Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Guest Blogger - Keri Clark


From Frankenstein's monster to fairies, from Edward Cullen to Jacob Black, supernatural creatures have long fascinated readers--and stirred the imaginations of writers. What is it about these characters that appeal to us?

I think part of the attraction is that they tap into some very real human emotions--such as the desire to be understood and accepted, and the need to belong. And here's where the juicy conflict comes in: The fanged, winged, furry and undead are often forced to hide their true nature from the human world, which keeps them perpetual outsiders.

I wanted to explore this theme in my latest mystery short story, "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead." The protagonist, Caitlin McCarty, is a zombie. But she's not one of those stumbling, brain-eating rogue zombies. Instead, she injects herself with formaldehyde on a daily basis, which allows her to pass as human. She has a decent job, a nice condo, and even a murder mystery to solve. Unfortunately, like Frankenstein's poor monster, Caitlin is doomed to remain on the outside looking in.

In what ways do paranormal characters appeal to you as a reader? As a writer?

Supernaturally yours,
("I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" is available from Sniplits: http://tiny.cc/zombie-story)



  1. I love the message of this post, Keri, and the discussion of the parallel needs of the supernatural creatures and us flawed, fumbling humans. I think by keeping the connection between what a vampire wants in a story and what a reader wants from life is incredibly effective. Congratulations! BTW, I ordered the story, listened to it from Sniplits and it was great! My favorite part: the image of Angelina's full lips on a platter!

  2. Thank you so much for the kind words, Rebbie--and for giving the story a try!

  3. I great story idea, Keri--as usual! On a related note, I'm currently reading The Zen of Zombie, recommended to me by Barbara Emrys. It's a hoot! A motivational book based on zombies. It might spark another story if you read it. :)
    (it's by Scott Kenemore - like the dishwasher, only with another E)

  4. Thanks for the recommendation, Kaye! Sounds like a terrific read. Off to check it out . . .

    (For those who don't know, Kaye is full of great story ideas herself. She's an Agatha Award-nominated short story writer!)


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