By Rebecca.Goings On Dec 22 2006, 4:00 am
A lot of people think paranormal romance is a “fad”, something that will go the way of the Dodo in a year or two. Or three. Or four. But I believe it’s here to stay. Paranormal romance authors are currently enjoying enormous success and critical acclaim for writing about vampires, shifters, ghosties, immortals, gods, goddesses, and all sorts of things that go bump in the night.
Why is this genre so hot?
Well, there’s the obvious draw of the “bad boy”, of the forbidden fruit of loving something evil or shunned by society. Perhaps it’s the fact that we want love to find us, no matter what hell we live through. Perhaps it’s the idea that love is eternal, no matter how long we live. Whatever “it” is, paranormal romance draws readers like flies.
I began my journey as a paranormal romance author quite by accident. I was found complaining a few years ago on a forum I frequented that there were no good ghost love stories on the market. I remembered one book I’d read when I was a kid, and I wanted that spooky, yet seductive, feeling again. That’s when someone challenged me to write my own ghost love story. HEARTS ETERNAL was born. But I didn’t just stop at a ghost. I also added a vampire for a twist. And I made them brothers. Twin brothers, to be exact. Twin CURSED brothers.
But that’s one thing I love about writing paranormals, is doing something that no one else is doing. It makes you stand out; find your own voice. Do you want to write a vampire? Then make up your own mythology. Sure, everyone is familiar with garlic, crucifixes, coffins, etc… But you are a writer. Free to create any world you see fit.
I’ve been toying with a vampire story myself, however, it isn’t much beyond the notes phase at this point. But it’s about a man, who is “normal” during daylight hours, but at night, transforms into a vamp, kind of like a werewolf, but not tied to the cycles of the moon. And when he’s a vamp, he can’t remember the things he’s done. I love that idea, because it’s so different than the “tortured hero” vamp who’s been around for 700 years without finding his one true love. I dunno about y’all, but I’m kinda tired of vamps (and their prey) “O-ing” at the moment of the bite… You know what I mean. wink wink It’s sexy the first, second, & third times, but when book after book is same ol’, you gotta wonder how much one plot device is “overused”.
I want to merge paranormals with my favorite genre: the western. I know a few authors who are writing books about shifters in the Wild West. Heck yeah! I want vamps in Regency England! I want a ghost in the Scottish Highlands! We gotta mix it up, folks. If we want paranormal romance to stay, we authors have to keep people interested. We’ve got to ask ourselves questions that will rock the boat a bit with regards to paranormal romance.
Great. You have a shifter. WHY can he only shift into a lion? A panther? An eagle? What if he could shift into anything? Why aren’t more vamps shifters? I’m not sure if Bram Stoker actually made Dracula a shifter, but I’ve seen many vamp movies where he turns into a wolf, a bat, a fine mist, etc… Let’s keep that in mind when penning our fine fanged fiends.
I must say, I’m happy with the fair amount of ghost romances I’ve seen hit the shelves these past few years. There needs to be more of them in my opinion. And let’s not forget our bad guys! Why should the heroes get all the fun? Throw in a vamp villain, a shifter baddie, a ghost with a vengeance…
Keep our readers guessing. Break out of the box and keep paranormal romance fresh. If we authors do that, then our beloved vamps, shifters, and ghosties will be around for many, many years to come.