Thursday, April 8, 2010

The word is PARANORMAL

by E.J. Copperman

Night Living Deed Don't get me wrong: I'm EXTREMELY excited that my first novel, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED, which begins the Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series, will be published in June by Berkley Prime Crime. I'm ecstatic that people will get to read the story of Alison Kerby, who buys a great big Victorian on the Jersey Shore, and renovates it to serve as a guesthouse that will hopefully help Alison, a single mother, keep a non-leaky roof over her nine-year-old daughter's head. And I can't wait to see what you think about Paul and Maxie, the ghosts who reside in Alison's new house, when they insist she find out who murdered them. All that is wonderful. I have no complaint with it.

But is it REALLY necessary to categorize the book as "woo-woo?"

Woo woo Seriously. How can anyone take a book seriously (even one that's meant to be tons of fun, like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED) when it's stuck with a moniker like that ahead of time? Is that fair, to saddle a story that took me months to write with a silly-sounding category like "woo-woo?"

Do we call thrillers "bang-crunches?" Are hardboiled mysteries known as "boom-booms?" Do we call the supposed literary novels "mope-and-gropes?"

I don't think so.

Female mallard Even cozies, a much-maligned mystery genre stuck with a dopey name, at least get a word that comes from an adjective. It's descriptive, if not dignified. But "woo-woo?" Is that supposed to be some sort of onomatopoeic device recalling the sounds of ghosts in haunted houses? I don't want to spoil it for you, but I can assure you that nobody in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED ever says "woo-woo." That sounds more like the kind of noise Daffy Duck would make if confronted with an attractive female mallard.

We need to come up with a better word for this sub-genre. Something that has a little class. Something like "paranormal."

Or has that been used already?

Sliced bread By the way, please check out my blog at to get details on the contest that might win you an Advanced Reader Copy of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED! I'm really anxious to see what you think!
Casper E.J. Copperman is the author of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED, the first of the Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series, due June 1 from Berkley Prime Crime.  E.J. is also a fan of Casper, the Friendly Ghost.  Can we get a "woo-woo!" for that?!