Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Paranormal Romances

I've been trying to decide is my latest WIP is fantasy of a paranormal. Also, are all romances with a touch of the different to be considered paranormal? I understand that time-travel is paranormal. What I'm working on is perhaps time-travel but it's an alternate world. My heroine arrives in an ancient Egypt that is a parallel world to the one she has studied. Does this take it into the realm of fantasy?

What other forms of romance can go by the title paranormal? Ones where dreams play an alternate role. The use of Tarot cards or astrology as part of the plot? Does one consider urban fantasies as paranormal? These are answers I've been searching for. Vampires, shapeshifters could be considered paranormal, that is if they happen in the world we know. Is that where the line is drawn.

I've written fantasies and I consider them as just that. I've never even thought to think they are paranormal. I have two reincarnation novels and those I consider as paranormal.

I really would like to hear other people's ideas on this.


Jane Toombs said...

I call my books paranormal if they have fantasy elements, but are set in our mundane world, whether in historical times or today. Fantasy is what I call my books set in what is not our everyday world in any time period. This would include time-travel since it is not yet possible. Alternate or parallel worlds--also fantasy. Off-planet--fantasy, unless it gets technical enough to be SF, which mine do not do. Jane

Wendy S Marcus said...

Hi Janet!

I am not a regular reader of paranormal romance, and thus am not familiar with the definitions of such. However, I enjoyed Kate Douglas's Wolf Tales stories and Christine Feehan did a series of Drake Sisters books that I absolutely loved.

Kat Attalla said...

I've always considered paranormal as stories set in this world with otherwordly elements. Fantasy takes you to another world. That's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Liz said...

I agree with Kathy.

Taryn Kincaid said...

You can call it "Fred" if you want, for all it really matters.
The paranormal romance has become the fasting-growing romance novel subgenre. The word "paranormal" as applied to romance has become the umbrella catch-all for everything outside our ordinary experience, whether you want to use terminology such as "dark," "light," "speculative fiction," "fantasy," "urban fantasy," "futuristic," even "steampunk" (unless that's in a strictly Victorian setting with all gadgets as they would have been back then) or what have you.
Knowing how popular the books are, some print publishers will slap "paranormal romance" on the spines of, say, urban fantasies, just to get them shelved in the romance section of the book store and not in the science fiction/fantasy section, even if they are not really romances in the traditional sense with a distinct h/h and concluding HEA. Sometimes that's done against the author's own wishes -- as I've learned from the FF&P and other loops.
If you are sending a query letter and want to describe your work in more specific and precise terms, so be it. Go for it.
But there's only the one "paranormal" category if you're entering Golden Heart or Rita. Contrast that,say, against the two historical categories and the multiple contemporary categories.
When you use the word "paranormal" in the romance novel context, most readers and writers know what you're talking about. Without getting all angsty about it.

Taryn Kincaid said...

Oh, and PS: "Urban fantasy" is set in THIS world.