Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Paranormal vs. The Skeptic: An interview with author Corinna Underwood


1) Please tell us about your book.

A Walk On The Darkside is a collection of stories. Pearl Blackthorn is a novelist and investigative reporter for Darkside paranormal magazine. Armed with her digital recorder and accompanied by her friend and photographer Harry Raymond, Pearl is sent by her editor J.J Benson - affectionately known as Benny - to the four corners of Great Britain, (and sometimes further), to investigate stories of spirits and specters, demons and doppelgangers, prophecy and possession. The problem is, Pearl doesn’t believe in the supernatural; her creative imagination is tempered by a strong skepticism. She is immovable on her stand that there is always a simple, rational explanation behind every report of paranormal activity. But Pearl soon realizes that the intricacies of paranormal events are often far from simple and not always rational. This is the first book in the Pearl Blackthorn series.

2) Please tell us about your main character.

Pearl Blackthorn grew up an orphan in a series of foster homes and knows nothing of her parents. She befriended Benny, her editor, when she was a teenager and after graduating university began to write fiction for his magazine Darkside. Now he is sending her to check out a series of strange events. They range from a haunted building, to a poltergeist and a voodoo curse. At the outset Pearl refuses to believe that there is anything but a rational explanation to these occurrences, but as she investigates deeper, she begins to see that this may not always be the case.

3) What inspired you to write this novel?

I have had a fascination for the paranormal since I was a teenager. More recently, I was the feature writer for Art Bell’s paranormal magazine After Dark, so I got to talk to many interesting people about paranormal research and strange encounters. I think it was a combination of these that led me to write the Darkside stories.

4) In your book, a skeptic confronts the paranormal. Do you believe in anything paranormal, or are you more a skeptic?

Like Pearl Blackthorn I have a healthy skepticism, but I also share something with her sidekick Harry, and that is I have had experiences that would count as supernatural. I do believe that there is more to this world, and between worlds, than science can currently account for.

5) Please tell us a bit about your literary influences.

Many of my favorite authors write in the style of magical realism, such as Italo Calvino and Isobel Allende. I also like supernatural/horror writers Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman and Stephen King.

6) Do you have any excerpts links you'd like to share?

You can read an excerpt of A Walk On The Darkside here.

7) Please tell us about some of your other projects.

I am currently completing a novel entitled Elsewhere. It is a magical realist tale of an ancient island, its inhabitants and its mythology. You can read chapter one here .

I am also working on a sequel to A Walk On The Darkside. In this novel, entitled Darkside And Back, a woman is found wandering through the underground caves of Nottingham in England. She has no recollection of who she is or how she got there and is carrying no identification. Amazingly, she looks exactly like Pearl Blackthorn. Before Pearl and Harry can find out more from the woman, she becomes the victim of a macabre murder. This leads Pearl to delve reluctantly into her past, and what she discovered is more disturbing than any story she has ever written.

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Thanks, Corinna.

You can see more from Corinna at http://www.ambiguousmedia.net/.

1 comment:

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