I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Saturday, July 21, 2012

SERIES: The Paranormal DownUnder - Jenny Schwartz

In Australia, 2012 is the National Year of Reading. What better way to celebrate this than by finding a new-to-you author or revisiting a favorite one?

This series of blog posts, entitled The Paranormal DownUnder, aims to do just that!

Any of my regular readers know I'm passionate about introducing 'local' talent (aka authors from Australia & New Zealand). This time around I'm keen to feature those who write in this genre.

So, be prepared for a swag of authors & some blatant promotion of their books as they share their thoughts on the paranormal genre and why they find it so compelling.

Please welcome my next guest...Jenny Schwartz.

Jenny Schwartz is a West Australian author, a member of Romance Writers of Australia and an occasional poet.

Since the publishing world has shown a distressing tendency to ignore her every rhymed word, you'll find her poetry mostly on her blog, but she has been published in Westerly -- and she insists on telling people of this long ago achievement, probably because she's seriously uncool.

1. What compels you to write in the paranormal genre? 
Numinosity. Does that sound weird? Numinosity (my definition, which may be wrong) is an encounter with an otherness greater than yourself that reveals the world to you in a new way. Doesn't that sound like love to you? Paranormal romance celebrates, and gives space to, the power and infinite variety of love. I enjoy that paranormal romance trespasses into the territory of fairytales and tells the truth of life with wit and imagination.

2. Is there something you'd like to write but have yet to attempt? 
I'm writing steampunk at the moment which is the best fun. I get to mis-use my history degree and rewrite real world events to unfold the way I think they should have. I'm a very opinionated amateur historian.

I'd like to write a science fiction novel. I've written a few SF short stories, but I'd like to stretch my imagination into a full length novel. I guess I like the speculative fiction genre in all its guises - well, maybe not horror. I'm too much of a coward to write or read horror.

3. Who are auto-buys for you in this genre? What makes their books so appealing to you?
Patricia Briggs is an auto-buy. So is Ilona Andrews, though her books are generally listed as urban fantasy - I'm still blurry on the line between paranormal romance and urban fantasy, or maybe it's the line that's blurry?

But my absolute favourite paranormal romance novel is Bride of the Rat God by Barbara Hambly. A few months back I'd have felt bad about recommending it because it's a few years old and hard to get hold of, but it's now available as an e-book. Bride of the Rat God is set in the early years of Hollywood and it's just wonderful.

I think the appeal of paranormal romance books for me is the exaggeration of everything: the high stakes, the otherness of the other (i.e. the hero or heroines love interest). I mean, they can even be a vampire, which is pretty other - the vivid strangeness of the world building, and the sense of challenge, often in the form of defying social expectations.

You can catch up with Jenny at her website and she'd love to tweet with you. Her Twitter handle is @Jenny_Schwartz. 

She is the Bringer of Death
Cali, a djinni, has sworn to twist the wishes of humans so they die by their own greed and evil. Her latest master is arms dealer David Saqr, a man Cali believes deserves the fate she has in store for him. But this time she finds herself up against Andrew, David's guardian angel.
He is a Protector of Life
Andrew believes David can yet find redemption. He fights Cali for the man's life, even as he tries to persuade her to give in to the sizzling attraction between them. He shows Cali another side of David, and invites her to trust again, to hope. But centuries of being enslaved have hardened Cali's heart - it's going to take all of Andrew's love to convince her to open it and let him in.


  1. Hi Jenny and Kylie, great interview. I think I may need to get Bride of the Rat God for it's name alone. :) Best of luck with Three Wishes, Jenny, it sounds great!

  2. I'd never heard of the word 'numinosity' before. Thanks for improving my vocabulary!

  3. Hi Jenny.

    Love your 'numinosity' term for the paranormal. What you say is so true. Paranormal along with Sci-Fi and Fantasy allow the writer to explore widely. I love it for the same reason.

    Like the sound of Three Wishes.


  4. I love that title, too! It sounds very much like old Hollywood. Also, I'm glad I read this interview because I didn't realise you were SF and Paranormal as well, Jenny. I only know your steampunk. I'll have to branch out! Thanks for hosting, Kylie!