Michael Brown

The Paradise Wars and Clark Ransom Thrillers

Why I Write About The Paranormal In My Novels?

Paranormal Fiction

Why I Write About the Paranormal?

The short answer is because I like literature that includes the paranormal or the supernatural. From Henry James’ *The Turn of the Screw* to Stephen King or Anne Rice: they are the books I most enjoy.

This used to embarrass me, because after all I have degrees in English lit from Stanford and Brown.

However, for pure entertainment and the firing of my imagination, give me Anne Rice’s Lestat or even the wraiths of George R.R. Martin’s *Game of Thrones* series.

So if this is what I find most entertaining, this is what I should want to write, right?

However, that is the short answer, not the complete one.

To me, the paranormal is not just something fanciful. The paranormal repesents a subtler level of reality, as real as the worlds of material objects, of emotions, or of thoughts through which we move.

Every once and awhile I see reality through a celluloid film strip, which is running a movie of events happening at a subtler level. I can shift my focus to watch this movie — as if I’m dreaming wide awake — or shift again and pay attention to the tables, chairs, people, and obstacles around me.

As a child, I would wake in the night, and find myself surrounded by spectral, but harmless, presences. Watching them was an entertainment. Then I’d fall asleep again.

When this happened at Stanford, in the middle of Introduction to Psychology at two in the afternoon, I found myself in a strange land and it was suddenly the middle of the night. The campus pomegranate trees had transformed the courtyards into a magical and exotic land out of the Arabian nights.

I was admitted to the Stanford clinic and diagnosed as an acute schizophrenic, until a wiser Stanford psychologist, a disciple of R.D. Laing, said these “shifts” were temporary, and if I were in a earlier culture, I would be isolated from the tribe and put into a training program to become a shaman or witch doctor.

The attraction of those naturally occurring experiences soon had me experimenting with drugs: a lot of LSD.  During my trips I traveled to the places my celluloid film strip hinted at.

In time, however, the drugs were no longer a ticket to the astral, and they had taken a physical toll: sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, indigestion, etc.

I, by that time, knew that meditation was the prefered vehicle for tripping, but because of the damage drugs had done to my nervous system, it took years before I had experiences that even approached the intensity of what had happened at Stanford. Also, meditation taught me that although the trips were glamorous, I had a body for a reason and that reason was to do things in this world, the physical, and not to escape into these sublter realms.

Now I abstain from drugs and I meditate, and my first-line contact with the astral/paranormal/supernatural has become my writing.  My plots and characters come when I let go and allow them to. And, to my delight, my fiction reveals meanings my intellect could never discover.

I write about the paranormal because that is what has been given to me to write.

I fought it for a long time, trying to write what would be more acceptable to the literary establishment. However, for me, there was no joy, no fun, in that.

So I gotta go where I gotta go, and hope some of you are interested in coming along.

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17 Replies

  1. Micheline Brown

    I have always realized that you are extremely smart and maybe more than just a little goofy. And until I read this I had no idea why.

  2. Michael Brown

    As my sister, you should know 🙂

  3. Anne

    Thanks for opening up yourself so that I can see the experience path that has led you to here and now. I’m envious of those who experience paranormal phenomenon and talk about them. I’m (usually) pretty grounded and from past events was taught not to talk about unexplainable things. Recently I had a premonition that something was going to happen and I should be on guard. And it did and I knew immediately I had been warned. I need to trust these instincts more.

  4. Gail

    I too enjoy Stephen King, Anne Rice and Henry James and because I am a Social Archeologist, I was fascinated by native tribes and Shamanism. I actually authored articles for class assignments on Shamanism vs. schizophrenia. I am glad you now rely on meditation for your characters and plots. All great Shamans rely on the spirt world to direct them.

  5. Michael Brown

    Thanks for sharing

  6. Chris McCaskill

    I only had one experience in my life that I consider paranormal. I thought that I had risen out of my body while I was lying in bed as a kind of see-through figure. I was looking down at myself in bed from above. But then it was no longer me hovering above me but an ethereal, other-worldly good angel.

    After that, I tried hard to cultivate lucid dreaming to go back to that amazing sensation, with zero success. I SOOO wanted to be able to articulate it but I couldn’t.

    Being able to write about these matters is a unique talent. How you do it is a mystery to me.

    Congrats on knowing what inspires you and following that truth.

  7. Michael Brown

    Thanks Anne. Glad to see you’re home

  8. Michael Brown

    Glad to see that this post is getting a lot of participation.

  9. Bernie

    Very interesting, Michael. Since you were experiencing these visions since childhood naturally, do you think your experiences with LSD diminished your ability when not on it?

  10. Michael Brown

    Yes, probably and unfortunately, but such is life 😊

  11. Tracey Kane

    Wow i love your writing and your concepts even more now! I am addicted to your writing and cling to the words as I read. It is an honor to be among this group who gets first hand opportunity to read your material on a regular basis. I relate my own ideas and experiences to much of your own. Thank you.
    Tracey Kane

  12. Michael Brown

    Thanks Tracey

  13. Carol Walk

    Well, your choice in literature and mine are totally different but your other worldly experiences interest me. As a psychologist, I have to say that your diagnosis of acute schiz is complete crap. That diagnosis doesn’t even exist today. However, I am greatly interested in experiences that tap us into the world around us which we do not normally experience. I call them spiritual experiences. I have had many very powerful experiences in my life that were both harbingers of things about to happen and awarenesses of the energy of dead folks. I have had training with psychics on how to develop one’s psychic abilities and it doesn’t seem so hard. I pretty sure I’m not schizophrenic – just weird.

  14. Michael Brown

    Yes, but did exist those many years ago. I know now, and pretty much knew then I wasn’t schizophrenic . . . Just a little off center 😜

  15. Anne

    It troubles me how quickly the the “establishment” labels things they don’t understand as deviant or disabled and try to medicate it out of existence. You were so fortunate to find someone to confirm what you already knew -you weren’t schizophrenic; you were having extraordinary experiences.

  16. I also love reading Stephen King and Ann Rice, I have love these genra from early on, when at 14 years old, I read Frankinstain and Dracula, my father was a fan too, he would pass me the books after he finished.
    Marcela

  17. Michael Brown

    My mother, sister, Tom, and I shared Anne Rice novels.

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