What is it about paranormal romance that is so intriguing?
Someone asked me this recently and it got me thinking about the subject. Why do we love paranormal stories, particularly paranormal romance? Like so many others, I’m most definitely a fan of paranormal literature and have been since some time in the late 1980’s when I first read Ann Rice’s Vampire Chronicles as a pre-teen. Though not necessarily of the romance genre, her books were my first introduction to the concept of romanticized vampires and after that I was devouring just about any book that had paranormal protagonists and themes. Vampires, werewolves, mermaids/mermen, warlocks, witches… yes, I have enjoyed them all quite thoroughly over the years and proudly continue to do so. Naturally, I am now in love with writing about them too.
So what’s the big deal? I believe there are many reasons, but if I had to provide you with what I feel to be the main reason, it would be this:
We Can Relate
So many of us feel abnormal or different from the bulk of society, especially when we’re young. As a teenager, I too felt strange and different. My body was changing rapidly and it felt like I had no control over myself at times. Some days, I felt possessed by some supernatural force (aka: my raging hormones) and it seemed like nobody in the world could possibly understand who I was or what I was going through. Sound familiar? Vampires and other paranormal humanoid creatures are a metaphoric example of how we feel at certain times in our life.
I find it no coincidence that many young changelings fall in love with paranormal stories during the years when these awkward stages of transformation are underway. It isn’t always conscious either, at least I know it wasn’t for me when I first began loving these stories at around that age. It took several years before I understood the link between my love of the unusual and it’s connection to my own life experiences and sense of self.
When it comes to the genre of paranormal romance, we often see our protagonist as a werewolf, vampire, dragon, mermaid or some other kind of shifter. This makes them our hero of the story and provides us with a shining example of someone who can conquer and triumph, despite their unusual circumstances. And the icing on the cake? They aren’t just different, they are usually crafted by the author to be viewed as wickedly desirable. If you’ve ever read a romance novel, you will know that there is plenty of intrigue, steamy scenes and a guaranteed happy ending. What could be more gratifying than reading about a sexy hero or heroine that you can relate to on an emotional level?