Friday, August 10, 2012

Paranormal Romance Today

credit: Robert Giordano, design 215

Why are so many readers discovering and falling in love with paranormal romance lately? There's no doubt that books like Twilight have played a key role in fostering a new demand for stories of romance beyond the normal. The trend is continued in other genres such as EL James' Fifty Shades, which was originally listed within the erotica genre, until it was picked up by a mainstream publisher and re marketed as romance, but that's another story.

Not long ago, if one searched under 'paranormal' in any book-buying medium, they would be directed to horror books or books about ghosts. Soon though, things changed and authors began to make those characters normally associated only with the strange and fantastic, into more 'normal' characters. What I mean by this is that the characters in stories started to become more like regular old mortal humans. This made the characters more identifiable, while maintaining the allure of them being somehow special, somehow more than normal.

Next, we introduce the romantic element and, viola! We fall in love with super characters that, although they have problems and flaws like everyone else, they are still superhuman, or even more, not human at all.

So, why do you love to read paranormal romance stories? Is it the excitement of characters that are beyond human? Is it the possibility of a relationship between a human and say, a werewolf or vampire?

Personally, the reasons I like to read paranormal romance are the same reason I like to write stories within this genre.

I love the possibilities that come with a character that has special powers. I like to think about those special powers, and how they must be used to resolve a conflict of kind, or even save the character's life. I like the special problems and joys that I imagine one might find when pursuing a romantic relationship with another that has some kind of power. Maybe they have to learn how to control that power and their is an element of danger in the relationship.

In my stories, I like to make my special characters as normal as possible (most of the time.) I want the reader to forget that the characters are werewolves, or demons, or even telepathic. I want the reader to be pleasantly surprised when are suddenly reminded that their beloved character can shape shift or use their special powers to detect danger.

So, for those of you out there that love your paranormal romance, keep reading, and I'll keep writing. Oh, and be sure to check out my books under Ellison James at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and everywhere else. Sorry, just had to get that plug in there.


  1. Insightful as always ellison, the reason i love paranormal romance is because the genre excites me, it allows me to retreat from life for a while and enter my own little bubble where all these strange exciting things occur, i mean who doesn't want a hero? Im all for womens independence and physical/emotional strengths breaking through the glass ceiling in society but sometimes its good to be that damsel in distress and allow the man to 'run' things for a while. Of course i do also enjoy the sex scenes but on a whole i love reading about the interactions between the characters learning what makes them tick but also reading about the unbreaking loving bonds between two people.


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