By Author Kelli A. Wilkins
It’s October, and naturally thoughts are turning toward pumpkins, trick-or-treats, spooky decorations, and… paranormal romances.Halloween is my favorite holiday, and as almost everyone knows, I write in several genres – including romance and horror. Many people think that’s an odd combination, but I like to say that one half of my brain writes the horror, and the other half writes the romance.
So naturally, it was only a matter of time before I combined the two and started writing paranormal romances.
Although the story is about a vampire, I wanted to keep the central focus on Brian and Cassie’s relationship and not on the “bloodier” aspects of vampirism. Yes, Cassie needs to “feed” but does so in a way that Brian can understand and come to grips with. Can he truly love her for who and what she is? Is he willing to sacrifice everything to be with her? Those are themes we find in any romance, regardless of genre.
I think there’s a fine line when blending horror and romance into paranormal romance. Too much gore or a “too terrifying” creature can snap the readers (and the characters) out of the romance and into a full-on horror story. The hero (or heroine) should be attracted to the “otherworldly” character, not repulsed by him (or her.)
When I wrote my second paranormal, Beauty & the Bigfoot, I took on the challenge of writing a Bigfoot romance. My story idea was simple: “What if a cryptozoologist’s daughter fell in love with a Sasquatch?” I knew the subject matter and plot wouldn’t work with a “straight” romance, so I made it into a paranormal comedy.
While I was writing the story, I was concerned about two aspects: One was readers being turned off or freaked out by the idea of a woman being intimate with a “monster” (or an “animal”); the second thing that concerned me was that readers wouldn’t “get” the wacky humor and unusual characterization of Tara and her father, Charlie.
I made sure I gave the Sasquatch a name, (Joe), and humanistic traits so readers can see him as Tara does – as a really hairy guy. (And in the end, we learn a big secret about Joe – he’s not the “creature” everyone thinks he is.) I’m happy to say that Beauty & the Bigfoot has received several excellent reviews, so the story and humor are connecting with readers.
Several people have asked me if it’s hard to write horror and romance. Not really. I enjoy it. It allows me to change up my writing style, use different settings, and create characters you normally wouldn’t find in a romance. My horror short stories are more psychological/spooky than gory, and I like to explore the darker aspects of a story and not always give the characters a happy ending (as I do in my romances).
Whether you love reading romances about vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, or other creatures of the night – enjoy the Halloween season!
ABOUT KELLI A. WILKINS
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 90 short stories, 18 romance novels, and 4 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels. Kelli had three romances published in 2014: A Secret Match, Wilderness Bride, and Dangerous Indenture.
She publishes a blog: filled with excerpts, interviews, writing prompts, and whatever else pops into her head. She also writes a monthly newsletter, Kelli’s Quill, and posts on Facebook and Twitter. Kelli invites readers to visit her website, to learn more about all of her writings.
Catch up with Kelli on the Web:
NEW Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx