Supernatural Love – A Guest Blog by Michelle Irwin

I always like reading posts by other writers. Cross-pollination of ideas and inspiration is always beneficial. And today I’ve secured a great article from writer Michelle Irwin. Readers of my work may have noticed there’s not a lot of romance in my stories. To get all stereotypical, as a guy I find it hard to write romance. But that doesn’t mean there’s no place for it in tales of the supernatural and the paranormal. Michelle presents her views, and it makes great reading.

Michelle writes:

The things that go bump in the night—werewolves, vampires, shape shifters, and a whole slew of other creepy characters—are often represented in movies, TV shows, and books as the stuff of nightmares. The reason for this is obvious. In these stories, these creatures are driven by bloodlust, hunger, or just plain evil natures to seek out and destroy humanity and sometimes even each other.

However, in recent years there’s been a trend toward romanticizing these beasts. Vampires and werewolves in particular have become the subject of romance novels. Why? Who knows, maybe it’s the fact that all that neck-sucking can be a little erotic, or that most women like the bad boy and what guy could be worse than one who turns into a wild animal. Perhaps it all started when the ever loveable Michael J Fox played a werewolf that the boys wanted to be and the girls want to be with (or wanted to be). Regardless of why it started, personally, I’m really glad it did. Why? Because I write paranormal romance/urban fantasy and I love it.

I guess the question people who haven’t read a lot of paranormal romance might ask after, “Why?”, is “How?” After all, these creatures often aren’t all that loveable in their horror form. With the fangs and claws, slobber and jaws, they should make us run screaming not swoon into their willing embrace. How do you turn something so inherently evil into something that is worthy of a romance? For me, the first step is finding the thing that makes them inherently human.

In every intelligent creature you can imagine, be it a mermaid or an alien from out of space, there is a spark of something which makes them relatable to us humans. It’s a matter of finding that something and then asking the same questions of the paranormal creatures which you would ask of any human character. What do they want deep in their heart? Do they want to kill, maim, destroy (some might) or is it simply to be accepted? To find someone willing to look beyond their flaws, or their fangs, and find out what is important to them? To be loved? Once you know that core of who they are as a person, it’s just a matter of finding out what they are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve that goal.

As I said, the questions to probe a paranormal creature with are similar to those a writer might ask any human character, especially in a romance, but they’re also different. You can’t just learn that a vampire needs to forgo human blood to be with his sweetheart, you also need to learn what will happen if he does, and whether it’s even possible. This can be the fun part. It offers a chance to learn about the lore of different paranormal creatures and develop new ways to torture the hero and heroine before their happily ever after (or not as the case may be). Honestly, the only real rule when it comes to any sort of paranormal or fantasy story, whether it has a romance theme or not, is to be consistent within the rules created for the world.

In my Son of Rain series, my main character, Clay Jacobs, isn’t a monster—he hunts them. His job is to wash the world clean of all paranormal creatures because the organization he works for believes that all others are inherently evil. That each one deserves to die long before it can be given a chance to take a life. When he meets Evie Meyers, one such creature, he finds himself forced to answer questions about her. Why is she regarded as a monster just because of the way she was born? Does her lineage determine her character or can she choose her own fate? Should he kill her as he’s been trained to do or should he look beyond what she is to see who she is? Being able to examine a unique paranormal creature through the eyes of someone who believes they are all inherently evil has given me a chance to review all the above questions and more. It’s a classic Romeo and Juliet style love, just with a paranormal twist.

You can find out more about Michelle Irwin and her books on the following: Website, Facebook, Blog, Goodreads, and on Amazon.


Go Date Yourself

So, Valentine’s Day approaches once again. Can’t say I care much.
Now you’re thinking I’m single and bitter about it. “Valentine’s Day? Bah! Humbug.” No Valentine; no partner; all alone in a hostile universe. Yes, I am single. But I am certainly not bitter.


I love being single. I’ve had romantic attachments. I was even married once. But right now I just don’t happen to like having someone else in my life. That’s just me. If you love someone, go for it. I don’t.

But having a partner isn’t everything. What I object to is the ideal that a large section of our society seems to uphold, that you need someone in your life – indeed, in the words of that abysmal actor Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire: “You complete me”. What a crock. We see this kind of pressure in movies, we hear it from our families and friends: you aren’t complete without someone else in your life.

Yes, you are.

Not everyone likes bananas. I hate bananas. I live in Queensland, Australia, where they grow a lot of bananas. And I hate them. I don’t have anything against them and or try to stop anyone else eating them. It’s the same with a relationship. I just don’t want one.

But why do so many people try to force others into a relationship? I’ve had friends with children who declare, “You must have a baby! It will change your life! You don’t know what you’re missing!” But I’m not going to bring a child into the world on the off chance I might like it. Making me happy is not a reason to create someone. That’s just selfish.

I am single but by no means desperate. Relationships and I just don’t work. And arguably they don’t work for a lot of other people too. That they do work for some is great. But it is merely generalisation to assume that what makes one person happy will do the same for another.

I used to be lonely, way back in my teens and twenties, very lonely indeed. But then I decided to ignore the loneliness and in doing so, I killed it. I don’t get lonely anymore. Solitude is very important to me.

So if you find yourself alone this Valentine’s Day, feel good about it. Rejoice in the fact that you are independent and empowered. Date yourself: take yourself to the movies, buy a box of chocolates (and eat all of them!), get a good bottle of wine for dinner, or have a romantic night in with yourself. There will be no one to ask what they want to do, no one to please but you, no guilt trip. You are your perfect date.

You deserve it.