Which witch is which?

by Gail Z. Martin

While we’re on the subject of supernatural makeovers, I love what has happened with the witch/wiccan/clairvoyant theme.  If you’ve been following my posts on Shelfari, you’ll see that I’ve been reading quite a few series where there’s a strong female protagonist who is a witch/clairvoyant/medium/psychic-something.  It’s the new kick-ass female empowerment.

I think it’s interesting that, at least in the books I’ve read (and there are a lot I haven’t, so go easy on me if I’ve missed something), it’s always only the women who have the witch/clairvoyant/psychic powers.  The men are skeptical if not hostile, and sometimes threatened to the point of walking out on the relationship.  I’m betting there’s a psychological comment on our culture in there somewhere.

It’s also interesting that in pretty much all of the books (again, that I’ve read—which leaves lots out, I know), there’s always at least one good girlfriend who believes in the heroine’s unusual gifts and provides support and encouragement, as well as playing wingman for everything from breaking and entering to CYA on broken dates.  Supernatural powers as the ultimate female bonding glue!

I also enjoy seeing a wide range of psychic abilities presented in a way that is much more realistic (at least, according to my psychic friends).  Clairvoyance, precognition, channeling, astral projection and psychometry are just some of the gifts I’ve seen treated with respect and integrated into series in recent years.  Much better than just lumping everything together!

Interesting side note—judging from the books, psychic powers seem to go hand-in-hand with a love of shoes and/or a passion for vintage clothing.  Go figure!

The really great news is that according to Locus Magazine, there were 614 original fantasy novels published in 2010 from major publishers, and 384 paranormal romances, as well as 251 new horror titles.  Plenty to read!  Locus notes the trends for vampires, werewolves and zombies show no sign of ending.  Some off their favorite humorous titles: Eat, Prey Love, I Kissed a Zombie and I liked it, and my personal favorite, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (if you don’t get it, hum the tune of Tiny Dancer).

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