Wednesday, March 30, 2011
There are so many genres out there these days. I love science fiction, mystery, cozy mystery, Victorian romance (as in Jane Austen), Regency if it’s done right, some paranormal, some fantasy and some plain old contemporary romance.
The reason I said Regency if it’s done right is because I’m a perfectionist. Don’t include twenty-first century idiom or psychobabble in Regency romance. Don’t let the heroine be too forward or allow the hero to kiss her too soon. Do some research about the customs of the time. DO NOT combine Regency with erotica unless it is after the marriage has taken place! Nice single girls did not compromise themselves that way back then. If they did and they were discovered, they were ruined. If there was even a rumor of such behavior, they were ruined. Girls who did not marry usually went to their graves with their virginity intact.
You’ll notice the rather large separation between sci-fi and fantasy. Another of my pet peeves is when I tell people I love sci-fi and they say, “Oh, so do I! Have you read…?” Every one of the books following those three words is a fantasy. No. I’ve read Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Bradbury, Pohl, David Weber, and Lois McMaster Bujold (whom I’ve met), to name a few. I’ve tried to read Ursula K. Le Guin, but she tries too hard to be literary for me. Maybe I should go back and re-read The Left Hand of God. I was in my twenties when it didn’t make sense to me. Well, okay, on the fantasy side I have read The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and even The Silmarillion. In fact, I did a term paper on Tolkien.
Me, I write sci-fi/futuristic romance/chick-lit. But I don’t recommend it. People who like sci-fi tend to sneer at romance and I haven’t been able to afford to attend a romance con to see how sci-fi romance is accepted there. It never sold well. Maybe I’m not being fair. I’m a Red Rose author. Wendi Felter released Rock Bound without sending the ARC to me and I was ashamed of the typos and errors in it so I didn’t market it as avidly as I should have. I fixed it, but Felter refused to publish the corrected version, complaining about how difficult it was to reformat the book. After I got my rights back, I offered it as a free read until a guy in Mensa told me Rock Bound was “too good to be free.” That was comforting. A lot of Mensans read sci-fi. I’ve now self-pubbed and I’m launching it Friday, April 1. Details are on my website.
Back to the question, though—I guess in today’s world romance and paranormal mix best. Paranormal covers a fairly broad mix of possibilities and it’s hot right now. Who can resist a sexy vampire? Or werewolf? Or werecougar? (The cat one, not the older woman dating a younger man.) A ghost? A wizard? How heartbreaking is it for an immortal to fall in love with a mortal? Should I turn the person I love and subject them to the soulless hell I live in? Should Edward turn Bella in the Twilight Series? At the end of the eighties TV series Forever Knight, Nick tried to turn Natalie, but he went too far and killed her so he threw himself onto a wooden stake committing vampire suicide, and I cried my eyes out.
In the Undead and… series by Mary Janet Davidson, Betsy Taylor gets hit by a car and finds herself unable to stay dead and craving blood. To make matters worse, when her fangs come out, she lisps. She has an attitude and a potty mouth, but she is really funny. I listen to this series on audio books and the girl who reads it has a wonderful voice. Ms. Davidson handles first-person writing masterfully—an extremely difficult feat—and I just crack up when I hear, “Thon of a bith!” and know those fangs are coming down. Oh, yes—Betsy’s in love with a hunk. She doesn’t want to be, but she is. He tricks her into marrying him long before she admits she loves him. That’s one of the obstacles to her admitting it.
So, yes—I think paranormal mixes best with romance, even though that’s not what I write.
To see what other authors think, go to Alternative Read. http://tjbook-list.blogspot.com
Posted by Rochelle Weber at 6:55 PM