Saturday, 13 April 2013

Discussion: 'What is the appeal of paranormal romance?' - a question pitched by my boyfriend

Now my boyfriend, the lovely Pook, has the uncanny ability of asking a seemingly simple question that quickly develops into a full blown debate, complete with strategic thinking pauses. Why am I telling you this? Well, two reasons really.
Firstly, he has insisted that I write about him on my blog so that he can "be famous"- I snorted at this suggestion.
Secondly, he asked me the other day just what the appeal was of paranormal romance novels... and it ended up becoming a fairly complex conversation about the female psyche and how a woman's desires were reflected in her reading material.
Because we are mighty cool like that.

So, What indeed is the appeal of paranormal romance?

1. It's damn sexy stuff.

Seriously, authors of paranormal romance know what constitutes damn good sex, and they know how to describe it.

Prime Example: Chapter 32 from Halfway to The Grave from the Night Huntress Series is talked about (erm... typed about?) with a knowing reverence by the bookish community. The entire Night Huntress series has been added to my TBR pile solely because of the universal borderline-orgasmic descriptions of the famed Chapter 32.

2. Engaging characters

The characters in paranormal romance are not afraid to be totally kick ass. They all have attitude, and sass, and a general complexity that a lot of books in other genres (*cough* vaguely realistic chick lit *cough*) generally seem to be lacking in. They all have such potential to be developed into full characters, and so they often are, given the chance to be protagonist in later books, because they deserve it.

3. The world building

Create a world from scratch, and you can add in so much stuff. There are seriously no limits to how far authors can develop their own little universe- and this means the scope for writing series with many instalments is so vast. Truly amazing paranormal authors can write ten, twenty plus books in their universe of choice, developing secondary characters and giving them the story they deserve, as well as progressing the stories of previously covered and well loved characters. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Nalini Singh, Kresley Cole- all rock at this expanding their huge concepts way beyond their first book, bringing in new characters successfully to keep the whole thing fresh (rather than reusing a single protagonist repeatedly past the point of exhaustion).

4. The community and the fan-girling

The more supernatural and fantastical (and sexy) books get, the stronger the community support seems to be for them. Watching people fan-girl en masse over twitter, facebook and goodreads over the latest instalment in a their favourite paranormal romance series is always fun, especially when I join in with the fan-girling. (Please see any and all of my Nalini Singh references. Fan. Girling. Out.)

5. The men...

Oh, yes. The men. Archangels, Changlings, Vampires, Demi-Gods, Dark-hunters. You name it, they are hot, hunky, and so so....

Sorry, I got distracted. The word Phoar comes to mind. Can someone please help me articulate why the men in paranormal romance are so perfectly... Seriously, all of the words that come to mind are food associated. Scrumptious. Yummy. Tasty. I think I have worked out the secret to paranormal romance being so awesome. Its definitely the manly manly men, who are all beyond human in their extreme butch manliness of extremely sexual masculinity. pssh, human men can not compare.

So, why do you love paranormal romance? Let me know in the comments :)

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