Question: What do you get when you stretch the boundaries of Paranormal Romance?
Answer: Urban Fantasy . . . romance.
Question: What the heck is that?
Answer: Unusual stories with a romantic core that don’t have to necessarily trend or end the way romance readers expect them to.
How much fun is that for an author? Sheer creative bliss. And that’s exactly what lured me to write a new series of urban fantasy romance novels and novellas alongside my paranormal romance books for Nocturne. Pushing the boundaries just a little bit was the key to my love of the urban fantasy genre.
Hello to everyone. *waving* I’m Linda Thomas-Sundstrom, here to briefly discuss ways to stretch your imagination while still keeping the emotion, relationships, and inner turmoil of the paranormal romance genre intact. Hence, my use of the word romance.
In a romance novel, it’s understood (and taken for granted) that there will be the development of a relationship between two people. The majority of the book deals with how those people meet and how the relationship escalates and expands through trials and a certain amount of angst. The culmination of a romance novel, paranormal or otherwise, is a satisfactory ending in which the reader will either know for sure, or assume that the two star characters will be headed down the aisle – or whatever their equivalent of that might be. Happy ending. HEA.
In a straight urban fantasy novel, there doesn’t have to be a viable relationship at all. The heroine can kill off the hero if she so chooses, or vice versa if the books stars him. It’s usually more about one character and their trials through a series of hardships. No HEA required, or even necessarily in sight.
But if we want an urban fantasy romance . . . we need two to tango. We also need a relatively decent culmination that I call the ITHEA, which stands for : Imagine Their HEA. Though I, as author, may not supply a happy ending in concrete terms, in writing, at the end of the story, I do always bring the story to that point, and allude to the possibilityof an eventual HEA. Although I might not take readers to the end game, I pave the way for satisfaction of two souls getting together.
So, in an urban fantasy romance, some rules of the romance genre would still apply. Two people (don’t have to meet up at the start/ we can drop into their lives) moving through the gyrations of a relationship, however flawed, but not necessarily tracked from beginning to end, with more of a fantasy plot mixed in to liven things up and take the headline . . . and an ITHEA at the end. Voila!
I’ve started a new series based on this premise, and here’s the blurb for the first one, releasing this September. Notice the key words defining this as a romance.
“Trapped In Stone” The forces of Dark and Light are vying for the soul of one man op top of Notre Dame Cathedral, and the woman who loves him has vowed to change his fate.
Says it all, right, about the possibility of romance being an integral part of the story?
If you’d like to see more about this book and other ways I’ve twisted PNR into urban fantasy romance, visit my website: http://www.lindathomas-sundstrom.com and look under the COMING SOON tab. Visit me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaThomasSundstrom