What I learned from writing in a new subgenre
I normally write category length contemporary romance and I love it. The modern setting is comfortable and the issues that couples face today is full of possibilities for conflict, drama and romance. So when my publisher put out the call for us to submit for Covet, the paranormal line, I found myself hitting “send” on a proposal for an idea that had been sitting my hard drive. I loved writing, SEX & THE SINGLE VAMP, and I learned so much about myself as a writer.
Here are the top things that I learned:
1. World-building is scary: Yes, scary. On the one hand you can do almost anything in a paranormal setting. You can have people who fly, aliens who can read minds, and vampires who sparkle. But with all that possibility the culling down of what you will include, twist or change for your world is terrifying in its infiniteness. I settled on modern day Washington DC in a world that knows at “Others” exist and the people struggle with how to integrate the scary creatures that used to just live in the fairy tales into your everyday life.
2. Research isn’t so bad: I do some research for my contemporary romances but it is usually about job requirements, locations, or technology. But in this book, my hero and heroine have known each other for almost 300 years and they have many memories that still come up today. I felt a little bit like the writer of “Forrest Gump” as I verified dates, places and events to make sure that my characters were in the right places at the right time. It was fun but also a little nerve-wracking . . .LOL.
3. I can’t add: Okay, we’re friends, right? So you won’t laugh when I tell you that I have an issue with numbers adding up to the correct sum. In this case, I could not get dates right to save my life (or my characters) and I was directed during edits to never attempt addition or subtraction without supervision.
4. There are more supernatural creatures than I ever imagined: I needed to populate my world with “Others” and that research turned out to be the most interesting part of all. I enjoy paranormal romance as a reader but I am not well-read in the subgenre, so I was excited to read about the banshee, the different kinds of fey creatures and the dozens of shapeshifters. I can honestly say that lost a full afternoon sifting through article after article on the Internet.
5. It feels good to stretch my wings: While I don’t know how many paranormal books I will write in the future, I thoroughly enjoyed writing this one. It was still a category length story but the weaving in of the paranormal elements and the explanation of those elements in my world was challenging to weave into the romance and the plot and it made me exercise skills that I don’t normally do in contemporary projects. It was hard at times but exciting and I think I added skills to my tool box that I can use to make any story better and it was an ego boost to know that I could do it.
So- have you branched out into a new subgenre? What did you learn?
Handsome Hansel joins us on Monday!
Cici Trent, vampire and media darling, spends her days finding true love for humans and supernaturals (the “Others”) at her dating agency. But someone is trying to sabotage her business and she needs help. Unfortunately, the best man for the job is the one who broke her still beating heart two hundred fifty-four years ago.
Deacon is a patient vampire. He’s only loved one woman in over three hundred years— CiCi— and she chose another. So when she shows up in his office asking for help, he finally has the chance to lay that demon to rest. He’ll help her, but for a price—a night in his bed.
Adrenaline, mischief, and a little late-night B&E light the passion that even a couple of lifetimes couldn’t put out. But Deacon has a secret and when Cici is suddenly mortal, his deception might be the only way restore her immortality. Can love bridge the gap between a heartbeat and forever?
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Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her bestselling books. When she’s not writing sexy, sizzling romance she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and stalking Joe Manganiello. You can find Robin at her website (robincovingtonromance.com), Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Don’t send chocolate . . . send eye candy!
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