Student’s novel embraces paranormal craze

Published September 21, 2011, in MSUM’s, The Advocate

 

Paranormality has lost its bite. What was once mysterious and odd has become the norm. With authors and Hollywood romanticizing all things vampiric, it’s no wonder strong opinions for both sides of the spectrum have been formed and debated.

Young adults can be seen wearing shirts showcasing the phrases “Bite me,” “Love sucks” and “Screw being a princess. I want to be a vampire!” The list of punny vampire references goes on.

Barnes & Noble, the major book-selling franchise, even has a section dedicated to “Teen Paranormal Romance” novels.  Books such as “Beautiful Darkness” and “Unnatural,” along with many others fill almost an entire aisle. These thrilling romance novels, most notably The Twilight Saga, seem to be dominant literature of today.

JESSICA FLEMING / flemingjes@mnstate.edu

Many say this craze has gone past the point of ridiculousness, but Skyler DeGrote, a sophomore at MSUM studying mass communications with an emphasis in advertising, thinks of it as a positive. Her recently published book, “Soul,” deals with witches and the devil himself.

Though her 188-page novel deals with paranormal material, she said that, “most people would say it’s like ‘Twilight,’ but it’s not at all like ‘Twilight.’”

In “Soul,” every generation triplet sisters are reborn and must not allow the devil to escape hell. The first generation of triplet sisters placed a spell on him, confining him to his fiery domain, but he was able to find a crack in the curse’s stronghold.

Fast forward to modern day suburbia. The 13th generation of triplet sisters is now in existence and must either find a way to place the devil back in hell or to destroy him completely, once and for all.

The first installment of The Soul Collection has a few tinges of romantic tension, but the novel is mainly about the journey these three girls must face.

DeGrote’s own journey, to write and publish her first book took time, research and a lot of perseverance.

“When I was little, I was told that I could not succeed, and it kind of just drove me to prove myself to the world and to myself that I could do whatever I put my mind to,” DeGrote said.

It took her two years of research to find the most efficient way to get her book published. Her mother, who also serves as her editor, found that Amazon.com was the most affordable option. However, the process became grueling.

After a month of sending corrected copy after corrected copy back to Amazon, the formatting was finally perfected and ready to be sold. “Soul” was published last May, and DeGrote is hopeful that the second novel of the trilogy will be published this December, just in time for the holidays.

Her best advice to readers is to keep an open mind.

“If you find a good book, sit down and read it. Don’t listen to what other people say about the genre or anything ‘cause if they say the genre is overrated, then you won’t be as excited to read the book even though it’s most likely a really good book,” DeGrote said.

Her passion for encouraging others to pick up the pen and persevere goes beyond the paranormal genre of her writing.  So, whether vampires continue to rake in revenue or not, her positive message will continue to convey inspiration to friends and readers alike.

“Honestly, anyone could write a book if they just sat down and stopped thinking that they couldn’t. When I was little, I was told I wasn’t a good writer, I couldn’t do this. This wasn’t a thing that I should go into. But I always liked writing short stories,” DeGrote said. “You have to surround yourself with people who believe that you can do whatever you put your mind to, and then you have to believe it yourself. Then you can do anything.”

To order a copy of “Soul” by Skyler DeGrote, find her book on Amazon.com for a paperback copy or e-book for Kindle.

BY MEGHAN FEIR

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