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Monday, September 2, 2013

Sinking Our Teeth into Urban Fantasy Romance by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

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

My short bio: Books published by Kensington Brava, Dorchester, Amazon Montlake, and I’m completing my 15th  book/ novella for Harlequin Nocturne.

Questions of your own? Ask away. Please do wave and leave a comment here. I’ll look forward to hearing from all my loop-mates. I’m really excited to be here, guest posting.






Lisa Kessler said...

Congratulations on the new release Linda!!! :)

Trapped in Stone is in my Kindle and I loved your description of urban fantasy romance...

Lisa Kessler

Mimi Sebastian said...

Hi Linda, great post. I too write Urban Fantasy with strong romantic elements. In fact my book has been described as romantic urban fantasy. While my hero and heroine may not have a happy ending in the first book of the series, the implication and sexual tensions is there and they have to work at it, just like they have to work at stopping the bad guys. Part of the heroine's arc is her relationship with the hero. Thanks for the post and congrats on the release!

Linda Thomas-Sundstrom said...

Hi Lisa. Thanks for the wave on a holiday Monday, and for having Trapped in Stone on your Kindle. YAY. Really appreciate that.

Linda Thomas-Sundstrom said...

Mimi - thanks for stopping by today. Your urban fantasy series sounds well- planned. Good job! I hope can read it sometime.

JeanneD said...

Congrats on the release, Linda! I'm glad to hear there's romance in Urban Fantasy. Love a happy - or at least a "maybe sometime in the future" happy ending! What was your inspiration for your story's setting?

Margaret said...

Thanks Linda for the wonderful definition of Urban Fantasy Romance.