June 30, 2011

Is Paranormal fiction the new Historical Romance?

Do you ever feel like just about every book you pick up these days has a supernatural flavour to it?  Have we, as a generation, just fallen out of love with the average Jo and Jane story?  I think we have.

I was trolling through my large bookshelves the other night and found, to my horror, that a huge percentage of space was devoted to romances of the paranormal kind.  It seems that Paranormal romance has become the new Historical Romance.  We are bombarded with covers of sexy vampires, witches, or werewolves.  If you walk into K-Mart, Big W, Target, or any other shop that sells books, all the romances are tucked away in a little corner while the Vampires, Witches and Werewolves are in your face up the front.  The extra tinge of dangerous love seems to have hit the spot with most women these days. 

Seriously, which of these books would you buy?

Think about what your local bookshop was selling 15-20 years ago.  Fabio was the hottest cover model out there, and if the blurb mentioned hunky knights, corsets and castles we bought it.  Fast foward 15 years and we are no longer drawn to a cover with Fabio manhandling his wench - face it, we cringe and put it down, nor does the windswept vista of a medieval castle high on a hill in the background have the power to woo us.  Have we just become too jaded? 

Now, feeling a little shamefaced, I went to one of the boxes where I store some of my older books, and sure enough there they were.  All my old favourites, slightly battered and looking extremely well read.  I felt like I'd just discovered old friends that I hadn't realised I'd missed.  There were my favourite romances that I'd discovered in high school (French was quite boring at times), and found my old Johanna Lindsey's.  The Mallory's and who could forget Warrior's Woman - my first Sci-fi/Fantasy romance.

I still have Nora Roberts' The Donovan trilogy (Captivated, Entranced and Charmed) and even some one-off historical romances that I'd managed to rescue from library book sales.  All of them, waiting patiently in this old brown box for the day when they'd be read again.  I don't have the heart to put them back in the box, and I don't want to get rid of them . . . I guess that means I'll be getting a bigger bookcase instead.

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