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Where, Oh Where Has All the Love Gone?

love

Was that or was that not an awesome interview with Jennifer Estep? You guys were great to come out and comment. Don’t go too far away, we still have The Bloggers Book Fair and the Paranormal Nights Blog Hop. Not to mention, I have the wickedly exciting Kallypso Masters and Trish McCallan coming to visit towards the end of July, beginning of August.

So this week we’re back to regular programming and I thought I’d touch on a topic I’ve been thinking about forever…how vital is romance to your Paranormal or Urban Fantasy reads?

For those who follow on a regular basis, you know that SHADOW’S MOON, the third title in my Kyn Kronicles, is a finalist in the 2013 RWA (Romance Writers of America) Golden Claddagh Contest for their FF&P category. I’m totally humbled to be nominated with some really, fantastic authors and can’t wait for the winner to be announced on 7/18/13.

Granted, SHADOW’S MOON, can not be confused for anything other than what it is: Paranormal Romance (ParaRom). The main story arc centers around Xander and Warrick’s relationship, and the secondary arc continues with the upheaval in the Kyn world.  Since romance took most of the stage in this one, it got tagged as a ParaRom. Which worked well for getting it into unpublished novel contests.

Yet,  let’s go back to SHADOW’S EDGE, my first book.  Like many newbie writers out there, I had to figure out exactly what my book was before I could even begin the hunt for a publisher or agent.  It was actually fairly simple since the romance in that book was hinted at, but the main thrust (no pun intended) was the unraveling of who was killing off the Kyn and why.  It is straight up Urban Fantasy (UF)

Then I did SHADOW’S SOUL, the second book in the series.  I knew romance would play a bigger role because, let’s face it, Raine and Gavin needed some special alone time.  Yet, this is where I began to run  into problems.  The main story arc is all Urban Fantasy, yet the secondary is the deepening relationship between Raine and Gavin, a relationship that will in turn, impact those around them.  So was it UF or ParaRom?  I ended up straddling that line and sent it out as UF or Paranormal with Romantic Elements.

Let’s be honest, it could have gone either way-UF or ParaRom.   I stuck with my middle of the street label because I knew that the romance was secondary to the main plot.

Was that the only reason?

Umm, no.  Here’s the thing, there are tons of great sources out there for writers in every genre.  However, I’m finding most of the places, contests, blog hops, etc. I ended up joining their main focus is romance.  It has led me to wonder, has romance invaded every genre?

My current WIP is a Paranormal suspense.  Is there romance in it? Yep, but it’s a very secondary part of the story.  The main story centers around my main character discovering exactly who she is and what she is capable of as she tracks down a killer.

Could I do more romance in it and then send it out into the very popular Paranormal Romantic Suspense market? Probably.  I’ve chosen not too.  Not because I’m against writing romances. Heck, they’re one of my favorite genres to read and judging how much romance is attached to every genre, they’re everyone else’s favorites too.  The thing is, I really like having more to my stories than the relationships between the two main characters.  I enjoy creating detailed worlds with various story arcs and subplots.  But trying to find the write support groups, contests, blog hops is difficult.

When your book crosses genre lines, you run the risk of presenting it incorrectly to your audiences.  And sometimes audiences are not forgiving.  They don’t want you to waste their time. How does a writer avoid this?

Answer IMHO, you don’t.  When your story begins to blur genre lines, you have to decide how you want it presented.  Is it an Urban Fantasy with some romantic elements? Is it a Paranormal Romance? Is it Romantic Suspense? Is it Paranormal Suspense with romantic elements?

In this day and age of labels, perhaps we’ve gone too far in trying to label our genres.

Maybe it would be easier if I just keep it to one word?

Fantasy.

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