Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Paranormal and Such – as perceived by Matt Carter, author of ‘Splinters’

Have you ever wondered if any aspect of the paranormal, as portrayed in books, is real? Matt Carter, co-author of Splinters gives his take on the subject. And, by the way, he and F.J.R. Titchenell, his co-author in crime, are giving away 3 ARCs of their book to 3 lucky winners, so see below for details. 

Under ordinary circumstances, Ben and Mina would never have had reason to speak to each other; he's an easy-going people person with a healthy skepticism about the paranormal, and she's a dangerously obsessive monster-hunter with a crippling fear of betrayal. But the small town of Prospero, California, has no ordinary circumstances to offer. Inorder to uncover a plot set by the seemingly innocent but definitely shapeshifting monsters-that-look-like-friends-family-and-neighbors, the two stark opposites must both find ways to put aside their differences and learn to trust each other.

AMM: Welcome, Matt. Thanks for dropping in.  I have to ask What got you interested in the paranormal? Do you believe that shapeshifters and other paranormal ‘creatures’ actually exist?

MC: Ooh, this question's always been a favorite of mine. What got me interested? A morbid mix of fear and fascination. Fear because I grew up one of those kids who was scared of pretty much everything. The world was full of unseen dangers and monsters and I didn't want any of them near me. A couple bad experiences seeing glimpses of scary movies combined with my dad's general disdain for the modern horror genre kept it a kind of taboo subject that even further scared the hell out of me. And yet, despite all that, he kept me interested by feeding me a fairly constant line of old horror classics, mostly of the Universal monster and 50's B-movie variety, that never kept the subject far away. I ate up every book I could find on monsters in film, myth and legend and watched every TV show and documentary on the subject that I could.

Fast forward to my teenage and adult years when I finally had the time (and money) to get into the subject on my own, and I was hooked on all things horror, spooky and bump-in-the-night.

Now, do I believe in shapeshifters and other paranormal creatures? I leave open the possibility that ghosts might exist in one form or another, and I definitively believe in life on planets other than our own, though I think the odds that they have both visited us and picked up a bunch of people for their high school science experiments pretty slim. We live in a big universe and it seems unlikely at best that they would have found our tiny little speck in it.

As for shapeshifters, I'll give a definitive no. While vampires and werewolves and their ilk make for great fiction, their historical reality tend to come more from a variety of prejudices and superstitions based around persecuted minorities and real medical conditions that I can't really support. As for believing in other paranormal creatures... ouch. This is the part that's really heartbreaking to get into.

The long and the short of it is, I'd love to believe that creatures like these could exist. I really would. I just love the idea of living in a world where cryptids like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster live just out of our sight, hiding to one day be discovered, or perhaps befriended by a young boy with a troubled family life and/or disability it will help him overcome like in every third 80's movie. I'd love to think there's still some romantic unknown in the world, and that we haven't pillaged this fine planet of all its mystery and wonder.

While I'd love to believe this is possible, I can't, mostly because of that buzzkill I love ever-so-much: science. We've spent countless years filling in all the holes on the map and have scanning technology and satellites up the wazoo enough that it seems pretty unlikely that we wouldn't have seen them by now.

Which is a pity, really, because if Harry and the Hendersons ever taught me anything, it's that Bigfoot is really nice once you get to know them.

     F.J.R TITCHENELL and MATT CARTER met and fell in love in a
                   musical theatre class at Pasadena City College and have been
inseparable ever since. Though they have both dreamed of being
writers from a very young age, they both truly hit their stride after they
met, bouncing ideas off of one another, forcing each other to strive to be
better writers, and mingling Matt's lifelong love of monsters with Fiona's
equally disturbing inability to let go of high school. They were married in
2011 in a ceremony that involved kilts, Star Wars music, and a cake
topped by figurines of them fighting a zombified wedding party.
Titchenell and Carter live in San Gabriel, California.

Links for   F.J.R. Titchenell:

Links for Matt Carter:

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