Labels and Elements of Paranormal Romance Novels

Whether you’ve written or read a great book, when you tell people about it, they often want a reference point: Some key information to know where to find the book or if it matches their taste in reading.

So how do you decide where a book fits – on a bookshelf or in the infinite virtual shelf space of ebooks?

When my first book, Justice Incarnate, came out in paperback in 2005 it had elements of several categories (sci-fi, thriller, romance, paranormal). The publisher and I had a challenge suggesting how bookstores should shelve it. Readers in all those genres liked the book, which was great, but it only made classification tougher.

The terms known today as ‘branding’ and ‘platform’ were just hitting the publishing scene. That was only six years ago.

Just a few years ago, most readers didn’t know or care what those terms meant, they just wanted to find a good book with elements they enjoyed. I think that’s just as true today, no matter how books are published. Readers want to find books with elements of paranormal romance or thriller elements, or whatever they turn to for entertainment.

But branding and platform have helped author define the key elements of their novels, paranormal or otherwise, that help readers find them.

If an author wrote about two consenting adults falling in love over coffee, it was a contemporary romance. A book about coffee loving vampires who fall in love, is clearly a paranormal romance novel. But the author who writes about a future where coffee is illegal and the heroine must dispatch a nasty demon with or without the aid of the man who had almost been her husband. Well… that’s a harder label to pin down.

As a reader I think it’s great when novels cross genres and incorporate elements of paranormal romance with the chills of mystery or suspense or even contemporary factors.

As my writing grew with my characters I chose to focus on the paranormal elements of my novels and branded myself a paranormal romance author so readers could find me more easily. Sure the Shadows of Justice series is set in the future (a future where real coffee is illegal) but that just adds to the adventure for readers who enjoy dark paranormal elements with a touch of romance.

Live the adventure!

Stay tuned for news about the May 10th release of Tracking Shadows, the latest novel from 2096!

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