Okay, is it just me or are you getting afraid to leave the house for fear some sexy vampire or panting werewolf will leap out of the bushes and try to have his way with you? Instead of lions and tigers and bears, it's those other pesky creatures of the night who are overrunning the woods and the bookstores these days. After flipping through the most recent issue of "Romantic Times Book Reviews," even I—the author of THE VAMPIRE WHO LOVED ME—had to ask myself (a la Carrie Bradshaw in SEX AND THE CITY), "Just when did paranormal become normal?"
My theory is that the current paranormal boom represents a reader's rebellion of sorts. I adore contemporary comedies and lighthearted Regency romances as much as the next girl. I've written a few of those lighthearted Regencies myself and may very well turn around and write another one tomorrow. But I can't live on a steady diet of them. No matter how delicious the pudding, sometimes I just have to have a little meat with it.
By sneaking through the back door in the dead of night, paranormal has brought back to the romance genre the very qualities that made it so wildly popular in the late 70's, 80's and early 90's. Dark passions and the thrill of danger. Heroes and heroines who may very well die without one another. And the gripping sense that something eternal is at stake. (In THE VAMPIRE WHO LOVED ME, that something is the hero's soul.)
So what are YOUR theories about the current popularity of paranormal romance? Are paranormal heroes the ultimate Alpha males or do you prefer that your men don't require up-to-date shots and a flea collar?