How I Slid into Writing Paranormals by Rolynn Anderson #Romance #Suspense #Military

moon 2 small editI am a new recruit in the midst of seasoned paranormal soldiers. I write ‘normal’ paranormal; modest tales compared to tall ones. Some writers’ imaginations leap to new worlds and fabulous creatures; my ordinary heroes and heroines prefer to hide their extraordinary skills.


My new novel, FEAR LAND, is light as a paranormal romance, but heavy on the suspense. Lately, I’ve been thinking about my journey from writing contemporary romantic suspense to spicing my books with out-of-this-world elements. Here’s my take on why I slid into paranormal quite easily:


  1. “What If” questioning naturally leads me to unusual plots, characters and themes. Sometimes my “What if’s?” take me way out of the normal box. I’m so intrigued by my crazy notions, I have to pursue them.
  2. Growth Arcs. Essential characters have to have them. Occasionally the arcs I build for my characters gain trajectory to beyond belief, and I find myself in paranormal country.
  3. The Art of Topping Originality is the name of the fiction writing game. I understand that it’s quality, not quantity the reader is looking for. Beyond quality I want to provide originality, a twist, a surprise…something no writer before me has ever thought of. Yup. I’m sliding into paranormal.
  4. Projection. I only use a fraction of my brain, and for the life of me, I can’t seem to expand my capacity. My characters, however, can and will use their brains in new, powerful ways. I can’t help projecting a better me, indeed, a better-than-anybody into my characters. Paranormal.
  5. Science. We are sure, now, that unlimited galaxies surround us; numerous planets ‘like’ earth are out there. I ask you: which planet is normal?
  6. Hopes and Dreams. My paranormal bent is to unveil a happy course for humankind (not dystopia). In the stark realities of this earth, such hopes and dreams seem magical these days. Is HEA beginning to look like paranormal?


I’m interested in your take on my list, and why you’ve chosen to write/read paranormal. Did you slide into it, like I did, or choose it early on? If you don’t write/read paranormal, how come? Comment and I’ll pick a random commenter to get a free e-book copy of FEAR LAND!


In FEAR LAND, my heroine is a child psychiatrist. She possesses a paranormal skill, mind-reading at the most elemental level, which she carefully keeps a secret. All my life I’ve wondered about/studied (Science) what it would feel like to ‘hear’ what people were thinking about me, perhaps in contrast to what they were saying to me: the ‘What If?” along with Projection. My heroine must have a growth arc…she’ll have to figure out what to do with her skill. I’ll need to surprise the reader with her skill management (Topping). I’ll help her resolve her conflicts so she has hope.


Here’s more about Fear Land:


Tally hates to hear rants from people’s brains. What does she do when those mind-screams threaten

the man she loves?


Fear Land 6Ex600Tally Rosella, an acclaimed psychiatrist who helps children fraught with anxiety, avoids adults because their brains rant at her. But the chance to start a second child study and connect her findings to PTSD, sets her squarely among devious colleagues at a big California university.


Army Major Cole Messer, Tally’s new neighbor, won’t admit that trauma from combat tours in Afghanistan, destroyed his marriage and hampered his ability to lead. As a teacher of college ROTC and single parent, he’s focused on enrolling his highly anxious son in Tally’s study and getting back to active duty.


Someone is dead set against Tally’s presence at the university, and blowback from her battles with co-workers put Cole and his son in jeopardy. Watch what happens when people struggling with shades of anxiety collide with corrupt, revengeful foes.


rolynn smallScandinavian, Army Brat, English Teacher, High School Principal, Golfer, Boater, World Traveler, Author. With her experiences, Rolynn Anderson is fairly bursting with stories about extraordinary people and amazing settings, real and contrived. Now add her competitive nature and her love of ‘the makeover.’ As a principal, she and the staff she hired, opened a cutting-edge high school; as co-captain with her husband on INTREPID, she cruises from Washington State to Alaska and back. As a writer, she delights in creating imperfect characters faced with extraordinary, transforming challenges. Her hope: You’ll devour her ‘makeover’ suspense novels in the wee hours of the morning, because her stories, settings and characters, capture your imagination and your heart.

10 thoughts on “How I Slid into Writing Paranormals by Rolynn Anderson #Romance #Suspense #Military

  1. Great being with you here, today, Melissa. I should have added a seventh reason why I slid into paranormal. I read the Outlander series. Gabaldon proved to me that ‘out of this world’ was immensely believable. I started ‘turning’ after that!


      Welcome to the Snarkology. Well, you know me. I’m a huge fan of the paranormal. 🙂

  2. Diane Burton

    Like you, Rolynn, I don’t write dystopia. Too depressing. I like to think humankind is smart enough to work out our differences without an apocalypse. I’m reading Fearland right now. You do a great job with the paranormal aspect. I’m very impressed with the research you must have done on PTS, the military, and psychiatry.

    • Oh, Diane. Bless your heart! I’m so glad you’re enjoying FEAR LAND, and yes, the research was deep on this baby. I learned so much! Our study of the complex human brain is only beginning. I was lucky one of my friends is a therapist for traumatized soldiers…she especially helped me get the lingo right! Whew!

  3. Interesting the way your mind works, Rolynn. And I mean that in the most complimentary way. Have my copy already and can’t wait to read it!

  4. Thanks, Margo..about my quirky mind. Must be why my golf pals give me funny looks sometimes 🙂 And you should have seen the astonishment in the faces of students, staff and parents when I turned the curriculum upside down in the new school I opened as a principal. Sigh! It can be a burden!

    I’m so glad you’re looking forward to reading FEAR LAND!

  5. Sometimes a story simply pops in our heads, and we just have to write it!

  6. I love # 4 Projection in your list. Characters using their brains(your brain) in new, powerful ways is such a great expression of what happens with writing. I look forward to reading Fear Land and know it will be as compelling as your other works.

  7. Angela and Andrea, so nice to hear from you two! You’re right, Angela, about the urge to write a story. And Angela, thanks for the compliments; I so hope you enjoy Fear Land.

  8. Melissa, thanks for letting me blog on the Snarkology today. I wish you great luck with your paranormals. I love your covers…they are eye-popping; your web is so professional and full of cool touches/ideas. I’ve been having fun checking it out. Take good care! Rolynn

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