Sunday, July 15, 2012

Writing Paranormal Romance by Danica Winters

Within the romance genre, there are a variety of subgenres--suspence, mystery, inspirational, western, erotic, erotica, steampunk, paranormal...and the list could go on and on.  My absolute favorite of all of these subgenres is of course paranormal romance.  It is my squewed perception, but I truly believe it is the only genre where a writer can create a love story constrained by nothing except the laws of romance and the author's imagination.  In the other subgenres (except sci-fi and steampunk--the kindred spirits of paranormal romance) the stringent rules of reality must be obeyed.  You will never meet a fairy, you will never have to run from a vampire, and you will never see a shapeshifter, veela, Dullahan, altruant, selkie, mermaid, or Werewolf.  How boring is reality?

Many of my fans wonder how I became a somewhat dark, paranormal romance author.  The answer isn't simple, it isn't cut and dry.  There wasn't one day that I woke up and thought, "You know what?  I want to write about Shifters."  Instead, it was an evolution.   My first novel (which will never be published) was a romantic suspense.  I was so entirely bored that I couldn't, in good conscience, let other people read the work.  If it didn't entertain me as I wrote it, then I couldn't expect my readers to feel any different. 
After much soul searching, I realized that my true curiosities were in romance, but more directly, in the things in life that other shirked away from, the slightly taboo (not off-the-wall taboo, but more the taboos that make people squirm in their seats, while they secretly desire to experience more--like Vampires and Werewolves). 
I started out my adult life as a trained Archeologist, and perhaps this is where my love for the taboo was born--learning the different social customs of other cultures, listening to the stories of their ancestors, and secretly hoping that someday we can prove that there myths are in someway true.  I loved working in the field, ripping up my knuckles, getting dirty, and sleeping in my single person tent.  However life had other plans for me, and it didn't take me long to realize that writing was my true calling.  There is no better feeling than creating something for others to enjoy.  I truly desire to make others happy, to make them think, and to feed people's imaginations. 
Now, I have a question for you.  What about paranormal romance do you enjoy?  What keeps you reading?  What steals your sleep and makes you want more?