Why I Love Paranormal Romances
A few years ago, while attending an editorial meeting for the company I work for at the time, one of the editors I worked with declared that the trend of the paranormal romance was finally over. Tired of being overrun with Twilight ripoffs the other editors cheered while I glumly sat in my seat.
As a teenager, I was a casual Buffy watcher but fantasy stories were what I loved. If it had dragons, magic, and of course kissing I was all about it. I was particularly obsessed with Melanie Rawn’s The Dragon Prince and The Dragon Star trilogies. I must have read them each a hundred times and I still have the dogeared paperbacks on my shelves for when I need to read an old favorite. It wasn’t until I started working in children’s books that I began to really enjoy paranormal myth. The same elaborate world building and portrayal of characters with extraordinary abilities that drew me to fantasy as a teen drew me to paranormal stories as an adult.
Today some of my greatest fictional crushes are supernatural, like Sam Roth from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy, Jace Wayland, Magnus Bane, and Will Herondale from Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series, to name but a few. What I love about these books, and their leading men, is that they take place in a world that exists parallel to mine. The fantasy books I loved as a teen were all built around new worlds that didn’t resemble the world I was from and I love the idea that the group of guys who live in the apartment below me could be a pack of werewolves (instead of just noisy frat guys) or that the man who makes my coffee every morning could be the high warlock of the Upper East Side. It’s this potential for an extraordinary life existing parallel to my ordinary life that I find appealing about paranormal romances.
Living in New York City means that I get to see crazy things every day. Fights on the subway, guys covered head to toe in tattoos, people carrying on full conversations with thin air, and elaborate costumes that aren’t saved for Halloween but worn every day. Things that could easily be attributed to just everyday New York life but also hint at the plausibility of some hidden world existing just beyond my conscious mind. The excitement of this possibility is what keeps luring me back to paranormal romances, because between you and me, I secretly hope for the day where I deviate from my routine ever so slightly and I find out about this amazing world that exists right in front of me. And with any luck when that day comes there will be a gorgeous half-human half-angel gentleman waiting to help me navigate this new world.