She's offering a giveaway of one of her books so read to the Lynda Again section to see how to win. Enjoy!
Kiss Them or Kill Them?
Paranormal Romance vs Urban Fantasy, with Linda Thomas-Sundstrom
Hello Star Crossed Romance readers. I'm Linda, a die-hard paranormal fan with SF/F/P in my genes. So, I feel right at home here.
Today's chat is about a subject I get asked about all the time at conferences where I'm asked to speak. This is the question:
What is the difference between paranormal romance and urban fantasy?
Well, actually, they don't even ponder the question until I bring it up. Ha.
Thus far, I've discussed the subject at the Romance Writers of America conferences, Romantic Times Booklovers conferences, Comic-con International (twice), CondorCon, Conjecture, and several Southern California Writers conferences . . . in hopes of getting that question out in the open.
Why? Because there are differences between paranormal romance and urban fantasy that put the books on different shelves in a store, but there also are many similarities that readers of both genres don't know about, and therefore might be missing a lot of great reading experiences.
I'm on the trail to open hard-core urban fantasy folks up to a book spine that says "paranormal romance."
Briefly, here's my take.
*Paranormal romance can utilize the same urban, dark city feel as urban fantasy.
*Paranormal romance can be urban fantasy with a happy/satisfying ending.
*Paranormal romance focuses on one relationship, and follows it through to that satisfying end. One couple, one book. If there is a series, it has to detail the same challenges for another couple.
*Paranormal romance cover art usually deviates from the darker urban fantasy covers because publishers know that by putting a male and a female on the cover of romances, that type of cover will attract their readers.
I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Nocturne imprint. Dark, sexy paranormals that have the same, sometimes gritty, storylines about werewolves, hunters, vampires, immortals, etc, but must, by definition, focus on the development of one relationship at a time. In my series for Nocturne, I have used a lot of the same characters in second and third books, but only as secondary characters to the plot and relationship development of another couple.
And at big venues like Comic-con, where my panel this year with Patricia Briggs, Nancy Holder, and Christine Cody saw 2,500 attendees, and my fellow presenters mostly had dark blue or grey urban fantasy covers showing kick-ass women holding swords and axes, with bare midriffs covered with intricate tattoos (the current and easily identifiable sign of an urban fantasy story), my current Vampire Moons series for Nocturne was just as easily identifiable with a sexy male and female holding each other.
Still, the stories beneath those covers, for the most part, had very similar characteristics.
*Urban fantasy doesn't have to contain romance at all, though a lot of readers like it when they do.
*Urban fantasy, in not requiring a satisfying relationship conclusion in a single book, can stick with a main character over and over in a series. Or the main character can kill off his/her partner, or watch him/her die by another's hand.
*Urban fantasy can be exactly like a paranormal romance in all instances.
In other words, there are two shelves to be hit for dark, sexy tales of intrigue, magic, the supernatural, and romance. And though publishers make it somewhat easy to quickly identify their style for readers with current cover art, the old saying is true that you can't always tell a book by its cover.
The immortals in my Vampire Moons series for Nocturne have long, complicated histories. In this year's Golden Vampire, the main character, found in the present time, is actually a Blood Knight, who, along with six other Blood Knights once sat at the famous Round Table. These Knights were unearthly beautiful and undefeated in battle because they were unearthly. The book is dense and expressive on my characters' behalf. Dark, sexy, meaty stuff that could just as easily have had a sexy female with tattoos on the cover, and been on the UF shelf.
So. That's a very brief listing of the things my Kiss Them or Kill Them discussions are about.
And what fun it is to get feedback and questions from readers on the subject. What fun it is to chat with like-minded people who, as I do, just plain enjoy the supernatural world that writers can create, and always, always come back for more.
Love comments. Please say hi.
You can also find me at http://www.lindathomas-sundstrom.com
Love and hate, vampire and slayer—opposites too closely connected for their own good?
After her mother is nearly killed, slayer-in-waiting Danika Douglas vows to destroy the vampire she believes is responsible—Alexander Kent. An experienced vampire older than sin itself, Alexander possesses dark good looks and a strong sensual allure.
Danika knows a slayer and her target are chained together by fate, compelled to find each other. Yet she never expected them to share such a powerful attraction, leaving Danika torn between revenge and desire….
Excerpt from Night Born:
"I've found you, you son of a bitch."
Danika Douglas hadn't stopped to think about whether touching a priceless painting might be committing museum sacrilege, or a crime. She'd been too immersed in the moment to care.
Here he was again. The same face she'd found in a Baroque period painting two days before. Exactly the same face.
Same wide brow and prominent, aristocratic features. Same penetrating blue eyes beneath the tangle of dark hair — here, seen only in profile, and in dashes of color and shadings, but the likeness was exact, give or take the hair style and clothes.
She had just won the bloodsucker lottery.
A telltale tingle of excitement flushed her cheeks and neck with heat. Shivers of apprehension chilled her back. It was always the same dichotomy of heat and cold clashing when her assumptions were correct. She might not yet have inherited her mother's ability to track the vampire in this painting with a Slayer's DNA-based, biologically built-in GPS system, but those powers were agonizingly inching toward her.
She felt him now, as if she had found him for real, and in person. Her gut reaction to his image was strong. His presence in the Renoir was like an icy breath on the back of her neck. She could almost smell him, beyond the aged oils of the artwork and the polished marble museum floors.
He smelled like . . . leather.
Barnes and Noble:
All Romance E Books
Kelsie Connor is looking for a big headline to jumpstart her career as a journalist--like proving the existence of vampires and werewolves. She's always felt that Others exist, though she's never met one herself. So on the night of the Blood Moon, Kelsie goes looking for a werewolf...but meets a vampire instead. A vampire who makes her blood run hot and makes her feel things she never imagined a body could feel.
Hayden Flann had been secretly watching Kelsie for some time, drawn to her by a powerful bloodlust and equally strong sexual attraction. But Hayden recognizes that he and Kelsie are connected by more than passion. Little does she know that Hayden is not just her lover--he's also her enemy, born to seduce her before he kills her....
-- Lynda Again,
Linda is giving away a free download of one of her stories from Amazon to ONE lucky commenter.
Here's how to enter:
1) The commenter must leave a comment by noon EST Tuesday, Aug 23 and
2) must include her/his email addy in the comment.
Good luck and have a Blessed Day!