Thursday, June 20, 2013


Before I go deep into this, I have to say that I love paranormal romances. Of course, I have to see a really good one, but I do like this sub-genre. With that said, I think this is one of the toughest genres to write at this moment. Why? It comes back to what I have said in the past about finding something unique to write about.

When the paranormal market really hit the scene, we were seeing some great stories with truly unique premises. The vampires were amazingly hot. The werewolves were beyond animalistic, and the time travels really did have amazing twists with the space-time parallels. But, in my humble opinion, these have really run their course and this genre is madly looking for that something new. The question is: "Is there really something new or has paranormal finally died out (or maybe is dying)."

Now, don't start flooding my email or this blog with the names of the standard writers out there still doing great vampire and werewolf stories. They are doing great, but they are the foundation of the genre. I am talking about the new authors out there trying to find their individual niche.

Let me break these down for you into smaller sections.

Vampires: Brooding, funny? It really doesn't matter. The thing that makes these guys sexy is the biting and the sensuality. We can make them historical, but other than moving to a different time period, they are still the same guys. Stephanie Myers has already brought the vamps to the teen market and done really well. There are a couple of other YA lines but they are still doing the same thing the older generation's vamps are doing.

Werewolves: So many people think by calling these guys "shape shifter" it makes it all better. Nope! They are still this species that struggles between two identities. They still "suffer the pain as the bones crunch back into their original form." I have seen people try to make them were cats, weredogs, weredragons. Guess what? Still the same.

Vamp vs. werewolf battles: Hmmm? Where have we seen this before? Look, we normally see the vampires being the good guys and the werewolves being the bad guys. Switch them and the battle is still the same. Have a group of humans come into play saving (or hunting) one group down? Nothing new here....

Time travels: This one has really worn me out. Simply moving a person to another time period does not make it a time travel. It is simply an out of place character in a historical or a futuristic (depending on which way you move them). Don't get me wrong. I love time travels, but the characters have to struggle with this issue a lot.

So what is left? Ghost stories? Well, this one is tough considering one person is dead. How do you have a happily ever after?

Magic? Hmmm, moving into fantasy now and this isn't so much of the paranormal. Besides, the term paranormal deals with something that is bording the normal and abstract.

Space Aliens? Now you are into sci-fi.

Demons? This one is a little better but see the above comments on werewolves and vampires.

Psychics? The problem here is that most people just use the psychic thing and try to give some romantic suspense characters super-hero powers to solve the problems. Boooorrrrrinnngggg!

Look, I want to see this line continue, but to do so means it is time for a change and time to find that new and unique element.

Surpise me! Please.


1 comment:

  1. It's not the subject or the tropes, it's what the writer does with them.

    Two series I like use the life experience of the author/s as a way to make something uniquely their own. Both are sold as urban fantasy, but they could have as easily been sold a paranormal romance since a central romance is featured.

    Author Cassie Alexander is a nurse, and her urban fantasy series heroine in NIGHTSHIFTED is nurse Edie Spense, but Edie works in the magical wing of a hospital where vampires, weres, and other magical creatures need medical help. The details are extremely realistic, and most of the action is in and around the hospital and Edie’s job. She doesn’t wear leather or carry a sword, but she is a magnificent fighter who protects her charges with her knowledge and courage.

    The married couple Ilona Andrews uses the city of Atlanta in a more traditional urban fantasy. But in the Kate Daniels series, Atlanta has been changed and destroyed as waves of magic enter the world and destroy technology and buildings. Famous landmarks are twisted bits of slag and magic where the heroine chases bad guys. The real world with its familiarity becomes wickedly unfamiliar. I found it so amusing that I bought a copy of the first novel for my niece who lives there, and she got a great kick out of this altered Atlanta.

    The husband half of the Ilona Andrews’s pseudonym is former military, and the spot on battle scenes show this background so the scenes are not generic or ridiculous as so many others are in urban fantasy series. The werewolf community is essentially paramilitary, as well, which adds a nice addition to the usual pack system.