The Psychic Realm: The “Us” We’re Born With

Contemporary Fantasy authors–How do you decide what parts of humanity to explore and create around? How do you look at what others around you take for granted and say, “That’s interesting. What if…”

What is your inspiration?

contemp fantasy

For my first two Legacy novels, for me it was wanting to build a contemporary world that bleeds in and out of dreams. Which lead to studying dream theory and the para-science behind how they interact, react, and drive our waking lives. Which lead to the realization that dreaming is a life-long process. Which lead to the idea that as children, we saw and believed in and understood our dreams far better than we do now.

Which lead to my second book, Secret Legacy, being about not just the current psychic war being waged with dreams, but painting a tapestry of the protagonist’s dream symbols and memories since she was a child. And showing them driving what’s happening with her now, and with other characters who are sharing her dreams. Showing her childhood reality and psychic abilities foreshadowing what was to come, and her difficulty with facing what’s shaped her–even though she’s living the psychic reality in the here and now.

And THAT’s when the fantasy elements in my writing really began to take off. A good three-fourths of Secret Legacy plays out in dream sequences that span the time warp of how before/now/the future can all become the same things, if you see the thread that ties each experience to the other and understand what your mind is trying to tell you through your dreams…

Very cool stuff, especially since it’s lead me to study theories about psychic children in even more depth. THAT, as it turned out, was the key to the contemporary world I’d been writing about all along.

Believe it or not, the theories of psychic children blend well into the idea that we’re born with certain traits (nature) and develop others because of our environment and upbringing (nurture).

psychic children

Children are more receptive and aware and unbiased and open to the peculiar and extreme. What if, I wondered, a whole new legacy and a new collection of psychic ability had been created and shaped in an entirely different way, from their earliest memories and experiences. Again, in the here and now. Again, coming at the stories from a family and community and very contemporary standpoint. But again, throwing my imagination and the reader into an alternative reality so close to our own, it would be easy to explain away…unless you weren’t given a choice anymore ;o)

I’m fascinated with the “us” we’re born with, including all the mess and strange things that make us different from everyone else, and how that becomes something truly brave and heroic if we have the courage to let that strangeness that is uniquely us develop into what it’s meant to be…

But back to the original question–

Fantasy authors out there, how do YOU decide how to craft your imagination into a reality that no one else would see, if you didn’t bend the world around us to your creative will???

I’d be fascinated to hear your take!

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2 Responses to “The Psychic Realm: The “Us” We’re Born With”

  1. I’m not a fantasy writer, but your question and the first pic on this post hit a core element for me as a writer. I study the idea of the traits we are born with and those that are developed over time. The Nature and Nurture thing. My fascination with the darker side of human nature is often a scary thing because I’m asking myself to go beyond what I know about being human through my somewhat “normal” perspective. I have to see things from a point of view that perhaps is nearly impossible to truly understand, much less relate to. What I love about your your Legacy books is that ability to go beyond what we know to be true into a different realm to which our minds might not want to grasp, yet it feels so natural to be there. If that make sense. I think what I’m trying to say is that this kind of question is another for any writer to push into the next level. I’m really interested to what others, especially fantasy writers have to say about this.

  2. Mary Preston says:

    I work with children & I must say that at times they are intuitive. This is most often expressed with their art work.

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