A fellow author with whom I am acquainted only through Facebook and with whose work I am unfamiliar – okay, I know you’re asking why he’s my FB friend, but who can explain networking – posted on his status today the following question: What is paranormal romance? At the risk of going mainstream, I just want to ask him if he’s ever heard of Dark Shadows or Twilight? He went on to comment that he had no idea and wondered whatever happened to stories about real people with real conflicts. “Oh, yeah. That scares the hell out of us,” he said.
If he wants real people with real conflicts, he should search the nonfiction genre for a good biography or autobiography, because the characters we fiction writers create live only on the page whether the genre is contemporary, historical, erotic or paranormal. But if he gives paranormal romance the chance it deserves, he will discover a beautiful blend of the real and the fantastical. Sexy vampires, demons and werewolves can shift shapes and seduce their intended objects of desire. Witches, ghosts and psychic mortals can sweep their love interests away with time-travel, futuristic and extraterrestrial adventure.
Fans of paranormal romance get enough real people with real conflicts in their real lives. They long to escape to a darker, more exotic and sometimes more erotic world where heroes and heroines have special talents or powers and where magic happens every day.
Then, of course, there is the business side of it. According to Wikipedia, between 2002 and 2004, the number of paranormal romances published in the United States doubled to 170 per year. A popular title in the genre can sell over 500,000 copies. This news is good enough to make some paranormal romance authors shift their shapes right this minute and dance a jig!
If my right honorable Facebook friend would like an introduction into paranormal romance, I would say that the Naughty Little Vamp blog and eXtasy Books are great places to start. He may find out something new about himself. After all, it’s like they say – once bitten!