by Lori Devoti
Paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels have been “hot” for some time now, but you still come across articles by people who have just discovered the genres and don’t quite get them. These writers really seem to miss how/why romance readers are drawn to what historically have been evil creatures. Vampires, werewolves, demons–the mainstay of the horror genre have become our HEROES. This just leaves the writers of these articles flummoxed.
Which got me to thinking–why are they our heroes? I have a couple of theories. First that when the first romance author introduced us to a vampire or werewolf hero (Anyone know who that was?) it was fresh–unique. We, like these bewildered article writers, hadn’t seen that in a romance before. Second, while we didn’t always have vampire and werewolf heroes, we have had (and loved) tortured and alpha heroes. These paranormal creatures offer the ultimate possibilities for both of these. Who can be more tortured than a being who hates himself…hates what he has to do to survive? He is the ultimate bad boy–makes James Dean and Humphrey Bogart look like Charlie Brown.
How couldn’t we love them?
But now, weres and vamps have been around as heroes for a while. Is the fresh factor gone? Are we ready for the come back of evil? REAL evil? As in (gasp) making them the bad guys? Lori Handeland did this in her Moon/Nightcreatures series. Patricia Rosemoor and Marc Paoletti did in their urban fantasy, The Last Vampire. And if we do this–who will our new heroes be? Surely not…humans…
What do you think? Are you ready for more truly BAD weres and vamps? Or do you like ’em the way they are–deadly, but sexy? Leave a comment with your opinion–or offering up the name of who you think the ORIGINAL vampire/were hero romance author was and I’ll put your name in a hat to win Tanya Huff’s Summon the Keeper–not a romance or a shifter book, but still a good read. 🙂
p.s. Pimping a bit here…If you are interested in a fun multi-author contest, check out Treasures from the Dark. And if you’re interested in helping a great cause, winning fun prizes AND getting your writing in gear, check out Unleash Your Story to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.