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05-19 Sarah Raplee – Riff on 7 yrs. Of SPAM & a Giveaway

Friday, May 20, 2011

Does Your Genre Exist Yet?

I fought my inner voice for years. Until I finally succumbed, gave in. Now I've embraced the interest that makes me different from other Romantic Historical Women's Fiction and Historical Paranormal Romance authors. I am absolutely, undeniably, enamored with the era my grandparents lived through. The 1940's. It was a journey simply figuring out to which genres I belonged.

My stories tend to have strong heroines, and voices that shine just a tad more than my heroes. That's pretty much what Women's Fiction is, after all. As for the paranormal elements in my Paranormal Romance, well, mine tend to be on the organic side of reality... Natural gifts that involve differences in brain frequencies, special skills that come down to energy vibrations. If a character can run faster than the speed of sound, or can start fires with her steely focus, it all has to do with a difference that stems from within their bodies, rather than having possession of objects or things that spark a skill into play. So while I fall into these two genres, I'd like to think I bring a different twist.

I want to bring attention to the fact that not every paranormal has to follow the same track. Both Women's Fiction and Paranormal Romance are big categories, with lots of room for diverse angles and unique author quirks… like loving the 1940's.

Don't get me wrong, though. My admiration for this time period goes deeper than glamorous red bullet-lipstick tubes, fashionable pumps and pompadours, the awesomeness of victory gardens and war bonds. I like the culture, the togetherness, the beauty that surfaced as a result of an entire generation experiencing loss, hope and rebirth. Why not throw a heroine's emotional journey, and some supernatural antics into the pot?

Do you feel as though there is room for you in the genres that already exist, or do you belong to one that hasn't been thought of? Do you have a different angle or an entirely new type of romance? Do you know which category you belong within?


Judith Ashley said...

A thought provoking article, Courtney.
My 'different angle' is my heroines all belong to a sacred women's circle and practice a spirituality based on the 'old ways' of earth-based religions. They can sense the spirit of the things that surround them, become sensitive to each other's energy even when a part.
I love the 1940's - was born in the early part of that decade and I have memories of and dozens of photo albums of family times. It was a time when everyone seemed to pull together. When my Dad was drafted, my Mom and I went to live with my maternal grandparents. My maternal uncle was a bombadier and my paternal uncle served in the South Pacific. My maternal grandparents had a huge garden and there are many pictures of me 'helping' my grandfather weed with my little hoe.
The premise for your stories is intriguing to me.
You may enjoy Kristina McMorris's "Letters from Home" set in the same time period. (If I knew now to do an embedded link in the 'comments' section, I'd have put it in).

Paty Jager said...

Courtney, you do write of a time and characters that would be their own sub genre. It almost sounds like the original Wonder Woman scenario. Interesting!

Sarah Raplee said...

I love stories that bring something different to their world building! Yours sound like they're right up my alley. :)

My stories include romance, 'organic' paranormal elements, and suspense. And at least one canine secondary character. Most have a contemporary setting.

The 1940s seem to be experiencing an upsurge in popularity. There's even a Steampunk spin-off subgenre know as Diesel Punk where the stories are set around that time, but with alternate history, etc.

The forties are a fascinating time in my book for all the reasons already mentioned.

Kristina said...

Courtney - I don't blame you a bit for being enamored with the Greatest Generation! I feel exactly the same. Good for you for staying true to your voice and stories that come from within. :)

Judith - Thanks soo much for the generous shout out. Very sweet of you. And I loved reading about your family here. Such a brave group of heroes.

Kristina McMorris said...

PS - Sarah, I agree; there's definitely been an upsurge of the '40s in the literary world lately. So nice that an even brighter spotlight is being shone on this deserving and fascinating era!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by Kristina.

Sarah Raplee said...

They don't call it 'The Greatest Generation' for nothing! Nice to see you here, Kristina!

chanceofbooks said...

Courtney! I LOVE the sound of this book/series. I love the 1940s and my favorite "paranormal" elements are more like classic Superman and comic books versus all the Vampires and Werewolves of today. I absolutely can't wait to read your combo of the two--I'd love to see more 1940s romances, particularly mid-late 1940s. I read Josh Lanyon's Snowball in Hell recently and my favorite part was being immersed in the 1940s.

Tam Linsey said...

Courtney, I love the way you describe the justification for your paranormal elements in your writing. I find it wonderful when an author takes the time to build a world that is slightly different from all the other imaginary worlds out there. Good blog!

Vonnie Alto said...

The 1940s is a fascinating, fresh era to write about. I love the form fitting fashions of that era. To set a 1940s story in the paranormal world makes it even more so.

I, too, write in the paranormal genre. I prefer to think of my writing as paranormal contemporary romance and paranormal historical romance. Yes, I twist my plots That's the only way to carve a niche for yourself. Right now, I'm writing paranormal contemporary fantasy romance-definitely a blending of genres. A lot of work! And world building!!!

Courtney L said...

I am sorry this comment is coming so late! I haven't had access to a computer for the entire weekend. Thanks to Judith, Paty, Sarah, Kristina, chanceofbooks, Tam and Vonnie for such encouraging words and great personal feedback. I really have been meaning to read Kristina's book-- I've heard such great things about it, too, in the Romance Writer's Report. Thanks again to all who've commented!

Kristina McMorris said...

Thanks for the kind words, Courtney! I hope you enjoy the read.

A whole weekend without a computer?! Yikes. I think I'd feel like I'd lost a limb, lol.