Why Paranormal Romance Has My Heart

ScarlettWestWriting Bits0 Comments

Paranormal romance weaves the extraordinary with the familiar leading us into a magical world. The genre lights up my imagination, makes me feel boundless as a reader and writer, and fulfills me as a person. At the moment I write about vampires with some magic involved in my plots. Vampires will always be my first “paranormal love” that I enjoy writing and reading about, but I may branch off in the future. Since my imagination is expansive, I the leave doors open.

I’m in the process of completing the first book in my vampire romance series. So far, my stories occur in different countries such as the United States, Latvia, Italy, and Poland. Each book features a different couple, but in this series, the story will be ongoing and connected.

My first introduction to vampire novels was as a teenager reading Anne Rice. I read most of the Interview with a Vampire series and fell in love with how the normal, human realm intertwined with the enchanted one of vampires. Myth came to life through words and I was bewitched by how the paranormal bent the rules of reality as we know it.

Still image from the movie, Interview with a Vampire

Still image from the movie, Interview with a Vampire

As a child, I already enjoyed fantasy novels and fairy tales, such as Bridge to Terabithia, The Hobbit, The Borrowers, A Wrinkle in Time, and many more. I would devour anything that held a mystical, otherworldly aspect to it including anything by Roald Dahl and Madeline L’Engle. All of those stories swept me away to another universe and transformed the everyday into an internal adventure.

I have been a reader and writer my whole life, but I never had a concrete plan about what I would write.  Some years ago, I was introduced to a paranormal romance novel and realized that it was the genre I wanted to write in. Looking back, I realize now that it was inevitable I would write in a genre like paranormal romance.

As a writer, I can push limits and create new domains. As long as I am consistent with my “rules”, I can do amazing things. Our imaginations are free to roam, invent, and for a while, slip into another world, that comes alive on mental and visceral levels.

As a reader and writer, I very much enjoy how different authors have their own concept of what a vampire is and the variation of vampire characteristics. I am not ready to expose the traits of my vampires, but they have my own special flavor. I still follow basic vampire guidelines as I am not inventing my own creature, simply my own version of it.

Vampires are human-like so we can relate to them, but at the same time, we add preternatural features that make them exciting and dynamic. To me, vampires are a kind of superhero because they are imbued with all sorts of incredible abilities. I also love that vampires are primal, sensual, and immortal. They live off the physical source of what gives humans life—blood. How much more primal could you be?

Some of the vampire features I’ve seen in novels that I enjoy are: beyond human strength; advanced senses such as sight, hearing, smelling, etc.; ability to move quickly; able to manipulate minds or objects; capacity to have sex for a long time or multiple times without stopping (did someone just turn up the heat?); claiming their mate/partner in a territorial and protective way; can have unusual eye and hair color; and they can be undead or alive depending on the author.

Is this some kind of paranormal resume or what? If it is, vampire, you have the job!

Romance has another level of intrigue and adventure.

roses strewn about

I’m enthralled by the experience of the couple finding love. In my favorite stories, individuals and the pair each have their own challenges, and those they must overcome together to find love. I adore the thrill of their initial meeting, getting to know each other, their first emotional connection and physical contact, and how their interaction progresses into a relationship.

We wonder, will they? Will they not? A good story keeps us in doubt and on edge. Of course by definition romance means there must be a happy, emotionally satisfying ending, but our belief that they won’t end up together is an exciting, roller coaster.

Besides the feelings, the physical aspect of romance is delicious and entertaining. I would like to clarify, that though I do believe erotica has a place in books, I remain in the romance category as a writer at this time.

I dig scenes that are hot and heavy, steamy and descriptive, and therefore I also write that way.

couple-love-bedroom-kissing-medium

One day I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is also an avid reader, and we talked about how we like to read sexually explicit material more than watch it on a screen. Now don’t get me wrong, movies with sex scenes are great, and I like them, but there is a personal experience that occurs while reading a book that is completely different than watching it. The level of intimacy, escape, and the bond that’s created when I like the characters is unmatched.

Paranormal romance combines the power of falling in love with those fantastic, supernatural characteristics, and what you have is an explosion where sparks fly, bodies intertwine, and we as readers are turning the pages into the wee hours of the night. Those two elements, the alternate version of reality plus two people coming together makes a spectacular reading experience.

Who are your favorite paranormal authors? Besides vampires, there are a ton of other “beings” that can be written or read about. What authors do you read? What do you write about? What lights up your imagination as a paranormal reader or writer?

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As always,

Thank you for reading,
Scarlett West

 

 

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