Friday, April 8, 2011

Hunting Human Guest Post by Amanda Alvarez

What’s So Special About Paranormal Romance?

This is a topic I think I could talk about, mull over and speculate on for ages! So for the sake of brevity,
I’ll give you three reasons I think paranormal romance is so unbelievably popular. I’d love it if all of you
readers, writers or adventuresome people out there would chime in with reasons of your own!

Reason One: I Want A Super Power!

I admit it. I’m a dork, and a bit of a ten year old boy at heart. I’ve always had a fascination with all
things superhero. As a kid I remember really getting into X-Men – Phoenix, I love you! – and what
wasn’t to like? These people had powers and abilities that made them interesting and different and oh-so-
cool. Even better, so many characters lived in a moral grey area. Wolverine, while awesome, certainly
wasn’t a text book example of a hero. Jane Grey and Phoenix were two halves of the same coin – a study
of how power could be amazing and beautiful or dark and terrifying. Likewise, the X-Men villains were
more interesting, more dynamic than many of their comic book contemporaries because, at the end of the
day, they were people. And people choose. Which brings me back to powers – yes, I want one – and as
a writer I get to try on different powers the way I’d try on shoes at the mall. And now that I’m an adult
I get to explore issues like what would a character do with this power? How would they live with it?
How would they use it? Would they own it, or would it own them? These questions fascinate me. And
I think they probably fascinate a lot of other people too because at the end of the day I think just about
everybody wonders what it would feel like to be extraordinary, what it would feel like to be powerful.
That’s human, and I think that is a portion of the driving force behind the success of paranormal romance.

Reason Two: Adventures – I Want One of Those Too!

Adventures, I want one! I confess, when I watch a great movie or read an incredible book I am living
with the character, I’m on the adventure with them. This is why I go to the movies, why I read, and
ultimately why I write. The earliest example of an adventure story that captured me is The Never Ending
Story, first the movie and later the book. How cool was that movie? Bastian, a remarkably ordinary
boy starts the journey by finding a magical book, a book that takes him places he’s never dreamed of
on a journey with a hero as likeable as Atreyu (who else cried when his horse died?) And at the end,
Bastian got to save the day and ride Falkor (am still a little jealous). I was sold on fantasy from that
moment forward. But why? What was it about fantasy? I think, for me at least, it’s the ability to live
adventurously. To wonder, if it were me, would I have the mettle, the fortitude, the bravery? Could I
sacrifice my deepest dreams, face my darkest fears and win the day? This too, I believe is a base part
of human nature. I think deep down most of us wonder what we’re made of and a paranormal romance
offers a method of exploration - one that generally doesn’t involve squeezing into leather pants or
strapping an assortment of weapons to our thighs – the characters do it for us!

Reason Three: Is There Something Sexier than Destiny?
Alpha males are sexy. Alpha males with magic/abilities/powers? Well, they’re like cupcakes that are
good for you! I think romance in general is fun because it provides an avenue in which to imagine a
man (or woman!) that loves you, thinks you’re amazing and in a word, is destined for you. For me, and
I suspect for a lot of other people out there who enjoy romance, there is that tiny part of me that likes
to imagine that a guy, a really sexy-oh-so-cool guy, would pick me. If that sexy-oh-so-cool guy also
happens to be a vampire? Well that just deepens the compliment doesn’t it? Because that guy has been
around for centuries, millennia even. He’s damaged and jaded and basically above it all but he picked
me. It’s a similar story with shifters – sometimes, the mythology dictates that each shifter has a mate,

which let’s face it could be really cool (unless it’s the bad guy, in which case, er, run!). Isn’t there a tiny
romantic part of us all that wants to believe in the concept of one person out there who’s just perfect for
us? (You can admit it, I won’t tell.) Romance, particularly paranormal romance, gives us license to shed
our realistic, responsible personas - even if only in the dead of night huddled beneath our comforters -
and let our teenaged selves run amok screaming, ‘I’m special! He picked me! We’re destined!’ And in
the case where shifters don’t have mates? Well, revisit the vampire train of thought. A guy – a wolfishly
good looking guy (ha!) – picked me! And of course, it again, comes back to one of our basest human
urges – to be loved for exactly who we are.

So those are my three (condensed) reasons why I think paranormal romance is so popular. Boiled down
it’s because a paranormal romance allows us to step into a different world and really fantasize. It’s
permission to be gifted, have an adventure, and land that one perfect guy. And at the end of the day, no
matter if the book is about werewolves, vampires, fae, or demons, it hopefully appeals to a few key things
that make everyone human.

It’s the human connection that fascinated me as a writer and the human connection that I tried to explore
in my debut release, Hunting Human.

So what about you? Why do you think paranormal romance is so very popular?


About Hunting Human
For two years, Beth Williams has run from the past, and the beast that dwells inside her. She is haunted
by memories of being kidnapped and the savage attack that killed her best friend. Now Beth finally thinks
she's ready to move on...with Braden Edwards, a charming, irresistibly sexy man who tempts Beth to
embrace the present.

But the past lurks closer than Beth realizes. Markko Bolvek, one of the werewolves who kidnapped
her, has tracked her to Portland, Oregon, his pursuit fueled by a hunger for vengeance. Only Braden, a
werewolf himself, senses the danger shadowing her steps. The Edwards and Bolveks have been enemies
for centuries—and despite the instant connection he feels with Beth, Braden isn't sure which side of the
war she's on.

With suspicion at odds with their attraction, Beth and Braden must learn to trust one another to stop
Markko for good. Can Beth accept the wolf within—and love a man who embodies everything she fears?

About the Author:
Amanda was born and raised in Texas - and due to an unfortunate three year stint in Michigan - doesn't
plan to ever live anywhere where flip-flops and sweatshirts don't constitute winter attire. Often audacious
and adventurous, she tends to find herself in a slew of dangerous (and hilarious!) predicaments (law
school and fighting raccoons in dumpsters) and thankfully has many friends ready to lend aid (while they

When not lawyering, writing, or thinking about going to the gym Amanda is often caught sampling
local cupcake offerings and planning to someday co-open an evil bakery and sell dastardly desserts.
She currently lives in Dallas, Texas with one regular-sized cat and one jumbo-sized cat, and can be seen
writing in public places frequented by hot guys (strictly for research purposes, of course!) with her friends
and fellow writers Killer-Cupcake and Pantherista (names omitted to protect the not-so-innocent).

Amanda also will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to the tour host with the most comments (not counting Amanda's, the host's, or duplicates) and to one randomly drawn commenter. 
Click HERE for the rest of the tour schedule


Vivien said...

I would love a super power too. It would make life so convenient!!

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Cathy M said...

Hi Amanda,

I too am a romance junkie, with a particular fondness for paranormal storylines. Love the creative world building, and the endless possibilities for character traits and romantic connections. Even after endless years of reading, I find that I can still be surprised, and I love that.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

What a fun guest post!


Maria D. said...

I don't know about others but I read for both entertainment and to sort of escape reality and I think that is part of why paranormal romance is popular. I think that the romance genre has always been popular and when you add in Alpha type heros and special powers it just adds another level of entertainment. The world building is also an added plus. I also think that parnormal characters get away with not being politically correct all of the time and that we all secretly crave


BLHmistress said...

I agree for me its escapism, and the what you like to happen but know will never happen. Instead of Prince Charming coming to wisk me away its a dark broody overprotective male who whether its sink their teeth into my neck, or mating with a were its all about dark, dangerous and forbidden at least for me.

Beverly said...

I love escaping in a book! I loved this story! Check out my review --

June M. said...

I definately read for escape. Each book is like taking a vacation and I love finding new authors to read.

manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

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