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Topic: Stepping into your sandbox- help me understand this paranormal thing

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Subject: Stepping into your sandbox- help me understand this paranormal thing
Date Posted: 3/31/2011 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
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Last Edited on: 5/2/11 9:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/1/2011 1:43 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,670
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Hmmmmm.

I appreciate paranormal aspects to what used to be regular book genres because I have grown up with and enjoyed fantasy, sci-fi, and horror books forever. Most horror deals with your mythical creatures or demons, etc. Magic, psychic powers, etc has been a staple of fantasy for a really long time.  To me, the explosion of paranormal is just blending aspects of genres I have always enjoyed separately, into a single book.

One of the most important aspects of traditional fantasy is skillful world building ... because in order for people to enjoy an imaginary world, first they have to believe in it. So, the criteria for what makes a good fantasy/paranormal book good is really quite different from what makes a good romance.

To me, werewolves, for example, don't add much to a romance in and of themselves .... its really all about the world-building that makes werewolves possible in the first place. I appreciate the romantic aspects of the book in and of themselves kind of separately from the fantasy aspects, I guess.

So, it is not really that werewolf sex makes me hot (honestly, I tend to skim over the appearance in any sex scenes of tails, claws, wings, snouts, extra arms, legs, or penises (shudder) and the like) ... as much as it is that well-written romance is romance, and good world building makes for a book I can really enjoy, no matter what genre it is.

My Mom, on the other hand, never never enjoyed horror books on their own. Or fantasy, for that matter. She only enjoys books set in the real world, in contemporary times. So, she won't even consider picking up a mystery or romance that is paranormal in any aspect ... because she never liked fantasy elements to any book, ever.

(So, I know, someone out there is wondering  ... really .... extra penises? Oh yes! It's possible they will appear at any time in certain books.)



Last Edited on: 4/1/11 1:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 4/1/2011 4:08 AM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
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Last Edited on: 5/2/11 9:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/1/2011 7:29 AM ET
Member Since: 12/2/2008
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I think the whole premise of Werewolves and the like is the fact that not only is it fantasy-type fiction but it makes these males/females stronger and more alpha and dominating with a little hint of naughty or what shouldn't be.  Having full out werewolf or doggie sex would go past the border of beastiality and whilst most people might wonder hey, how come they never do it in their other form, I think if the authors actually did write that scene most readers would not appreciate the images it would conjure...LOL

Date Posted: 4/1/2011 8:29 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2011
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Honestly my fav paranormal is the sexy vampire. Tortured soul vampires. I got into paranormal starting with Twilight but wanted a ahem...more adult version. Got into Karen Marie Moning's highlander series. Then started finding vampire books such as J R Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Right now I am reading Kresly Cole Immortals after Dark series. I like the darker world of paranormal.

Date Posted: 4/1/2011 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2007
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That's a great description, Sara, and pretty much describes how I came to paranormals too:  I used to read romance and historial romance on the one hand, and SF and fantasy on the other (some of which had some romance in it too), and then suddenly there was this great new genre that combined the two. It just allows more variety in the types of predicaments people get into (or sometimes just a slightly more reasonable - to me! - back-story for how and why they get there). I have to say that some of the basic themes get old after awhile if there isn't anything else going on; I find the basic "He's a werewolf so he's dominant and I'm submissive" thing by itself gets dull, as do some of the vampire plots - but the books I like most have larger story arcs going on too that make them interesting.

As for wolfie sex, I think a fair number of authors actually do have that happening - they just don't describe the details, just the emotional parts or the aftermath. Because yeah, not a turn-on for most of us.

Date Posted: 4/1/2011 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 12/2/2008
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Steph, IAD is by far, in my opinoin, the absolute best paranormal romance series out there.  She's a frigging genius.  LOVE COLE.  Just wish they would come out quicker.  Even her older historical romance series are fantastic.  She's just a great writer.

Date Posted: 4/1/2011 9:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2007
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Ugh! See I do not like Warewolves or Vampire books.

For me its Witches I like to read about! Its just fun, I love all the magical stuff!

Its ok if there are warewolves and vamps in the story too, but not just by themselves.

Date Posted: 4/1/2011 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2010
Posts: 11,515
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For me I suppose its just the element of fantasy along with the romance. I mean anybody can meet someone and have some hot sexy affair/relationship. But reallly, how many of us can say that that hot sex was with a vamp, were, shifter, witch, warlock, demon, or alien?

Anyone?

Exactly. 

 So its really fun to  read about!

BTW:  I love some really trashy, naughty books too. Even if it is just plain ol' humans!wink

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2009
Posts: 1,620
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I think for me, it can be the fascination with immortality (or close to it), especially with the vamp stories (and somewhat, the 'were' stories, as they are frequently given lengthy lives by the authors).  I am sure that I haven't read as extensively as most on this forum.  As for the magical realm of stories, it appeals to the part of me that always feels like there should be more to daily living than just this.  Usually, I am more interested in just the fantasy aspect of those, though, and the romance tends to bog it down for me (just personal preference).



Last Edited on: 4/6/11 2:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/6/2011 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2009
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See, its conversations like this that keep me coming back to this forum. I love hearing what others think about some of these books that I love.  I will definitely have the look up the one with the extra "body parts".  I can't even bring myself to spell the word. Lol

Date Posted: 4/7/2011 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2010
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To answer the original question, YES, I think it is a marketing thing to make the people werewolves for %10 of the time.  It is trendy right now with Twilight's success.

I'm more into the battle, mysterious side of paranormal (UFO, Loch Ness, etc...).  The romantic stuff doesn't capture my interest in books.

Date Posted: 4/12/2011 11:18 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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I'm a huge fan of paranormal, but I'll be the first to say I'm really picky---and there is some truly awful writing out there in this genre. I do not care much for the "romance", either, too often it just seems trite. But I really admire some authors' ability to create whole new worlds, and new types of "beings".

 

Date Posted: 4/13/2011 3:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2009
Posts: 1,620
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Well said, Betty, I totally agree.  Although there are a few books that I like, that fall into the category of poorly written, in those cases, I found something of interest in one of the characters (not necessarily something that the author intended, but rather something my own mind produced, I think).  I have also hung onto a series long after its natural demise from decent into insanity (IMO), on the hope that the author would snap out of it.  Never happens!!!bl

But when a book is good, I love the genre (wrapped up with some of fantasy and sci-fi, as well)!  I find it hard to read a book that is set in the common place world, now that I've been in the paranormal for so long.

 

Date Posted: 4/14/2011 11:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2009
Posts: 4,581
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Ok I'm so tired of everyone comparing the success of paranormal with Twilight. Dear God!!!!!! Paranormal was cool before Twilight. There were major breaks in paranormal way before Twilight came along. Just because you might not have been following before Twilight doesn't mean that there was not a huge paranormal following before Twilight.  Anne Rice, Laurell K Hamilton, Christine Feehan, Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris were all famous paranormal writers way before Stephanie Meyers came along.  They and other famous writers paved the way for twilight to be sucessful not the other way around.        

Woooooooow that being said I think that werewolf’s and vampires in the erotic and paranormal romance are popular because writers write them as strong alpha males who's every sense is stronger than the average human.  Not only do we have immense strength but you have enhanced sight, smell, and feelings.   So written well enough an author plays on these things to make the story seem more erotic.

Also @ susan what romance book are you reading where they include talk of Tails, Snouts, Claws, and so on.  I don't think i've read a romance book with sex where there is sex in an alternate form with the author taking about tail and so on.  But I don't read a lot of Erotica so I might be missing some of that in the paranormal erotica section. 

ETA: Damn I forgot my favorite pnr writer who made the title Twilight famous way before stephanie meyer with Twilight Phantasies Maggie Shayne.  Gotta love me some wings in the night.   



Last Edited on: 4/14/11 11:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 4/15/2011 1:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,670
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http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6561372.html

This is an article which captures a little bit of the history of the paranormal genre. I have read a better article in the past but I am having trouble re-finding it.

Date Posted: 4/15/2011 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/17/2010
Posts: 6,628
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LOVE Charlaine Harris!  Just read the entire Sookie Stackhoues series in a week!  DON'T WATCH True Blood before you read them.  BOOKS ARE WAAAAAYYYYY  BETTER (as is usually the case!) Plus I like to picture how the person looks based off the book...not how they look as an actor/actress :)

LOVE Maggie Shayne...JR Ward...Kresley Cole...Keri Arthur...Jeaniene Frost...Cherry Adair!!!!  So many great ones!

SHERRILYN KENYON!!!!



Last Edited on: 4/15/11 3:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1