Thursday, March 26, 2015

Paranormal Romance/Fantasy?

I remember the day I picked up my first romance novel. It was one of the 'those' novels. You know the ones. Cheesy plot line, cardboard cutout characters and tons of sex scenes. I was 11 years old and filched it from my mom's stack of library books. I'd read my own pile and wasn't due to go back to the library for 2 more days.

My young, voracious reader self may have been desperate...

That fateful day started a habit that lasted all of 6 months when I realized all of the stories were basically the same, the authors had just changed the hair color, the sexual position, and the setting. (Yes, 6 months! I was only 11. I spent the first few months just getting past the forbidden feeling of what I was doing.*blushes*)

These books left me with a negative view of the "romance" genre and a low opinion of my mom's reading preferences. Then the inevitable happened. I ran out of books...again! (Thank God today for e-readers and e-books.) My mom's stack of books beckoned to me, but wary from my previous experience, I tried re-reading my own books. Very few books are good enough for me to enjoy re-reading them and I soon turned to my mom's stack with a resigned sigh.

Instead of a repeat of my last experience, my mind was blown thanks to the books by Nora Roberts, Christine Feehan and Jayne Castle/Jayne Ann Krentz that happened to be in that fated stack of my mom's library books.

Has anyone else noticed how amazing some of the worlds created in today's paranormal romance genre are?

Authors like Nalini Singh, Meljean Brooks, Evangeline Anderson, G.A. Aiken, A.W. Exley and many others have created worlds that are well developed enough to belong in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of the book store with that added bonus of a steamy sex scene or two(or 10).

Yet despite my current appreciation of these romance authors, I still find myself uncertain of the paranormal romance novel I've been working on. I'm afraid of being pigeon-holed as 'just a romance author' if I go ahead with publishing this one.

Until the last few years, I didn't even admit to the guilty pleasure of reading romance novels because of people who think like this:

Peer shaming of any kind is just wrong, by the way!

You see, my dream has always been to be published in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. It was my first love. The genre out of which was born my love of books. My first 3 published novellas are YA fantasy. I have an epic fantasy I've been working on for the last 5 years, and plans to publish another YA fantasy series and an urban fantasy novel.

Then this idea for a paranormal romance came to me one night in a dream. It's a really good idea and I REALLY want to publish it.

Am I worried for nothing? Has the romance genre come far enough to negate the old stigma that used to be associated with it? Should I publish any romance novels I write under a pseudonym? These questions plague me with uncertainty. I'm hoping some of my writer bloggy buddies will give me their perspective on the issue. I want all of my writing to be published under my name, but I can't help my worry. What do you think?


Loni Townsend said...

I understand your insecurities, and I'm not sure. If you're truly worried, then I'd say go with the pseudonym. You can still be public about using one, like Nora Roberts/JD Robb. You could even put in there "Sabrina A. Fish writing as So-And-So." I don't know that anyone would judge you for writing what you like, though. I wouldn't/won't.

Morgan said...

You were ELEVEN?!?!?!? Haaaaaa… oh dear… I can't imagine what your mind must've though other than what you described, lol… that's madness. And it's so true. I'm amazed with the creativity these days. Astounding! :)

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Yes, I've considered the public pseudonym. I imagine I'll go back and forth a million times before the final decision has to be made. *grin* Thank you so much for stopping in!

Sabrina A. Fish said...

I was desperate! And learned more than I ever bargained for. Not reading was and is simply not an option. I still don't care to re-read most books.
It is, isn't it?!!!