Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wicked Wednesday - My first time


The first time I heard about paranormal romance* was in a writing seminar at Gen Con in 2003. It was the genre to make your break in at that time. Sales had doubled between 2002 and 2004. (Sales are still good these days. Romance outsells all other genres. If you write YA paranormal romance, it's the one taking off at the moment.) I listened to the panelists talk about it and realized that was what I was writing.** I had refused to call what I wrote romance. I had labeled myself as an urban fantasy writer. Contemporary, magical and dark with a focus on the protagonist's love life. Sometimes a very detailed focus! I picked up a few paranormal romances from the library after the convention and I was hooked. I haven't been able to stop reading them since. This was my genre. Holy sweet chocolate, I was a romance writer.

I resisted at first. I didn't want to be one of those women that wrote romance even if it is paranormal. There's a certain stigma attached to romance writers. Not only from men, but from other women as well. The stereotype is a woman who is a flaky hopeless romantic. I learned that is far from the truth. Intelligent, funny and amazing women do write romance. Women of all races, classes and beliefs love romance. Don't ever be ashamed that you write and/or read it. This goes for the men too. More and more men are writing romance these days.

Now I fully embrace the fact that I am a paranormal romance writer. This is the genre that I love. It can be dark and gritty like Stacia Kane's Chess Putnam books or fun and hot like Jill Myles' Succubus Diaries. I like the darker ones, but I also appreciate a book that can make me laugh. Oh, I do enjoy the sex scenes, but for romance books, I want to read about the protagonist's relationship(s). I want to feel the ups and downs, the frustration, the fiery lust, the first kiss, the doubts, heart pounding love, and maybe heartbreak. There are so many emotions to explore and, in a world of the paranormal, so many things can happen. It's the supernatural and the romantic journey that suck me in.

What do you love about paranormal romance? What drew you to the genre be it as a reader or a writer?

*You didn't think I was actually going to write about my first time for anything else, did you?!
**Paranormal romance is a sub-genre of romance originating from gothic fiction. It includes elements of the paranormal, horror and urban fantasy. It mostly includes contemporary novels, but some time travel stories do get put into this genre. Do not confuse it with fantasy or science-fiction romance.

12 comments:

  1. There's a stigma attached to all genre writers. Don't sweat it. Ignore it. Do what you love. I think it's a very interesting genre. Is it always contemporary? Just wondering. :) I enjoy gothic, too.

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  2. M Pax, there was a big discussion on the definition of paranormal romance, and the panelists all agreed, with a few exceptions, paranormal romance has to take place in contemporary society or else it becomes more fantasy or historical. Contemporary can stretch back to almost a century ago, but then it gets mingled with historical.

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  3. I LOVE paranormal romance. It's just fun, and there's always a LOT of opportunities to heighten tension, which is also pretty fun :D

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  4. I enjoy reading paranormal romance, but I've never written it before. I'm sure I will give it a try and some point!

    I'd be interested in a future post on your favorite paranormal romance novels. Or, since I'm a new follower, did I miss that?

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  5. Great picture for your Wicked Wednesdays. Hehe! What's wrong with being a flaky hopeless romantic. ;) I like the darker paranormal romances, but it's great to have a good laugh here and there too. And I learned something too about the paranormal romance and the difference between that and just fantasy romance with the contemporary issue. :)

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  6. I do enjoy reading paranormal romance oddly enough--even though I'm not a big reader of standard romance. I haven't attempted to write it yet. That might be my next project.

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  7. Heidi, this is my first post for Wicked Wednesday. I definitely can do one about my favorite paranormal romances. It's so nice when people suggest topics for me! ;)

    Cherie, thanks! I looked and looked online for a picture, but anything that caught my eye wasn't free. So I did my own. That's my wand that Al whittled for me.

    Lynda, I'm not a big reader of standard romance either. I've ventured out into other sub-genres to see what they're like, but most aren't for me. It's the paranormal aspect that gets me.

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  8. Well...if you are taking suggestions! I'd also be interested in posts on how to develop romances--specifically how to build that slow burn. And which paranormal romance novels do that really well. I'm never sure how "fast" to go in developing romances when attempting to plot a novel. I know that is a huge and difficult topic--but I would love to have your thoughts!

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  9. "with a focus on the protagonist's love life" Ha! Denial at it's best:) I don't know if I could read a book without romance!

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  10. I do like paranormal romance, but have only read a few books. I like the possibilities, the other world quality that is integrated so well with today's society.

    when I have time to read more, I do intend to read this genre. Probably not YA though.

    I think its cool you found your writing nische. and you just cana't argue with statistics. Frankly, I don't understand why people look down on romance writers/readers. It sells; someone writes it, someone reads it. Does anything else matter?

    ........dhole

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  11. Heidi, that's a great suggestion. I'm a fan of the slow burn. A lot of romances these days are fast paced, but I like the build up of tension.

    Ruth, it would have to be one heck of a compelling story for me to read it too!

    Donna, I don't understand either. I've gotten quite a few snubs when I say I write romance, and those looks. They don't say anything, but the way they look at you changes.

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  12. Hi Christine! I'm just getting in to this genre, not as a writer but as a reader, and I really enjoy it. I just love paranormal stories period, and the romance is the icing on the cake. :D

    I think it's great you found your niche, and I'm sure I will enjoy reading your books too! :)

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