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Monday, March 11, 2013

Author Guest Post: The Unknown by Prudence MacGregor

by Prudence MacGregor

My deep interest in the unknown and what is possible spurred me to write this book. Also, I love the television show, The Twilight Zone, and that definitely was an influence. I definitely wanted strong female characters for two of the stories, and I believe that Justine and Ulyssa do justice to that in the first two. I did want a character that starts out reserved but gradually becomes comfortable with his or her convictions in the third story. I decided to make that character Gregory in the story, Up There. You can see how he becomes comfortable with Sherry enough to tell her his dreams and what he wants to do with his life. I wrote the book because I like writing short stories, stories that pack punch but each have a moral or lesson, if you will, that each reader can formulate. I wanted to write the book in the paranormal genre as I am very intrigued by the notion of what could be: is there another world out there, perhaps with beings similar to us, another dimension perhaps? I don't want to get too way out there, but it is an interesting premise to think about.

I really hope readers, first and foremost, enjoy the stories but I do want them each to come up with their own ideas about them. For example, if a reader presents his or her own ideas as to what each story meant or the message it is trying to convey, that would be fantastic. I have my own ideas about each of the stories but it's really interesting and important to hear what readers think about them. After all, the stories deal in grey areas, not anything cut and dried.

My writing process is pretty spontaneous, actually. I jot down ideas as they come into my head, and many times I get great ideas as I am drifting off to sleep, believe it or not. As I mentioned before, I didn't have to do a lot of research for this book but if I ever do for another book, I would find it challenging if I couldn't find a particular piece of information but it would have to get pretty tedious to actually become frustrating. As for inspiration, I don't really look for it per se, it just comes to me in many forms, such as experiences I've had, people watching, reading, that sort of thing.

I would like the stories to have an impact on readers of course. However, that is a subjective kind of thing because each reader is different. As I said before, the stories are in a grey area, that blurry line between reality and fantasy, so the book's impact will be different for each reader, I suppose.

I was born on the isle of Manhattan and began writing stories at an early age. There are things besides writing that I love to do. Mainly, travel, read, and indulge in decadent delights such as Australian red licorice and trying different perfumes.

Trilogy is comprised of three stories, all of which have an otherworldly, paranormal theme to them. Each of the main characters in these stories wrestles with extraordinary circumstances in an otherwise ostensibly ordinary world. Journey with the stories' main characters as they navigate the unplumbed depths of the unknown.

The first story, Parallelograms, centers on protagonist Justine, a determined yet troubled young woman who, quite by accident, discovers that she has a double and thus finds herself facing unexpected and ultimately terrifying consequences. Her previously tightly controlled world spins out of control, causing her to question her very existence.

The second story in the trilogy, Random, concerns Ulyssa, a young woman who is intrigued by the possibility of releasing a balloon with a note and seeing where it lands. This seemingly innocent activity will take her down a dark path, the circumstances of which may or may not be resolved. This will conflict with the outwardly picture perfect world that she thought she inhabited.

The final title, Up There, focuses on Gregory, an unassuming office worker who is fascinated by the airplanes he sees in the sky. Quite by accident he meets Sherry, a beautiful motivational speaker who just may have a connection to one of the planes he has seen. An activity he previously saw as harmless and a bit innocuous - watching planes fly overhead and guessing their destinations - turns questionable and ultimately forces him to take a look at his world: is it real or has it always been an illusion?