Hi, I'm Chris Kelly. And I'm going to be blogging here every second Friday, starting today. Obviously. If you know me on-line, cool. If you don't know me, don't worry. It's a temporary thing. Pretty soon you'll be thinking like you new me forever and acting like I'm your best mate. I'm like that, I get under your skin. Like psoriasis.
And there's no cure. :)
I'm a writer, and soon to be an indie publisher. But I'm approaching this blog from a reader's perspective. I love reading urban fantasy, and fantasy in general.
Today I'm blogging about Paranormal Romances, which are sort of like urban fantasy, and kind of not. But I'm working on the assumption you already know what it is.
I'm a guy who reads paranormal romance. I'm a straight guy, full of testosterone, masculine and all that. Here me roar! Aah.
I've been thinking hard about this post, I've been trying to work out why I like paranormal romance.
In the beginning...
Yes, this is an indie blog, but I'm not going to pretend to have only ever read indie books. I've been reading paranormal romance since before it was popular. In the beginning, I picked up a cool book that was about werewolves (I love werewolves). It was Kelley Armstrong's Bitten.
That was my first taste of paranormal romance, my only taste for several years, and the thing that attracted it to me in the first place was that it was a book about werewolves. Not werewolves fighting vampires, not someone hunting a werewolf that was killing innocents. Just werewolves, having lives.
(Like the Waltons with Werewolves. OMG how cool would that be?)
So that was the beginning.
And after the beginning, Paranormal Romance Got Ridiculously Popular.
Actually, sitting here now thinking it over, I read The Vampires Diaries when I was in High School, probably about fifteen years ago. (That makes me sound old. I was an advanced reader, I'd only just started high school).
But, back to the point. Lots of people nowadays think Stephenie Myers made Paranormal Romance popular. Well, she didn't. Paranormal Romance made Twilight popular. It was already a boom genre. (Maybe on another post I might look at why. Maybe not. I'm not so big on plans. :) )
Anyway, there were suddenly paranormal romances everywhere. And some were awesome. And some were basically written porn (I guarantee if you've read her books, you'll know who I mean). And some might have been good, but I could never get into them, because someone somewhere had decided to call the heroine Sookie Stackhouse. (Why would you do that? Why? Why?)
And at the same time, urban fantasy died.
It died a little bit, anyway. I don't know if bookshops gave urban fantasy shelf space to paranormal romance writers, or if urban fantasy writers started putting sex and descriptions of muscles, and heroines with no control over their sexual appetite's (that will be another post. It seems like "I'm a sex fairy, I must have 300 boyfriends" has became the excuse for these characters sleeping with hundreds of men. What happened to "I'm a modern woman and I'll bed who I want?" Personally, I think it's because publishers are Men. Old-fashioned men. I could be wrong, though.)
So, yeah, the death of urban fantasy. In the passed decade, the only steadily published urban fantasy series I've been aware of is The Dresden Files. Good books, actually. I've also recently became aware of Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar, but I don't know how new that is.
So, in conclusion,
I read lots of Paranormal Romance. And I tend to skip over the sex bits some of the time (I don't mind it - I read erotica - but sometimes I want to get back to exciting things like monsters quicker). Some of it is good, some of it is bad, but all of it has the things I'm interested in... vampires, werewolves, and so on... and it has it without the things I'm not interested in (horror. There are plenty of vampire horror novels, but that's not what I want to read).
There's only two things you should take forward from here.
- if you're a guy who loves urban fantasy, but can't find enough, give paranormal romance a chance
- urban fantasies haven't been getting published (or put in book shops), so you're traditionally published options are low. Give indies a chance
I got an e-reader for my birthday last week. And I downloaded a novel about a woman lawyer who starts dating a guy cop.
It's a romance, and there's not a werewolf or vampire in sight. These romances, they kind of grow on you.
I'll be back in a fortnight, but in the meantime, share your thoughts: should guys read paranormal romance?