Friday, January 13, 2012

Readers: Are you tired of paranormal romance yet?

Posted by: Angela Campbell
Besides being an author, I am also a reader, and like any good reader of romance novels, I often turn to reviewers to help me field my options. You might not realize that two of the biggest review sites – Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books – also come together and do a regular podcast, which I must say is always hilarious and probably shouldn’t be listened to while you’re working (or pretending to work). Trust me on this. You will laugh. Out loud. A lot.

Anywho, Sarah and Jane were recently answering letters from readers, and the question was posed, “Do you think we’ve finally reached the saturation point on paranormals, or will it simply undergo some sort of change?” The question was prompted because best-selling author Linda Howard announced on her Facebook page not too long ago that her paranormal “Warrior Rising” has been put on indefinite hold. Linda went on to explain that “the bottom has dropped out of the vampire market, and (the publisher doesn’t) want to risk the book.”

Not too long ago on Twitter, agent and author Mandy Hubbard tweeted, “I've never had a ‘do not send me x’ list on my guidelines, but guys: I can't imagine being able to sell vampires or werewolves now. #pubtip

I know this topic has been discussed before, but as someone who writes primarily paranormal stories, so far based on werewolves, I find this trend – if true – to be a little unsettling. But as a reader, I find it even more disturbing.

I still love reading paranormals! I love vampires and werewolves and angels and…you name it. In fact, the last book I read was the vampire anthology “A Vampire for Christmas” published by Harlequin, and I loved all of the stories in it.

Both Jane (of Dear Author) and Sarah (of Smart Bitches) agreed they believe that paranormals are still going strong, with the trend leaning toward angels and demons and paranormal mashups these days. Hey, sounds great to me, but seriously, publishers? Don’t get rid of all the vampire and werewolf stories. I do love me a good bloodsucking romance, you know?

But that’s just my opinion. I’d love to know yours. Are you sick to death of paranormals yet, or are you still rubbing your hands together and murmuring, “Keep ‘em coming, guys?”


  1. I still read paranormal books - vampires, werewolves and fae. I am tired of the "demon/angel" angle because so many of the books sound the same and the covers look the same. I think publishers really need to look at their artwork depts and look for the unusual to keep the genre fresh.

  2. I will never tire of paranormal romance, or fantasy in general. I read it before it got hot, devoured it when it became readily available, and it's still my go-to escape.

    Certain tropes irritate me, but overall I still see amazingly original stories coming out almost monthly. I just wish I could keep up.

  3. That's interesting. Maybe publishers just think we SHOULD be sick of vampires and werewolves, that they are like MySpace and Planking?

  4. Thank you for posting this. I'd been wondering when publishers would start turning down vampire stories.

    As for me, I do love a good fantasy, especially one with a healthy dose of romance. And I've always had a weakness for a well-written shifter or vampire. I don't see that ending anytime soon.

  5. If you knew how keenly I'm anticipating Patricia Briggs' "Fair Game" ... no way am I over paranormals!

  6. I love vampires and shapeshifters, but I don't like angels and demons, not interested in them at all. And don't start me on the whole soul-mate thing...

    As a whole I love paranormal romance. It's quite broad in that some are funny some are dark, some lean heavily into suspense or horror, there's historicals, then the choice between sweet and sexy. Really there’s something for everyone.

  7. I say keep 'em coming, I haven't tired of paranormals yet, and I don't think I ever will.

  8. Not tired of them and can't imagine that I ever will be. I've heard other people say they're sick of vampires and werewolves recently too. Vehemently. *shrugs* I can never tell if they gorged themselves on blood and shifters and are sick of it or they just never cared for them in the first place.

  9. I'm not sick of them, but I do admit to being more choosy now. There are so many that where I used to gobble up a lot of new authors, I'm finding that I have to read sample pages to decide if the author and I are a good fit. But like you, I'd be sad if all the werewolves and vampires were gone.

  10. I tend to alternate between straight romance, UF and PNR, so I don't get tired of any of them. Give me a good shifter story anytime. On the other hand, I'm not a fan of zombies or of the angel/demon stories, so I am waiting for those to run their course. Luckily there are still plenty of other paranormals out there, so there's lots to choose from.

  11. What irks me is that many libraries dont differentiate between this mindless tripe and the horrid covers that come with it and more mainstream scifi/fantasy. I wouldnt loathe it so much if I could just ignore it, but I am forced to wade through pages of midriff baring, sword wielding tarts covering (usually) god awful stories written by angsty middle aged women writing angsty teen aged stories about sparkly vampires or similar BS just because Tommy never asked them to prom 25 years ago. Just as on the opposite end of the spectrum John Norman's Gor books and their contemporary equivalent make me cringe these stories make me want to hurl. I think if libraries/online book stores could include these in the romance section I'd have an easier time of it....or at least its own sub category I could ignore.


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