Well it is that time once again for Chit Chat and All That!
This week while we recover from an overdose of chocolate goodies, Casey Johnson and Eden Connor are talking about Paranormal creatures in writing and is the Paranormal genre on its way out.
So grab your drink of choice, make yourself comfortable and read on.
Don't forget to keep the lights on in case you become scared *wink*
What kind of paranormal creatures do you like to see written about and or write about? Paranormal, is it on the way out?
A lush cave, lit by dozens and dozens of candles of all shapes, sizes and colours. Plush, hand woven carpets cover the floor. Rich tapestries cover the walls and separate sections into rooms. Casey welcomes Eden into her den, leading her to the plump chaise, while Casey stretches luxuriously on the carpet. The soundtrack for Queen Of The Damned plays quietly in the background. A bottle of red wine sits on a dark wood table with two large glasses, waiting to be poured.
Casey: Can’t beat lying on a soft carpet, when you’re in a smooth, silk dress. *Heaves a contented sigh* So, I’d say this is a fine setting to discuss the paranormal, wouldn’t you say, honey? I personally love all things paranormal. It speaks to me, no matter what types of creatures are in the story, though I do have a soft spot for vampires, witches, werewolves and deities, such as the Greek and Norse Gods. The powers they posses are wonderful to dream about. And I love the bad guy as much as the good guy, but there’s something about a vampire with a heart, or soul, like Angel from the television series, or a werewolf with a conscience, like Derek from my series Wolf Smitten. They are heroes, with a hint of the wild, untamed beast in them. *Sighs again dreamily*
Eden: *looks around, fanning* These candles are giving me a hot flash, Casey-Lyne
Eden: <grin> Lovely cave you have here. I’ll admit to reading my fair share of paranormal erotic romances. One of my favorites is the Demonica Series by Larissa Ione. I can’t quite bring myself to write one, however. In some ways, it seems to me it’s almost ‘cheating’. What I mean by that is, the writer gets to skip the complications of human attraction in at least one character. Paranormal creatures are by and large portrayed as ‘fated’ to love a certain character. Not always, but often enough. I’m not saying I won’t ever write one, just that, well, my degree is in Psychology --of the human variety.
Casey: With a name like Demonica, that sounds like a series I would love! *Mark names on desktop post-it-it-note* I have always loved the paranormal, and now that I can appreciate a good erotic story, that just adds to the spice, for me. I do get what you mean, though it does take away certain human elements, and can make it easy, maybe a little too easy. I guess that’s another reason why I prefer those creatures that are still partly human like vampires and werewolves. It’s easy enough to still keep human emotions and complications. My Derek still has family and ex lovers to make his life interesting, but I’ll admit that his attraction to Krissy was very much “fated”, as you put it. But I put that down to my romance-aholic side of me. *giggles* After all, it’s instant attraction in my non-paranormal romance, as well. I can’t help it, I love to love!
Eden: I think any fiction is an escape, but paranormal fiction lets a reader pursue the most fanciful ‘of what if’s’. I think at the heart of the attraction, is the desire every woman has to be found irresistibly attractive to a man. That ‘nature-decreed’ mating , as Lora Leigh has penned so beautifully in her Breeds series, is compelling. She explores the conflicts between the humans who feel they have no choice in the mating matter, and the DNA-recombinant part feline/part human Breeds., who may actually die if their mate is taken from them.
I adore the series, I have every one. We both know it’s the conflicts in romantic fiction which keep a reader spellbound. as well as those Alpha males, whether they are furry or just infuriatingly human.
Casey: *Laughs* Oh indeed. The Alpha males sure know how to get our attention. Though the leading ladies are very lovely as well. It is wonderful to imagine ourselves as these beautiful, strong women who capture the attention of the hunky Alphas, and yet still be rescued by them without losing that strength and dignity. *Stares off into space, dreamy expression* I’m sorry, I tend to get very distracted by such tantalising thoughts. *Wink* I can talk for hours about anything paranormal, just ask my SO *giggles*
Eden: I think the paranormal Alpha male is the distilled essence of the human variety. He’ll be true his nature, and that means he acknowledges his biological and social need for a female, while many human males all too often deny that part of their natures. The paranormal male is out to mate for life. The human male is out to hook up for tonight. When Human Male meets a female he can’t walk away from, that’s the stuff of contemporary erotic romance.
Casey: I think you’re right about those differences. It seems the vast majority of human men aren’t looking for the life mate, but the night-time-fling. Instant gratification. I think the para male needs it more, or at least is willing to accept that he needs it to belong in the world. In my experience of para reading, the males usually have had a rough life that made them feel unworthy, and they need that someone to make them feel that they have a purpose. They have the physical strength, usually, to take care of themselves in the “wild” world, but their hearts are fragile, in a way. My favourite leading paranormal male has to be Daemon Sadi from Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series. He’s a cold hearted man in the search for the woman he was born to love. She gives him purpose, someone to love and protect, and the series follows him finding his purpose, and their love. I love series for that reason. You get to know the characters more.
Eden: I’m a dedicated follower of a few series of paranormal, but--I think my problem with it is that I feel those two series are going to be hard to top. (Demonica and Breeds) In the post-Twilight era, it would scare the crap outta me to have to write a vampire novel, because that is the standard against which your work would be judged. Truth is, I do have 75% of a novel that might qualify as paranormal. (I’m no expert) I kinda made up some human-looking creatures with magical abilities. Just haven’t finished it. World-building is time-consuming. But I do feel if magic exists in the world, there must be a downside to balance the use of it. Not many paranormal series touch on this concept--most allow the unfettered use of magic where the only fear is discovery--, but I tend to like the stories which raise the stakes and set a price for the paranormal characters to pay for being paranormal or for using their magic. To me, that would side-step my ‘easy’ objection, and allow for greater conflict.
Casey: That’s something for paranormal writers to consider, and certainly something I might have to explore, myself.
So that was a little bit of a detour. *Giggles* I think we can agree that, although the market is flooded with paranormal right now, that with the amount of variety and roles to explore, it’s hardly on the way out. If anything, I think it will keep on growing for a while yet!
Eden: I think paranormal is here to stay. The sub-genre allows for great imagination. Since you and I began this chat, I got involved in a Goodreads group that hosts an annual photo/word prompt competition, and ended up with a prompt to write from that is definitely going to have a paranormal bent. It will be a departure for me, but stretching your wings as a writer is half the fun.
Casey: I couldn’t agree more. I was a bit hesitant about exploring the erotica genre, but now I’m loving it. Broadening our circles can only help us grow more. And now this prompt is inspiring paranormal... Welcome to the dark side. We have cookies *giggles*
Eden: Ah, yes. That’s the same thing a group of stellar hard erotica writers told me recently; come taste the cookies! Meeting other writers and hearing why they write what they write is beneficial, I think. It can make you question why you are pulled to write your own stuff, and putting some thought into that is never a bad idea. I have bulletin boards filled with story ideas I never expected to write; some hard erotica, some contemporary erotic romance, which I lean toward, and now I have to throw in a dash of paranormal as well. I do expect to write some hard erotica for Naughty Nights Hot Shots series. I like to take the concept for my stories from news articles, and there has been a lot going on in the world lately that has made good food for thought.
Casey: It always adds a nice splash of a different tone in to the mix, I think. My stories are the other way around, mostly paranormal with splashes of romance and erotica thrown in. A lot of fiction writers dabble in the paranormal, though not all of course. But it is definitely a genre that will always have a large audience, and a large amount of authors to answer the call.