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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Benefits of Paranormal Romance Writing

Please welcome guest blogger Sapphire Phelan

I am writing about why I write erotic and non-erotic paranormal romances and what are the benefits to me. When I started writing paranormal romance, my male and female made love, but nothing that I would call racy, or blue. One of these first stories, “To Teach an Ancient God” was accepted for an anthology in 2005, but the publisher folded and gave back rights to all the authors. It now is a free eread at All Romance eBooks, and one of the best sellers on their science fiction/fantasy lists.

Then I wrote my first erotic story about a merman. It was not paranormal romance, actually it's more horror. Now the blue words weren't there and so it was still easy to write. I didn't get red faced doing it. But it was erotic, with sentences like, That night he and I did things beyond all nature, at least I assumed they were. I became this creature of sensations and darkness, and I enjoyed it. When the dawn broke I lay alone on the hardwood floor, in a large puddle of sea water.

You can guess that this was the stepping stone to the next tale, right? I saw the guidelines for this emagazine looking for erotic romances. Paranormal romances were getting popular. I read them and loved them. So I wrote my first truly erotic story, with the hot and heavy sex.

The story was easy--a virgin sacrificed to a dragon to save her village and keep the monster from eating their cattle. A dragon who happened also to be a knight cursed to become a dragon at night. It was fantasy after all--I even wrote my first interspecies sex scene with the dragon and the woman.

Now, I've been married for years and have an adult son. But I found sex the hardest challenge to write. So I researched. I needed to see how others did it. When I wrote sex, it was clinical and not romantic. I read other books. I researched words for different parts of the body and sex--BLUE words. Then I returned to the WIP and wrote the dang thing. I submit and it was accepted!

Over the years it became easier and easier to write the intimate parts. I learned to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. The challenge; my heroes and heroines are not human men or women, but inhuman. To many, we would be food to them and not for passionate encounters.

If you have an alien, how does he make love to a human woman? Really, does a shapeshifter metamorphose when he's/she's in the throes of passion? Is the paranormal being stronger than humankind or more delicate and easily damaged? How does that affect the relationship when that creature makes love with a human? Is kissing dangerous for them, or do they even kiss? Do they kiss even in the normal way? My latest published paranormal romance was male/male, which made me research the mechanics of that kind of loving. Being heterosexual, that put me out of the comfort zone, and then since both are wereleopards, well, how does that change the love making?

Another benefit is I am learning something new each time I write a manuscript. I researched myths and legends from all different parts of the world when I look for my next paranormal lover. I find myself trying to get in the heads of my paranormal beings, to understand what makes them tick, and why they fall in love when they do. Though they may be vampires, werewolves, shifters, aliens, fairies, and demons, beneath the exterior they have feelings too. Because of my fantasy characters, I begin to emphasize with real people. It makes me begin to figure out why people do the things they do. That when it comes to it: we're all the same beneath our skin.

Writing this is a stress reliever too. Day to day life can be stressful. I'm a big worrier. I found long ago that writing what I like to write is a great way to get the stress out of me. When I am upset, I think I write my scariest stuff. When life is sad, that's when I do my best romance, for the happily ever after that dots the T of my story always makes me feel better when the story is finished. If my characters are happy, then I am happy!

And the last benefit? It makes me feel alive. It gives me purpose. It lets me free the stories in my head and put them to words. That's the best benefit of all--sharing them.

Sapphire Phelan has written and published erotic and sweet paranormal/fantasy/science fiction romance along with erotic horror stories and urban fantasy. Her erotic urban fantasy, Being Familiar With a Witch is a Prism 2010 Awards winner and a Epic Awards 2010 finalist.

As herself, Pamela K. Kinney, she is a published author of fiction in the realms of horror, science fiction, fantasy, poetry, and nonfiction ghost books published by Schiffer Publishing. Her two nonfiction ghost books, Haunted Richmond, Virginia and Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales have been nominated for Library of Virginia Literary Awards.

She also has done acting on stage and in films. And is a Master Costumer, costuming since 1972. For more on her, check out her websites at http://www.SapphirePhelan.com and http://FantasticDreams.50megs.com

She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house, husband, and even the cats sometimes suffer for it!


Dev Tollen is a man with a dark past and an even darker soul. More than that, he's a gay wereleopard. He has never had the Dreaming and never met his true mate. But one night the Dreaming does come and reveals his lover, an African man named Montsho, also an alpha black wereleopard. Montsho will fight their love and their destiny. Dev will do all he can to win his beloved's heart and keep him by his side always.

Then the ghost of a human begs Dev to solve his wereleopard lover's murder. Both men will find that their new-found love tested and their lives in danger. Their idyllic time in paradise is about to be torn asunder when they discover who the murderer is.


Lisa Kessler said...

Hi Pam -

Great blog!

Writing is an excellent escape from the rest of the world... I think that's my favorite part! LOL

I love the adventure too!

Lisa :)

Julia Barrett said...

Interesting. I love your research! I actually find the sex part the easiest - it just takes time to get it exactly right!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Lisa and Julia. :)

Bianca Sommerland said...

Love this posts. It's interesting to learn what strengths and weaknesses authors have and how they work around them.

I don't have trouble with sex scenes, but I do have trouble writing contemporary. No magic, no monsters.

What am I supposed to do with normal people?

It sounds like you write some very interesting scenes. I'll have to take a peek ;)

Pages of Romance said...

Love this post! I am sending my sister the link. She just started writing a paranormal romance. Thanks for the great insight and info.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bianca. I think I could do contemporary, just haven't.

Thanks, Pages of Romance, I hope it helps your sister.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Love the magic, the myth and the extra body parts! I think that's what I love about paranormal, it's a "higher" form of normal, perhaps? And the rules-we can make them up ourselves. Works for me. And love reading it too!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your journey through writing sex scenes. I think those are a hurdle for a lot of writers.