Friday, September 17, 2010

You Mean, Guys Can Read Paranormal Romance?

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.
  1. if you're a guy who loves urban fantasy, but can't find enough, give paranormal romance a chance
  2. urban fantasies haven't been getting published (or put in book shops), so you're traditionally published options are low. Give indies a chance
And that's it. Wait, no, there's one more thing.

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?


Morning Glow from Novel Addiction said...

Oh yeah, I can tell I'm gonna like you. You're amusing. Also.. rather correct. Even books I've read that are called Urban Fantasy can also be called Paranormal Romance.

I think guys should read paranormal romance. Why limit yourself when there's so much interesting fiction out there? If the sex scenes aren't your thing, there's plenty of books that focus on plot and storyline more than the baby-making.

Scathach Publishing said...

Thanks, I like me too. :)

Yeah, there are plenty of romance books with little sex, even some with no sex.

Becky said...

The line between UF and PNR has become seriously blurry in the last few years. Sometimes the only difference is who published it and which shelf they put it on. Why let a little thing like that stop you from reading a good book?

Ebooks and online shopping are blurring the line even faster. There are no shelves and similar books are being linked together regardless of how the publishers chose to label them.

Enjoy your new ereader! I don't know what I'd do without mine.

Scathach Publishing said...

Hi, Becky.

I'm already enjoying it.

And you're spot on about the blurred lines. With the readers who bought this buying that, I've stopped looking at sub-genres as much.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris! *waves* Obviously I'm a big Kelley Armstrong fan, too. Bitten is my favorite of all of her books. I see nothing wrong with, big, strong, manly men, reading paranormal romance. The ones I've read have strong characters and plenty of action (not just in the bedroom). It's like saying only men can read John Grisham. It's dumb. Read up, I say!

Scathach Publishing said...

Only men can read John Grisham, Dani. Women would be confused by the, uh, manliness? I've never actually read a John Grisham, but I agree... women and men can read anything in any genre.

Tina Folsom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tina Folsom said...

Sorry, re-posting (hate it when I find a typo)

I'm sure there are some clandestine male romance readers out there --- and they all have Kindles so that nobody can tell what they are reading, because for sure they don't want to be caught reading romance ...

Scathach Publishing said...

Ha, yes, and 90% of the reason why is in the cover - what's with the half-naked muscular men?

Anonymous said...

If I, as a woman, can read horror and crime mysteries, why can't a man read paranormal romance? I have a feeling more men would like them if they would actually read them and not worry about whether or not it was "masculine" to do so. LOL

HPMallory said...

We love you, Chris!

Scathach Publishing said...

@lauralynn yes, exactly. Women don't pick up books like Zombie Brittanicus and think "Do I look feminine enough holding this?" Sometimes I think women are freer in our society than men.

@HP umm thanks, that's a bit random. Still, always nice to be loved.

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Mix said...

If your man is pushing you away and acting distant

Or if the guy you’re after isn’t giving you the time of day...

Then it’s time to pull out all the stops.

Because 99% of the time, there is only 1 thing you can say to a standoffish guy that will grab him by the heartstrings-

And get his blood pumping at just the thought of you.

Insert subject line here and link it to: Your ex won’t be able to resist?

Once you say this to him, or even send this simple phrase in a text message...

It will flip his world upside down and you will suddenly find him chasing you-

And even begging to be with you.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Insert subject line here and link it to: Is your man hiding something? He may need your help?

Thanks again.


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