Thursday, June 6, 2013

Would Paranormal Romance Make Good TV?

Posted by: Jody W. and Meankitty
Yesterday's post by Jax Garren had a great discussion about the differences between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance: One of the frequent designators I've seen lately is that when Urban Fantasy contains romance, it's generally between the same protagonists who are in each successive book. There's no guarantee of an HEA, though oftentimes there's a whisper of a promise of an HEA at the end of the series itself, should the Urban Fantasy be a series. This, of course, doesn't mean devoted readers will agree the HEA is all that happy (cue furious Sookie Stackhouse readers!), but the author's literary promise is most often that the protagonists will not be left dangling like a too-soon cancelled TV show that doesn't get its own Hollywood movie.

In Urban Fantasy novels the plot and worldbuilding bear more of the word-weight than the romance and relationship building. The complicated dance of romantic relationships are spread out over several save-the-world plot arcs since books, for various reasons, can only be so long.

Basically, what we're talking here is Urban Fantasy is Buffy/Lost Girl/Paranormal TV Series with definite romance subplots and Paranormal Romance is Underworld/Twilight/Paranormal movies with definite romance main plots. Technically an Urban Fantasy could also be a paranormal movie in which the romance wasn't that influential, but that confuses my simple parallel.

Some Urban Fantasies don't have romance in them at all. It's not a requirement. There are probably Paranormal Romances that don't have much save-the-world stuff going on as well. The thing they both have in common is the paranormal worldbuilding. It often takes place in a contemporary human world that isn't aware of all these supernatural shenanigants--what David Bridger called earlier this week "hidden in plain sight" (

And just like with the TV series/movies parallel, that's not always the case, since some stories include (or even revolve around) the concept of the paranormal types being known to the regular humans. The aforementioned Sookie Stackhouse series is a prominent example.

I have recently published my first Urban Fantasy with Samhain Publishing (Tangible) involving a secret society of folks whose nightmares create monsters and their attempts to keep the nightmares from taking over the world. I already know future volumes in the budding series will be more in the Paranormal Romance vein. They'll have recurring characters but different romantic leads in each successive volume. There will also be connecting plots and threads between all the books, in the manner of a TV series.

How do you think a TV series could handle some of the Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy hybrids like the one I've dreamed up? I know there are other hybrids out there! What are your favorites and how would you like to see them on the screen, if you would? Or do you think the TV medium is just better suited for the more classic Urban Fantasy style where all the characters' stories and relationships are ongoing and subject to change?

Jody Wallace
Author, Cat Person, Amigurumist  *  

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