Last week I received a contract for my seventh book–well, technically, it’s my eighth contract if you count the fact that Unwilling Angel has been with two publishers–and I’m here to tell you the seventh–or eighth–is just as thrilling as the first. I did just as many Snoopy dances with this one and though I can’t say for sure, I think the ninth or tenth or whatever number I eventually get to will still give me that same rush of pleasure and joy. At least I hope it will.
Anyway, that’s not exactly what this blog post is about. What I really want to discuss is genre. As most of you know, I write mainly in the romance genre, and this book, Winds of Fate, was submitted as a paranormal romance but I’m not sure if it really qualifies as paranormal because there aren’t any shape-shifters, vampires, etc. The heroine and hero are both psychic and telepathic and the hero has telekinetic abilities.
But are psychic abilities considered part of the paranormal genre? I caught a thread on one of the romance blogs the other day where they were talking about a book which featured a psychic heroine and someone–the author I think–referred to it as “Light Paranormal.” I’d never heard that phrase before and it seems, I don’t know, a little vague and unclear. I read “light paranormal” and I figure it’s about a character that has some sort of paranormal ability but that part of the story isn’t the defining element. Or maybe it’s a book that’s pokes gentle fun at paranormal abilities or…heck, I don’t know.
So, here’s the question, oh Genre Godmother, is there a specific genre for books about characters with psychic abilities? I know there are several authors out there who write books along that line. Kay Hooper, a fellow North Carolinian and one of my favorite authors immediately springs to mind with her Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series, but what were they called before they had that series name? When Ms. Hooper sent out that first book of that first trilogy to her agent or editor, what genre did she assign to it? I have most of those books, all but the latest, and a couple of others by the same author which have characters that are psychic, but I don’t remember ever seeing any of them referred to as paranormals. Thrillers, intrigue, modern-day gothics, and a lot of other things, but not a mention of the word paranormal.
Would it help if I gave you a short blurb? Okay, here it is, off the top of my head, it’s based on an ancient legend–the legend of Blowing Rock, actually, although I’ve added to the story–in which the hero dies and the heroine asks the Cherokee Wind Messengers to bring him back. The North Wind Messenger answers her plea but Fate isn’t too happy about it and so takes her life a few years later. The hero in turn, strikes a bargain with Fate and he and his love are given six more lifetimes to prove that their love is worthy of a happy ending. The book takes place in their seventh lifetime, their last as decreed by Fate, and they know that this is their last chance to get it right.
So, oh great and wise Genre Godmother, what’s the correct genre?