Writerly Wednesday (and a contest)

Preferences, ah, the meat and potatoes (or the tempeh and potatoes) of the book universe. We all have them and they drive our choices. Sometimes we take a chance and discover something we hadn’t expected (always a wonderful thing).

For instance – true mate storylines. Some people hate them and complain endlessly about them while others love them. I’m always of the “why are you reading these books if you don’t like them?” school. I don’t read capture bondage, I hate it. I don’t read “forced seduction” either and I stay away from other storylines unless an author I really trust is writing them.

But back to true mates and why I like them and why I think other people do as well – there’s a lot of emotional power in the idea of seeing someone an *knowing* they’re meant for you, forever. In the right hands, it’s a storyline I adore. Not because it’s realistic, but because the idea is incredibly appealing to me. And based on the popularity of those titles and the sales of the books I write with mate storylines, they’re appealing to a lot of other people too.

An alpha male, probably a man who loves women and loves to play the field, comes into the story. He meets the heroine and that’s it. There will usually be tension, and why not, who likes to be wrenched out of their habits and into an unfamilar place? It’s scary and no one likes to be scared. At the same time, there’s now a solid bond between the hero and heroine and how they end up together is the device. A smart author can work that dozens of innovative ways and even though you know it’ll end up HEA, the journey is wild.

I love the appeal of the big, bad man brought to his knees by something as powerful as connection to another person. It’s why I love werewolf books so much – the males have a reason to be alpha and dominant and wolves mate for life. The appeal of paranormal and fantasy then, is the ability to take real things and twist them. I love that!

I write contemporaries and paranormal/fantasy. I love both for different reasons and a different skill set is needed to approach each sub-genre. I find that each has cliches that appeal for different reasons. Cliches are part of our subconscious and some of them can be drawn upon for the best kind of wish fulfillment.

I think next wednesday I’ll talk about contemporary cliches and which ones I like the most. In the meantime – what are your absolute loves and dislikes about paranormal storylines and why?

(BTW – I’ll take all the responses I get and throw them in the hopper. The winner will receive a download of any of my available titles. I’ll draw a winner on Saturday)

17 comments to “Writerly Wednesday (and a contest)”

  1. Maura
    May 23rd, 2007 at 1:08 pm · Link

    Hmmmm – I love shapeshifter stories because I love the way the characters are not expected to be completely human or civilized, they are entitled to be more possessive and more feral.

    I love witch stories but that’s, in part at least, because I’m pagan.

    I am not nearly as fond of mermaid/mermen stories and I’m not sure why – maybe because I have claustrophobia that prevents me from that type of experience?

    And, by the way, I stole your Writerly Wednesday idea 🙂

  2. Stacy Helpman
    May 23rd, 2007 at 1:39 pm · Link

    My favorite are vampire stories, but I like them best when it’s a new take on the vampire thing. For instance, I loved when Laurell K. Hamilton made them legal citizens & Kim Harrison made them born that way & they don’t need to drink blood until they die for real & become the undead. I just adore new takes on old stories.

  3. Christina
    May 23rd, 2007 at 1:59 pm · Link

    I love the intensity of the shapeshifter stories if the author does it right.
    Not to fond of vampire stories.

  4. Charlene
    May 23rd, 2007 at 2:25 pm · Link

    I love mate stories. The idea that there is one soul mate for every person is very old, goes back to Plato if not further. Those old myths are powerful.

  5. Lori
    May 23rd, 2007 at 4:09 pm · Link

    I have issues with shapeshifter stories, especially when they shift while they are having sex. Also with any beings that aren’t of human shape – ick. I just have issues with “doing it” with someone who doesn’t look like a “real” man. Of course, I guess real is in the eye of the beholder LOL.

    Paranormals aren’t really my thing in the first place, although I’m really trying to expand my horizons.

  6. Seeley deBorn
    May 23rd, 2007 at 6:42 pm · Link

    I love the fated lovers stories. Especially if someone or something forces two people together who are very opposed to the idea initially. A little magic goes a long way. 😉

    I absolutely gag (literally) at shapeshifter stories that include any kind of partly shifted character during sex. I read a teaser once that involved a rough tongue and a pelt. Ew.

  7. laurendane
    May 23rd, 2007 at 6:44 pm · Link

    I’m with those of you who say you don’t like the human/shifter sex – it’s definitely one of my squicks!

  8. rhian
    May 23rd, 2007 at 7:19 pm · Link

    i think that’s one of the reasons i grab every shifter book i can lay my hands on – because the true mate/fated love appeals to me. BTW – have to throw in:
    LMAO on the werewolf shuckydarn comment you made on another blog. Made me howl, no pun intended.

  9. Lisa W
    May 24th, 2007 at 7:10 am · Link

    I love paranormals where there is some suspense or action to them.

  10. Deborah
    May 24th, 2007 at 7:11 am · Link

    Shape-shifter paranormals are my favourite especially werewolves since the males are so alpha and I like the pack concept.

  11. Shuck Ying
    May 24th, 2007 at 7:13 am · Link

    Paranormal stories with pyschic ablilites or any other “special” ablilites are the best…so are all the shape-shifter stories because I love the possibilities of the unknown. I don’t dislike any type of paranormal story, lol.

  12. Merry
    May 24th, 2007 at 10:22 am · Link

    I like all kinds of paranormals, but my favourites are those with magic users and shapeshifters/ vampires. I’d like to see more with a demon as a main protagonist and I didn’t really like the two merman ones I read, but really, I’ll give any type of paranormal a go at least once! I like reading new takes on the mythology e.g. for vampires, especially now that there are authors with huge series, it’s interesting to see how other authors break out from an established avenue.
    I like Kim Harrison’s books, but they’re not really ‘romance’ so it would be good to see more romance novels with witches as there does seem to be a preponderance of vampires/ werewolves (not that I mind, I don’t want the number of vampire/ werewolf novels to go down, I just want the number of witch/ demon novels to go up!) 😈

  13. Cherie J
    May 24th, 2007 at 11:41 am · Link

    I love the true mate concept. Love paranormals, especially magic user ones. Love plots involving the Fae which is probably why A Touch of Fae is my favorite of your books. Enjoy shifters and some vampire paranormals. Not into heavy BDSM.

  14. Patricia
    May 24th, 2007 at 6:22 pm · Link

    I have always loved stories with a paranormal theme even before they became popular in the last few years.

  15. Randy
    May 24th, 2007 at 6:25 pm · Link

    Werewolves, vampires and all other paranormal things are great in stories. I love all these stories.

  16. PC
    May 25th, 2007 at 8:56 am · Link

    The paranormal storylines are the “in-books” and I am so happy to see that. Several years ago, Harlequin started a paranomal line then stopped it, now they have started it again but it’s called Nocturne or something like that.

  17. Christine
    May 26th, 2007 at 5:42 am · Link

    Especially fond of paranormals. A true mate story in any genre is especially enjoyable. Great thing about paranormals & fantasy is the author gets to create their own universe & rules. The author can expand to their limits of their own imagination which is great