Pamela S. Thibodeaux On Faith-Based Supernatural Fiction

All month long we are featuring a special spotlight on the inspirational genre. Today we've asked Pamela S. Thibodeaux, author of the new Inspirational novel, The Visionary , to chat about how she weaves fantasy elements into her faith-based fiction.

When Morgan first contacted me about being a guest on RT website, I was thrilled! I mean, who wouldn't want to do this?! Then her comment caught me by surprise.... "I was thinking that since you write fantasy novels, you might want to share what it is like to include fantastical elements in your story along with strong messages of faith."

What? I don't write fantasy novels, I write romance & women's fiction novels with an occasional suspense thrown in (although I never intended to write that either — it just sort of showed up in the story LOL!).

Then I re-read the RT review of The Visionary ... Readers will be offered inspiration, science fiction, supernatural events, drama and ultimately, redemption.

Ahh, now I see. But here's the kicker, there is no Sci-Fi in this novel. Supernatural events/elements, yes, but no Science Fiction—and that's what I'm going to talk about.

What is the difference in Sci-Fi and Supernatural?

According to the definitions I found, Science Fiction is based on "imagined future scientific or technological advances."(IE: Time Travel).

On the other hand, Supernatural elements, are, "manifestations or events considered to be of supernatural origin. Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature."

Supernatural are events like those listed in the Bible ... Parting of the Red Sea, burning bushes that are not consumed, God speaking through a donkey, fire from heaven burning up sacrificial offerings that have been so heavily doused with water there is no natural way fire is possible, feeding thousands with five fish and five loaves of bread, walking on water, etc.

These are the elements present in The Visionary.

Here's an example from Chapter 18:

Once ensconced in his apartment, Trevor allowed his emotions to run their course. Exhausted and in pain, he took a couple of pills, stretched out on the couch, fell into an uneasy slumber, and dreamed.

He stood alone in a meadow. Two lions approached, one scraggly and unkempt, the other stately and regal. He turned as they circled in on him, closer and closer until he could almost feel their breath on his neck. One grunted, growled, and snarled. The other responded likewise. They crouched, prepared to attack, then lunged. He ducked, rolled out from beneath the tangled mass of muscle and fur, and watched them go at each other in a battle of wills. Within moments, the large, regal cat had the other pinned beneath his huge paws, his teeth clasped in the throat of his foe. He snarled, shook his head, and released the lesser animal which then pounced to his feet and ran off with his tail tucked between his legs. The big cat roared in triumph then sat, head high, and eyed Trevor.

Trevor kept a wary eye on the lion and inched backward until a tree stopped his escape. Though his eyes followed his every step, the animal never flinched. Trevor watched and waited for him to pounce, but the lion didn’t so much as twitch a muscle. That’s when he noticed the crown. Trevor shook his head and rubbed his eyes. Sure enough the crown remained, embedded in the animal’s scalp. The crown turned to thorns. The lion’s face changed into that of Christ crucified and then back into a lion’s face.

Trevor rubbed his eyes again and shook his head. “Who are you? What do you want?” he felt compelled to ask.

“I am the Lion of Judah, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Come, Trevor, follow me,” the cat answered and turned to walk away.

Some may consider this Sci-Fi or Fantasy, but this is an example of a supernatural experience based on the book of Joel, where the Lord says, "I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions."

Am I upset that the terms "science fiction" or "fantasy" are used in conjunction with this novel?

Of course not!

If those terms will encourage someone who wouldn't normally read "Inspirational, Romantic Women's Fiction" to pick up the book and have their own personal experience with a supernatural God, then I'm all for it and say, "Thank You, Amy" for the lovely review!

Today is not only release date for The Visionary; it kicks off my month-long virtual book tour where 4 autographed copies of the novel will be given away. Follow the entire tour (list of stops on my blog) and leave a comment on each one because the more times your name goes in the hat, the more chances you have to win! And be sure and attend my chat on Nov 19th on Coffee Time Romance E-chatters loop!

- Pamela S. Thibodeaux

For an insider's look at other new faith-based releases, to get genre-specific writing advice and more be sure to click here or visit RT's Everything Inspirational Page!