How I Fell in Love with Paranormal Romance

by Susan Hanniford Crowley

It all started at the 2007 Nebula Awards in New York. A friend of mine suggested I write romance. My heart has always been in science fiction and fantasy, but I also considered what this friend had to say. So when I got home, I went to the bookstore and into the romance section. I found ‘paranormal romance,’ bought one, then many, and read voraciously educating myself in this new world. I loved every wildly adventurous and sexy, yet romantic minute of it.

What attracted me to paranormal romance?

It’s the blending of everything that is the best in science fiction and fantasy with the best of romance. The plots are clever, sometimes humorous, breathtaking, sometimes chilling and always thrilling, whether in contemporary, futuristic, or fantasy worlds. To top it off, all these adventures are intricately woven in with some of the most amazing love scenes I’ve ever read. Writing paranormal romance has expanded my abilities into the writer I want to be. The adventures are exciting, even if there are pages that make your tongue hang out. (Yours not mine. I blush. LOL)

I’ve been asked to define ‘paranormal romance,’ so I’ll do so with the definition from the Romance Writers of America.

“Paranormal Romance: Romance novels in which the future, a fantasy world, or paranormal happenings are an integral part of the plot.”

Further, to be considered a romance the love story must be central to the plot and the story must be “emotionally satisfying” and have “an optimistic ending.”  Many romance publishers require a “happily ever after” or “happily for now.” After learning all this, I knew writing paranormal romance was within my abilities and that I would love it. In part because the definitions and reading made me realize that I was already writing paranormal romance.

One of the books I was writing and working through with Critters, was really a vampire romance. In addition, to reading whenever I wasn’t writing, I joined the RWA and also the local RWA chapter. I found both to be highly educational, including my newest online critique group Rom-Critters. With all this help, I rewrote The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, taking it from a vampire fantasy that was missing something to the very sensual, romantic, multi-world adventure it is today.

While shopping the book for a publisher, I wrote a novella about two supernaturals that met and fell in love during the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center. Tease Publishing LLC read When Love Survives and the editor-in-chief called. They published that and also recently published my 95,000 word novel, The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais.

To give you a taste of what paranormal romance can be, here’s a sample of  The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais

David, a vampire, asked God to take pity on his loneliness.

Laura struggled through the dark and burst through a great light. She gasped for breath and it filled her. Warmth spread through her every part, then a surge of energy she didn’t understand. Her heart beat. Differently. Odd. Different from any feeling she’d ever had. Her eyelashes fluttered and then in the dim light of a strange windowless room, she saw a man’s face.

His dark, curly hair framed his chiseled features. What struck her most were his dark, fathomless eyes. I can get lost in those eyes and never want to leave.

He smiled.

She flushed. I hope he can’t hear what I’m thinking.

I can.

She sat up, smiling with embarrassment. “You pulled me out of the river?”

“Yes.”

“Thank you.” Laura trembled. “I don’t understand. I was dying.”

“You were very badly injured in the fall. I was going to take you to the hospital, but you said, ‘No hospital.’ That you’d keep trying to kill yourself.” His jaw tightened. “I couldn’t bear the idea of your death. Please, forgive me, but I couldn’t let you die.” He gazed deeply into her eyes.

Laura moved her tongue inside her mouth and came across the fangs.

*

Well, that’s how an associate editor for Space and Time magazine became addicted to writing her own vampire romance series, and it’s only just begun. Special thanks goes to Jennifer Stevenson, Chet Gottfried, a.c. Mason, Stella Price, and Tease Publishing LLC.

Signing off to write,

Susan

Susan Hanniford CrowleySusan Hanniford Crowley is a writer and editor. Being an Associate Editor for Space and Time magazine is a passion of hers. She has also been a writing teacher for over twenty years. She is an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA). Her paranormal romance novella, A Vampire for Christmas has just been released in time for the holidays. Visit her romance blog, Nights of Passion for more information about the romance industry. Her work is available at All Romance Ebooks.

14 Responses

  1. Liena Ferror

    Susan,

    Isn’t paranormal romance the best genre to write in? It’s the only one I’ve written in so I may be a little partial to it.

    Wishing you many sales and luck with your future endeavors.

    Liena~

  2. Tawania Etheridge

    Hi Susan,
    I am so loving your book A Vampire for Christmas. I’m wishing you much continued success.
    Tawania Etheridge

  3. Lilly Cain

    I love paranormal romance for all of the same reasons as you – and especially because like you I started out in fantasy and sci-fi and was lured in by the HEA of romance and the sheer sexyness of paranormal romance!! I’ve just sold my first novel – in my favorite genre – and it is all pretty exciting.

    I just wanted to drop in and say I admired your thoughts on the subject!

    Lilly Cain

  4. DianeTurnshek

    Hi, Susan! So glad to hear that the 2007 Nebulas were a turning point for you–in the right direction. You have such a talent for pinning down character motivation–and the ~~love~~ elements. OOOooohh la la! Happy for you and your success.

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