Book Review: Writing the Paranormal Novel by Steven Harper

Writing the Paranormal Novel: Techniques and Exercises for Weaving Supernatural Elements Into Your Story.Writing the Paranormal Novel: Techniques and Exercises for Weaving Supernatural Elements Into Your Story. by Steven Harper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Writing the Paranormal Novel by Steven Harper covers beginning writing with a focus on paranormal genres. There are sections I particularly enjoyed and found helpful, including advice about how to conduct research, interview experts, etc (Chapters 4 and 10). There are sections that served as good review about elements of craft (the chapters in Part III) and getting published (Part IV.) It’s always nice to be reminded that “writers write” and Harper provides lots of this kind of inspiration, with a healthy dash of humor. He uses several good examples from the works of other writers of the paranormal.

I think the book was a little long for this basic material, and at times repetitive. It also relies on platitudes and generalizations, a style that put me off a little. There isn’t a lot of depth, but for beginners and those in need of a review, I think this book may be handy, and it will suggest to you topics you’ll want to explore further elsewhere.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), his (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).