Sunday, October 24, 2010

Paranormals: The new historical?


A few years ago, or maybe more, the classic “clinch cover” historical romance seemed to disappear from bookshelves. In its place came vampires, werewolves, mermaids, mermen, ghosts, witches, goblins, and all kinds of things that go bump in the night. I love paranormals. I love writing them, reading them, being both scared and turned on by them. But, I wonder, did the paranormal replace the historical?
Wait a minute, you might say. Historicals have nothing to do with paranormals. They’re two totally separate genres. Well, yes and no. Let me explain.
The historical requires the creation of a world. In this world, there is required research. The author must get her facts straight in order to make that world believable. She cannot set her heroine in the burning fires of Atlanta without knowing a thing or two about the American Civil War. The same holds true for the paranormal. How is an author going to know the rules of shape shifting without first doing some research? And if her heroine is whisked away to another planet, how is she going to be captive of a mind altering force field without knowing something about gravity and how the human body reacts to atmospheric pressures? Research. The world you’re creating requires it to make it believable to your reader.
So what about characters? Remember when those Native American romances were so popular? One of the characters, usually the heroine who was non-Indian, was forced into the hero/Indian’s tribal world. No different that the innocent…er, let me rephrase that…kick butt modern day heroine getting sucked (no pun intended) into the hero/vampire’s lair. With both the historical and the paranormal, hero or heroine must learn to accept their significant other’s worlds and they must find a compromise of those worlds if they are to spend happily-ever-after together.
I’m not saying one genre is better than the other. I love them both. I just wonder, as readers, did we really banish the historical or did we just hide them under black cape and sharp teeth?

2 comments:

Linda Kage said...

Wow, you're right. I never noticed before. I wonder what's going to replace the paranormal when it starts to go out of style? It will be intersting to see.

Great post.

Kraxpelax said...

GAMMABLIXT


SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE

There's much in the world that you can't explain.
It's revealed for you to remember
by the whispering voice of a distant train
or a midnight rain in november.

Horizon within! You can always find
the keys to Enigma. Let's mention
one basic Truth: of spirited Mind
is Nature naught but extension.

Internal expanses! In dreams, ridden
by fear and longing you roam
that deep Southeast in your soul hidden
...on your random journey back home.

---

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