I think there’s a general misconception that paranormal romance authors only write for women. If a man writes action or adventure novels with even a hint of romance, it’s a thriller. Add in a paranormal element and it will likely be labeled horror.
Of course that’s a sweeping statement, a blatant generality, rather than an actual study of fact based on book labels and reader preferences and paranormal romance author gender.
I know there are plenty of talented men who write paranormal romance novels and label it accordingly. Just as there are an abundance of talented women who write chilling horror, dynamic sci-fi, and suspenseful thriller novels.
When Justice Incarnate was first sold, my publisher and I aimed the marketing primarily at women. It was a bit of a shock to learn my fans were nearly an equal split of men and women. After all, I naively believed men wouldn’t enjoy the book as much because of the romantic elements and the absolute alpha female lead.
Yet I continue to receive praise, reviews, and fan mail from men. “Damn well written” was the latest. The review was a perfectly timed follow up to a disastrous day in which my writing got pushed around due to life in general.
The shifts in publishing have opened new doors for authors and introduced new authors to a wider range of new readers. Labels are only part of the story, and I’ve learned how many different labels can apply to one book, not to mention one author.
When I first started out, I aimed for romantic suspense and discovered my voice has a distinct paranormal vibe. So I shifted (pun intended) that direction and voila, the Shadows of Justice series began.
Now, because of my urban settings, many readers find my books labeled as urban fantasy, fantasy thriller, and more combinations. Which is just fine by me, having learned the market and categories will be forever shifting as readers and retailers try to group books to make searching easier for their customers.
But no matter who reads my paranormal romance novels, regardless of how they’re labeled, I’ll always consider myself a paranormal romance author.
Not as a limit, more as a foundation.
Live the adventure!