30 June 2007

The Paranormal and Romance: Perfect Together

I was reading some of the older posts about ghosts the other day and a memory came back to me. A memory of my first romantic fantasy.

I had to be about ten or eleven…and I had a fantasy about a ghost boy who was a character in an ABC “After School Special” (remember those?). It was called "The Red Room Riddle". All I can recall was that the ghost boy had beautiful blond curly hair and was trapped in the red room inside of an old mansion.

Don’t remember exactly how I turned that into a romance in my little elementary brain, but do remember having them.

And that made me wonder why some of us love our paranormals and other romance readers just shake their head. Obviously even as a young reader, paranormal stories appealed to me the same as it did to the millions who read similar books. But for some reason I took it step further and wanted my stories to have not only paranormal/fantasy elements but romance, too.

Why does paranormal and romance seem like such a natural fit to some of us and not to others? Have you ever tried to explain the appeal of the paranormal to others who don’t read them? I have one relative whose voice drips with sarcasm every time she mentions “a werewolf romance”…in a way that makes it seem like the craziest thing in the world. Never mind telling her that millions of readers like to read about vampires and werewolves finding true love.

Monsters in love. Monsters redeemed and forgiven all sorts of sins. Monsters forgiven and loved by not only the heroine, but also the reader. Perhaps what truly defines our paranormal genre is not the characters (who vary from god to demon, vampire to angel) but the readers. Maybe we’re the “thing” about paranormal romances that make them work.

Could it be that the lover of paranormal romance is more accepting, more likely to forgive rather than chastise in real-life too? I think it would be interesting to see if the ability to forgive and respect the strange, monstrous hero translates into a real-world view different from non-paranormal romance readers.

Just a thought.

~Margo
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