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A Preter-what?

When I wrote my novel, Curse Me Not, what I didn’t count on was how I would see myself after the writing was done.

The paranormal twist I use in the book is one that speaks of auras and curses upon auras. The fundamental question I had to answer as I developed the book’s alternate reality was this: While we can perceive our 3-D self just by looking in a mirror, how does our aura fit into that perception?

That each person has a luminous aura surrounding us is nowhere near as far-fetched as, say, the existence of werewolves or the efficacy of witchcraft. Indeed, a lot of people consider auras to be more than just a heat signature picked up via thermal imaging or a perceptual disturbance experienced by someone with a migraine. As a result, the more I researched for my book, the more metaphysically minded I became.

In my heroine’s world, auras are how humans manifest themselves beyond what is normally perceptible to the five senses. Auras are part color, part emotion, part state of mind, and part indication of who we are if civilization was stripped away. In Curse Me Not, I used the term preternatural to describe that altered perception. By the way, preternatural is a real word; preter comes from the Latin “praeter” which means beyond or past. Fitting, I think.

Establishing the rules in my heroine’s alternate reality was a difficult exercise, not from a writing standpoint, mind you, but from a personal and metaphysical one. Creating a world where auras are perceived by a select few and where curses on those auras directly affect people’s lives caused me to rethink my own view of existence.

By the time I finished the last chapter of Curse Me Not, I realized my heroine had spoken a truth every bit as viable in our “real” world as in hers: “We are more than we know.”

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