires on the top, witches and wizards in the middle, and miscellaneous monsters and magic on the bottom. Readers of these genres likely see nothing wrong with this, while outsiders scratch their heads contemptuously and say things like, “you’re writing/reading another vampire book?”

The problem with this question, in addition to being pompous and rude, is that it implies that all vampire, werewolf, or witch stories are the same. Readers and writers of these books know that that is far from the truth. In fact, what makes reading books with such creatures exciting is discovering how an author recreated the existing mythology. To some extent writers draw from those who’ve written such tales before them. For readers to connect a character to vampires, there likely needs to be some reference to blood and the illusion, at least, of immortality. Werewolves should probably have a man-wolf thing going for them. And witches ought to be able to brew up some kind of magic. But that’s about where the similarities end and the writer’s imagination needs to take over.

I’ve always marveled at the skill of historical fiction writers who are bound both by the time period about which they write and by the new tale they hope to create. Fantasy writers face the same challenges. Their readers are almost certainly coming to the table with a preset idea of what their creatures ought to be like. The authors are bound by the works of authors like the Grimm brothers, Stoker, and Shakespeare, not easy footsteps to follow in. Their task then is to take the existing mythology and recreate it in a way that is both recognizable and unique. They do this by changing the settings, mixing up the plots, and, my personal favorite, creating entire new backstories, not just for their characters, but for the entire species they are writing about.

The backstory of a character involves their life up to when the events in the book begin. Sure, this can be rather involved and many writers have entire notebooks brimming with character backstory. Now think about creating that for an entire species. Authors need to think about how their monsters or magic makers were created, how they evolved, and how they lived along side us regular folk. They need to decide if they have traditions, ceremonies, or important historical events that shaped them. Are there traits common to their kind; do the characters in the story stray from these traits? The list is endless.

The trickiest part, however, isn’t coming up with the backstory, it’s working it into the novel in unobtrusive ways. Yes, most contemporary or urban fantasy stories have a character who is new to the world. Yes, she can ask a few questions. Even the most curious reader, though, doesn’t want to read a twenty-page question and answer scene where the author info dumps all the ways their characters differ from the previous mythology of their kind. Backstory of a character, creature, or species is best revealed in a trickle, not a deluge. If at the end of the book, the reader is still left with questions, perfect, that’s what the next book is for.

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re not the type to sneer at the thought of another vampire, witch, or werewolf book. To those who are, may this be a reminder that most of the things that go bump in the night in today’s books, are indeed the same that have been bumping along in books, plays, and traditional tales for centuries. That they have lasted so long is a credit to the thousands of authors who have continued to recreate them in ways that recapture our imaginations over and over again. So stop scratching your head and read a few! ~ Lauren

Thanks Lauren, I love all the paranormal creatures in my books
and hope to read more about them for years to come!

Below you can learn more about Lauren and Unforeseen

by Lauren Grimley
Publisher: Malachite Quills
Publication date: April 27, 2012
paperback release: September 27, 2012
Genre: paranormal
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon

Alex was quite sure that “gifted” was a term which delusional parents applied to their strictly average children, that vampires were gorgeous dead guys in her eighth-grade girls’ novels, and “Seers” was a middle schooler’s misspelling of a department store famous for power tools. Teachers, however, don’t know everything, and it’s Alex’s turn to be educated.  Hoping just to clear her mind, Alex Crocker leaves work for a late night run across the small city of Bristol, Massachusetts. Instead she is dragged violently into a feud she never would have known existed. She quickly learns she’s being hunted for possessing a gift she never wanted, one that could kill her or provide her the power she’ll need to protect herself and those she cares for.Despite her desire to maintain her independence, Alex quickly becomes tied to the Rectinatti vampires through bonds of friendship, loyalty, and most surprisingly, love. These bonds, coupled with the new knowledge that she is in grave danger are enough to make her want to stay, but it’s learning what is really at stake that drives her to fight.

About Lauren:
When Lauren Grimley isn’t defending her favorite genre, she’s writing or teaching in central Massachusetts. If she finds free time beyond these activities, she’s likely to spend it on a beach with a book and bottle of wine close by. Her first novel, an urban fantasy entitled Unforeseen, was published this spring. The second book in the series, Unveiled, is off to the publisher, while the third is being dragged, kicking and screaming, from Lauren’s imagination. And, yes, it’s another vampire series.

Copyright (c) 2011-2013 Caffeinated Book Reviewer
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

34 Responses to “Unforeseen by Lauren Grimley”

  1. ryan snyder

    wow. this sounds amazing. she is a teacher? cool. 🙂 haha. seers.

  2. Denise Z

    I think Unforeseen sounds like a hoot. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share with us today. I’m looking forward to the read.

  3. traci g

    this looks like a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to adding this to my to read list.

  4. Brandy Corona

    Looks like a really great book, very interesting and unique story!

  5. Christy (Love of Books)

    True, not all books with the same type of creature is the same, but sometimes I need a break from what ever I’m currently reading about. I’ll never tire of zombies, I’ve always loved them.. But sometimes I need to mix it up.

  6. Lauren Grimley

    Thanks! At least it’s work I really love–not a bad second job to have!

  7. emaginette

    Hey Lauren, I’ve never thought about how much work it is to do the things they do. I respect the craft so much more thanks to your post. Keep on going on. 🙂

  8. Blodeuedd

    I do love things that go bump in the night 🙂 we need books like that cos else life would be boring

  9. Lauren Grimley

    Thanks for having me, Kim! And thanks for the comments, ladies and gents!

  10. Lauren Grimley

    Thanks, Sherry! I actually wasn’t a fan of the cover, but it’s grown on me. : )

  11. sherry fundin

    i love the cover. i am continually amazed how much i love all these vampire and fantasy novels. your post was very interesting. thanks for the giveaway.

  12. Heidi

    I never tire of all the creatures that go bump in the night…keep them coming is all I have to say! Great post! Thanks for another great giveaway!

  13. Sam

    Great post! Although I do sometimes feel a little reluctant to bit up another vampire or werewolf book, I do agree that they’re not all the same. The tricky part though is finding one that stands out in the crowd. 🙂

  14. Darlene's Book Nook

    I’m a fantasy addict, too, and I have yet to grow tired of any of the fantastical creatures — vamps, shifters, zombies, I love them all! Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Erin F

    Thanks for a great post and congrats to Laura on the release! Definitely sounds very interesting 🙂

  16. Barrie

    Sounds like a wonderfully, creative read and something my teen would enjoy! She is such an avid reader, we can’t keep her in books! LOL!

  17. Bea

    One of my favorite things about UF is when authors take an existing mythology and recreate it, it’s what makes UF great! UF is vampires and werewolves but it’s also fae and gods and so many other fascinating creatures.