Genres and labels.

I’ve always had a problem describing my own work, it’s like trying to pin down mercury.   But after taking a long, hard look at Clearing of the Way, I decided that it is indeed paranormal romance.  I mean, it’s full of the paranormal, both main characters qualify as paranormal, and there’s definitely a romance involved.  That should make this easy, concrete.  Hi, my name is Melissa and my most recent series is a paranormal romance!

So I decided to take a look at the community that has sprung up around this genre, to look for guidance, to become familiar with a genre I’m new to.   I was pleasantly surprised that there is a huge, HUGE, paranormal romance community and that so far, it’s been a very kind and supportive group to be involved with.   That’s the good.  The bad?  Well, Clearing doesn’t seem to fit the template that they consider to be paranormal romance.  I feel like I did when I first fell into fan fiction… there’s a lexicon, there’s shorthand, and there are certain expectations tied up in the community.   Yes, both Nathalie and Gideon are paranormal.  But they’re not vampires, faeries, were critters, zombies, mages, witches, they’re people.  Imbued with power, but still pretty ordinary people.   While they’re both attractive, especially to each other, neither one of them is drop dead fantastic.  And most importantly, they lack the love-hate, gasping, grasping, fascination  that I admit that I find rather creepy now that I’ve reached adulthood.    They’re there for each other, they love each other, but they’ve always lacked the romance relationship angst… I figured end of the world zombie plague style was angst enough.

But I’ll keep up with the community because they’re a bunch of really nice people.  And I definitely recommend them to anyone who has a story that fits the template.