Tuesday, August 10, 2010

For the Love Of...Paranormal Romance

Hello Smart Chickadees!

It's Melissa de la Cruz here, author of the Blue Bloods series! I've enjoyed reading the posts below and hearing from my fellow authors on this awesome tour, the celebration of all things supernatural ('Supernatural Buffet' I think is my new favorite term) and today I thought I'd talk a little about a theme that's found in all of our books.

What IS it about paranormal romance? Why is an undead/zombie/demon/angel/vampire hottie so appealing right now? To answer this question I'd like trace my own relationship with romance.

When I first started writing, I was very young and arrogant and had very high-falutin' ideas about writing. I believed romance cheapened a book, I had very "literary" ideals, and so I wrote books without any hint of love, books about girls who wanted MORE than to end up with the guy. (Because you know, strong girls are girls who don't need boys, right?)

But for some reason no one wanted to publish these books, much less read them. They were boring, without conflict, and hard to relate to. I stewed and sulked. WHY GOD WHY was I not being published?

As I grew older, as a person and as a writer, I finally admitted the truth, that in fact, I *loved* a good love story. That I was WRONG about the dreaded 'R-word'. In fact, the romance and the love stories were my FAVORITE parts of my favorite books. Hermione and Ron for instance, are the reason why I love Harry Potter so much. And I love Lord of the Rings because of Aragorn and Arwen, even though in the books she only appears in the epilogue. Dune? My favorite series of all time? Was dear to me because Paul and Chani have such a tragic love story.

So if I loved the love stories so much--why wasn't I putting them in my books? That was my Oprah 'Aha!' moment. That I could write books with strong and smart girl characters who could fall desperately in love, sometimes even with the wrong boy. And sometimes they might make silly decisions about love and that was okay, because people certainly make silly decisions when they are in love all the time. (For instance, I get a lot of reader mail about how 'weak' Schuyler is in Revelations because she's so blinded by love. In the Dark Tower series, another of my favorite fantasy series, Roland is so blinded by love for Susan that all these tragic things happen, including her death. I loved that idea--that love, even true love, could result in tragedy and weakness in a strong person.)

So, why paranormal romance then? I think because in a paranormal romance the stakes are so much higher, the love is so much more tragic, dramatic, passionate and all-or-nothing. It makes a good story. It's a story of opposites attracting, of forbidden love, of taboos, of forever love, paranormal romance heightens the classic romance to epic heights.

Love stories, romance, is the center of our humanity, it's what makes life worth living, it's the story that defines our lives. How did you meet? How did he propose? How did you know he/she was the one? And in my opinion, a love story that involves magic, or the end of the world, or a dangerous curse, is even better.

We're looking forward to sharing our stories with you and meeting you on the road! What's your favorite kind of love story? Forbidden? (We cannot be togethah!) A friendship that grows to more? (BFF to BF) A battle between two former antagonists? (I hate you now I love you.) Share!



  1. I think it is the last category (A battle between two former antagonists? (I hate you now I love you.)) I love the stories when they are not really enemies, but the girl (i have not read anywhere near as many storie from a man's point of view as i have a womans) the girl THINKS he is her enemy or starts out thinking he is NOT the guy for her and never could be...but then *guess what* BAM! foreer love :)

  2. Paranormal romance is the only way to go. The romantic/sexual tension that builds in these stories carries the reader through the ups and downs and make us all cry out "But, she has to find the magic elixir, or she'll never see Joe Hotty Pants again!" It's what keeps us turning the pages, for that off chance that the two MC's will have a tender moment, in a whirlwind of anxiety. Just when it all seems hopeless and the magic elixir is out of reach, Joe Hotty Pants steps in, woos us with his alluring traits, his cupids bow lips, hard and lean body, and then, and only then, will our heroine be able to continue her search.

    Phew, I need a moment.

  3. Thanks For Posting Melissa! I think you are an really insightful and talented author and felt should be said :)

  4. Sorry i forgot to ask: Which is your fav category Mel?

  5. I just think that paranormalcy today has filled in for the necessary antagonisms for romance.

    Issues like money, difference of classes, enemy families, inter-racial relantioships and etc are no longer that big of a deal, at least in the majority of western countries. So, paranormalcy stepped in as a great ingredient for the drama.

    I mean, dating a vampire now does constitute a problematic yet quite attention-catching inter-racial relationship ...


  6. I love the ones where everything in the world conspires against the 2, keeping them apart despite their obvious attraction to/desire for one another. And then, after all that turmoil, fate or destiny (take your pick) finally gets all the planets aligned and the couple is finally together forever (or at least halfway through the next book in the series). Like KA's Eve and Kristof or KH's Rachel and Kisten.