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Re: [mythsoc] Paranormal Romance query

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  • John Davis
    It also seems to me (my wife reads hundreds of these!) that the supernatural element - be it vampirism, lycanthrophy, etc. - is often played down . It becomes
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 13, 2009
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      It also seems to me (my wife reads hundreds of these!) that the supernatural element - be it vampirism, lycanthrophy, etc. - is often 'played down'. It becomes just another aspect of the character: "she's attractive, hip, a successful business-woman, and just happens to be a werewolf" type of thing. The supernatural frequently tends be there just to add a sense of 'flavour' to what would otherwise be a plain old romantic novel. And when it is concentrated on, the horror is not horrific, the paranormal not terrifying, etc.

      Not that this is always the case, of course, but it does often seem to be the way.

      John

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: John D Rateliff
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, July 11, 2009 7:33 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Paranormal Romance query





      Ellen:
      While supernatural lovers are as old as folklore, the paranormal
      romance came out of modern horror, especially contemporary vampire
      fiction, which has stressed the carnal aspect over the horrific. As
      for its entering the mainstream, I think this is of a piece with the
      mainstreaming of horror, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, &c.
      After all, it's hard to consider horror a fringe genre at a time when
      Stephen King, who writes horror, is the most popular writer. The same
      applies to fantasy in the days when Tolkien is ranked as 'author of
      the century', or science fiction since STAR TREK and STAR WARS.
      Hope this helps.
      --John R.

      On Jul 9, 2009, at 7:39 AM, Ellen wrote:
      > I'm going to be attending Worldcon in Montreal this year and have
      > asked
      > to be on the following panel:
      >
      > Title: Love Bites
      >
      > Description: More than just your normal love-bite: how did paranormal
      > romance enter the mainstream?
      >
      > I suspect I've been asked because I'm also presenting some footage of
      > the fantasy ballet, "The Willow Maiden," for which I wrote the story.
      > It deals with a romance between a human man and a dryad woman.
      >
      > The trouble is, I know virtually nothing about Paranormal Romance as a
      > sub-genre. Though I'll happily read fantasy or science fiction with
      > romantic elements, I've never been a reader of genre romance books and
      > not sure it's my thing at all.
      >
      > I'm probably going to bow out of the panel, but before doing so, I
      > wanted to put out a plea to anyone on this list who may be a reader of
      > paranormal romance. Please contact me off list at
      > ellen@... if you have any advice or suggestions.
      >
      > Are there books that have been nominees or finalists for the
      > Mythopoeic
      > awards in the past several years that might be considered paranormal
      > romance?
      >
      > Who are some of the top authors in the category and did you enjoy
      > their
      > books?
      >
      > Does the name "paranormal romance" used to describe a book imply a
      > certain amount of fluffiness, e.g., a standard bodice-ripper with
      > vampires or telepathic aliens, or can there be more depth to it?
      >
      > Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer suggestions or point me to
      > some resources.
      >
      > Ellen Denham





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    • Alana Joli Abbott
      Actually (and I already said some of this to Ellen), I think you re talking about two different kinds of paranormal romance: Some paranormal romances come
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 13, 2009
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        Actually (and I already said some of this to Ellen), I think you're talking
        about two different kinds of paranormal romance:

        Some paranormal romances come directly out of modern horror. They're
        grittier, darker, and the main element of the writing (to start out with, at
        least) is the horror element, not the romance. Some of those end up going
        more deeply into erotica rather than relationships as a focal factor. (I'd
        say Laurel K. Hamilton's novels fit in there.)

        Some paranormal romances come out of category romance, or suspense romances.
        There, the paranormal element is part of the world building, but the core
        focus of the story is still the relationship between the hero and the
        heroine and how they end up happily ever after.

        Other paranormal romances come out of urban fantasy -- which in itself has
        several different forefathers. (I've heard critics say that "real" urban
        fantasy comes out of noir detective novels, and others say it also comes out
        of category romance, and still others say it comes out of contemporary
        fantasy -- all of which can be true depending on the novel.) The paranormal
        romance that's closest to the urban fantasy border tends to have a really
        strong romantic (meaning relationship, rather than erotic, although the
        latter isn't necessary out of the question) element without the easy
        happily-ever-after ending. A lot of these tend to be series where the same
        hero and heroine banter back and forth over the course of several books,
        sometimes acknowledging that they're in a relationship early on, sometimes
        going through a love-hate cycle. In some ways, those series seem to me to
        have more in common with a television series style of storytelling than
        other paranormal romances.

        Obviously as a paranormal romance reader I've given too much thought to
        this. :)

        -Alana


        --
        Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (
        http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)
        Author of "Nomi's Wish" (
        http://coyotewildmag.com/2008/august/abbott_nomis_wish.html), featured in
        Coyote Wild Magazine
        Contributor to Serenity Adventures: http://tinyurl.com/serenity-adventures
        Contributor to Ransom: The Anthology: http://tinyurl.com/ransombook
        --
        For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at
        http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans


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