It's not because I have a history with the genre. True confession time here - I never read romance novels! Not when I was young, not when I was a so-called adult. In fact, not at any time during the 20th century did I read a single example of the romance genre.
It's true. From the time I could pick up a book by myself, my personal reading time was filled with:
- science fiction
- superhero comic books
- did I mention science fiction?
Then right around 2001, I was happily browsing through a comic book store and spied a novella by Christine Feehan, titled Dark Dream. "Aha! A vampire story!" I thought to myself, and picked it up.
It was sooooo much more than that, as fans of Feehan's legendary Carpathians well know. I was amazed and fascinated. I'd never read anything where the MONSTER was not only the good guy, but he GOT THE GIRL as well!
Paranormal Romance was more than a new genre for me, it was an entirely new universe...
After devouring all the Feehan books I could find, I branched out to Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, Karen Marie Moning, Larissa Ione, Jeaniene Frost, JR Ward and oh-so-many-more. A feast for the imagination with many worlds and realities to choose from! Add to that the chance to see how supernatural characters dealt with their circumstances, how they grew and changed, how they learned to navigate the complexity of relationships, and I was permanently, irrevocably hooked.
It was really no surprise when I eventually began writing PNR myself.
Later I embraced Urban Fantasy with both arms (Kelley Armstrong, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Karen Chance, Ilona Andrews...).
My own stories today tend to be a hybrid of both genres (para-fantasy anyone?) But there is always, always, always a relationship to be resolved, a strong romantic thread running through the novels I write. And, of course, an eventual "happily ever after".
So that's my "origin story". How did YOU begin reading (or writing) romance?
The fae are cunning, powerful and often cruel. The most beautiful among them are often the most deadly. Hidden far beneath the mortal world, the timeless faery realm plays by its own rules—and those rules can change on a whim. Now and again, the unpredictable residents of that mystical land cross the supernatural threshold…