Today, I want to share a guest post I once penned for the GraveTells website.
Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance?
I’m so excited to be today’s guest blogger at GraveTells! Aww heck! Who am I kidding? I’m more frightened than excited. There’s pressure enough in just being invited to write for someone else’s audience, but when I’m doing so as an urban fantasy—quite possibly a dark urban fantasy—author for a site staffed (and stuffed!) by PNR junkies, there’s a very real chance I might screw this up … big time.
Let me rephrase: I’m frakking terrified!
You see, when I found out I was invited to be a guest blogger at GraveTells, I said, “Hell yeah.” I assumed that any blog with the word “Grave” in its name would love dark and dangerous things, like bloody battles, spilled guts, and death galore. The site even states “News & Reviews for Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Fiction” … so I wandered through the site, ultimately ending up at bios for The Team. Check out these quotes:
DaVinciKittie: “Follow Me” and I’ll guide you on your tour of the best of paranormal romance!
Kenra Daniels: I became addicted (to PNR), and read every title I could get my hands on. It wasn’t long before I was waiting in line on release day to buy new titles in my favorite series.
Rachel Elizabeth: As for the types of books I read? That would be paranormal romance (I have WAY too many book boyfriends to count), urban fantasy, and young adult.
Even The Captain, who claims to love horror/sci fi/fantasy above all else, states I love to write about strong women and sexy men, and am currently working on finishing a PNR book.
Do you see what I see? Paranormal romance everywhere, with but the slightest nod to urban fantasy!
Seeing that, I got nervous and started sweating. I felt like I had just wandered into the wrong place. In fact, it felt exactly the same as on the few occasions I’ve had the misfortune of wandering into a women’s restroom by mistake. For those who’ve never experienced this phenomenon, let me assure you, there are few things more terrifying to a male. I know … I know … adolescents think it would be awesome and sexy and a dream come true, but it is nothing close to that. What does happen is that thought shuts down, the body begins to panic, and internal alarms start blaring. It’s “Danger, Will Robinson!” on an epic internal level.
(Obviously, I can’t speak to the reverse experience for a woman. All I know is that anytime a woman has wandered into a men’s room that I’ve been in, all the men stampeded toward the door, tripping over each other and bumping into walls (and stalls) in their haste to retreat, as if we were the ones in the wrong restroom.)
However, since we’re on the subject of true confessions and awkward situations, let me share this: I sometimes felt the urge to do outrageous things as a child. On one such occasion, I chose prostitution as the subject of an oral report. It’s probably not an appropriate topic in most academic settings, but it’s certainly not in the sixth grade. Of course, I didn’t ask for permission … and, come to think of it, I never had to beg for forgiveness, either. I don’t know whether to be thankful or alarmed, although I suppose it doesn’t matter now. What does matter is that when I presented my report, many of the boys in class snickered, but most of the girls gave each other looks that said, “there’s something wrong with this kid.”
[Returning to the present] So, I trolled through the GraveTells site, beginning to wonder if The Team might give each other similar looks upon reading Væmpires, because it has some PNR ingredients—vampires, teen main characters, and a love triangle—but, then it has some decidedly non-PNR ingredients—a post-apocalyptic world, blood-and-guts action from beginning to end, and zombies.
Anyway, I was sweating and having flashbacks and really thinking I should probably reach out to GraveTells and see if there was some kind of a mistake, because my books are definitely closer to urban fantasy than paranormal romance.
Then paranoia set in and I began fearing that I was being set up in some nefarious, albeit unidentifiable, fashion—something akin to the blog version of being punked …
And I realized, ladies and gentleman, that entertaining thoughts like those are when you know you have shot straight past paranormal romance or urban fantasy (or even dark urban fantasy) into pure fantasy.
Leading me to wonder, once more, if I was in the wrong place.
Posted on Fri, January 24, 2014
by Thomas Winship filed under