extracurricular activities suffer as a result. As has this blog.
The result of the deadline is my latest WIP (work in progress), Dead Girls
Club. Contrary to what the title suggests, it’s a paranormal romance. I use
that descriptive term advisedly. There seems to be a bit of wrangling amongst genre discriminating types as to what constitutes a paranormal romance as compared to, say, a romantic fantasy. Such discussion can result in interesting revelations of authors’ perceptions of their work. Since I’ve written in both genres, I’ll argue with myself.
The essence of romantic fantasy is, unsurprisingly, the fantasy. Events and the nature of one’s characters are, by definition, supernatural or
extraordinary. That is, at variance with the normal or expected. Such a broad definition encompasses High Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Urban Fantasy, and Science Fantasy. Even though urban fantasy usually deals with tropes such as vampires and werewolves, the supernatural aspects of these characters mollifies their traditional roles as bloodthirsty monsters. They’re usually wholly sentient and sympathetic due to having motivations and goals with which readers can identify. To transition any sub-genre into the realm of romantic fantasy requires a strong element of romance in the central conflict.
Paranormal romance tends to have stronger a relationship to elements of
horror than those of fantasy in the narrative. Think Bates Motel as opposed to Hogwarts. To differentiate horror from fantasy, the central conflict involves terrifying or macabre events and characters. Admittedly, I’m splitting some hairs with this nuanced explanation. However, since the tropes of urban fantasy have become commonplace (I’m tempted to use the terms “beaten like a rented mule” or “run into the ground”), they no longer have the cachet of horror they once held. Bella and Selene don’t scare anybody, at least not when they’re wearing makeup.
It’s a funny thing about romance in fiction, for my part at any rate. I
seldom write anything longer than a short story that doesn’t have some sort of romantic thread. That includes married couples and their children, as well. Love is usually a source of joy for people and so it is for my characters. In the case of Dead Girls Club, I also use the bonds of love to enhance the tension and horror. For example, what could be more terrifying than believing your unborn child is threatened by a fetus-devouring demon? I thought it might resonate.
Since I recently turned my final draft over to my publisher, who expects to
release the book this summer, I’ll probably write more on that subject in the near future. Both here and on my book blog. If you, dear reader, have any questions or comments, I’d be happy to see them.