What makes Paranormal Romance such a popular genre right now?
No seriously, I’m asking.
I know that Paranormal Romance is, like, the number one highest selling sub-genre of Romance right now, but I can’t say that I understand why exactly. Is it the escapism? Is it the idea of more or less a superhero for women saving the day and being sensitive to the woman’s feelings? Is it the scintillation of guys who glitter in the sunlight?
Let me back up for a minute and explain part of my slight prejudice against Paranormal Romance.
When I was in high school I loved vampires. Wow, vampires were cool! Why did I love blood-sucking immortals? Because I was deep in the process of reading Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Anne Rice is a brilliant author. Well, sometimes. The first three books in the Vampire Chronicles were awesome. And that is the standard to which I hold all vampire novels.
Fast forward to the early 2000s. I was deeply involved in an online Harry Potter message board-based role playing website. I played Snape along with my own character. Time and time and time again noobs would sign up for the sight and attempt to create a character that had a thousand special powers, was part vampire or werewolf or ninja or something like that. We would reject their character ideas and send them a letter reminding them that the best characters are not defined by the amount of their “bling” but by their personality.
So I suppose that for me paranormal characters come with a built-in crutch. It’s totally biased and maybe not rationally based, but I just feel like if you have to rely on a flashy super-power to define your character then you don’t have a strong character to begin with. And now I’ll duck all the flying tomatoes thrown by writers and lovers of Paranormal Romance.
I do recognize, however, that I am biased. This is just my point of view. But since I know that Paranormal is an incredibly popular genre right now, please, share your thoughts with me! What do you like so much about Paranormal Romance? What makes it so appealing to you?
Before I pose that question, though, I should add that I asked what the appeal of Paranormal Romance was on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago and at the same time wondered why Historical Romance isn’t as popular. One of the answers I was given is that people find Paranormal Romance “much more approachable and easy to relate to”. Of course my answer was “History actually happened! There are no such things as vampires and werewolves! How can something that doesn’t exist and never did be more relatable than something that really happened, that people left art and music and literature and even newspapers about?”
But I’ll leave that up to someone else to try to explain to me.