Guest Blogger: Jody Wallace
Jody's winner is : Pamk! Congrats, PamK! Thanks to everyone for participating.
I've been reading a book called BLACK AND WHITE this week, by authors Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittridge. The book's a full blown "superworld" novel -- that is, speculative fiction in which superhero type characters take center stage. It's not like an urban fantasy or paranormal, but more like a classic "costumed crusaders" kind of plot. And I am seriously enjoying it.
In fact, I'm thinking, "Why aren't there more books like this?"
In the Wikipedia entry for Superhero, the definition is: "A superhero (also known as a super hero) is a fictional character of unprecedented physical prowess dedicated to acts of derring-do in the public interest." That's one kind of superhero. There are others, of course, in particular the grim, "Watchman" style of worldbuilding and storytelling, but the premise is roughly the same -- characters who (somewhat) openly fight crime in ways and with skills that are not exactly standard police procedure. Here is a 2008 column by Cat Rambo about Superhero fiction in which she is nominating a tv episode for the Nebulas and talking about books she enjoys: http://www.nebulaawards.com/index.php/guest_blogs/superheroes/
Here on Lynda's Paranormality blog, obviously there's a lot of talk about vampires and werewolves and hot gargoyle heroes. These are enduring and popular subgenre staples. What began as a somewhat narrow subgenre (paranormal romance) has definitely been branching out in the past couple years, as readers demand variety and new storylines in addition to their beloved blood suckers and shifters. As many successful years as superheroes have captured our imaginations, in both comics and on the big/small screens, why do you think there haven't been more superworld style novels, particularly romances?
Yes, there have been some fun ones. The first I recall is the Aphrodite series by Julie Kenner. I also read and enjoyed the Jennifer Estep Bigtime series (KARMA GIRL, JINX, HOT MAMA) and INTRODUCING SONICA by Eilis Flynn. I have heard Gena Showalter's book PLAYING WITH FIRE described as a sort of superhero romance, and certainly there is the aforementioned BLACK AND WHITE.
It's quite possible there have been more superhero style romances (or chick lits) published, particularly from smaller, more flexible publishers, and I have missed them. I know my good friend Natalie Damschroder participated in an erotic superhero series called The Lusty League from Amber Quill, for example.
What gems am I missing?
I think there are some in YA series, but for the life of me I can't remember the names of them.
Do mainstream publishers feel this particular subgenre wouldn't interest the primarily female romance reading audience? Do they think only boys like superheroes? What do you think?
I will give away either an electronic or a paper copy of my paranormal romance from Samhain Publishing, SURVIVAL OF THE FAIREST (not a superhero romance but does feature some pint-sized supervillians!), to one lucky commenter. And I hope a lot of you comment -- I'd love to see a good discussion about the potential for great stories in the subgenre of superhero romances, as well as lots of suggestions for books I can track down!
Thanks to Lynda for giving me access to the brains of her blog visitors -- and you're safe, I'm not a zombie (today) :)
Jody Wallace http://www.jodywallace.com/ * www.meankitty.com
Jody's winner will be posted on Tuesday evening. Stop by and see if you won!