Saturday, July 23, 2011

Do You Know?

I'm wondering what the difference is between an urban fantasy with romance elements and a paranormal romance? Is the paranormal romance's happy ending the only difference?

Is there a better name (maybe a new name??) for a book that focuses on the experiences of the main female character, takes place in a contemporary urban setting, has suspense/humor/light horror/sex, and LOTS of romance elements, with a happy-for-now ending?

What do you think?


Blogger Beth Caudill said...


The Urban Fantasy will focus on the single main character (99.9% main character) and there can be multiple love interests. There can be a HFN or no conclusion to the couple's (or more) status because the emotional relationship isn't the main focus of the book.

A Paranormal Romance has to have the couple's emotional journey as the focus of the book and you show both main character points of view (somewhere between 60/40 or 70/30 depending on the line you submit too.) And yes, there has to be an HEA. :)

Is there a hybrid of the two. I don't think they've named a genre yet for this. Closest to a hybrid would be the C.L. Wilson fantasy Tairen Soul series. It's labeled as Fantasy romance but after book 1 it's more about the questing than the couple's romance.

I think you decide if the story is more about the main character or the couple and that's how you pick whether something is UF or PR (or FR).

3:11 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Nicely said, Beth! Wonderful explanation. Thanks so much! I guess that puts my books squarely in the UF category.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Karen Duvall said...

Great questions, Lynda. Urban Fantasies usually revolve around one main character, but the romance elements can be fairly strong. You can pretty much guarantee there will be sexual tension. But the love interest may not show up until later in the book, whereas a paranormal romance will have the couple meeting within the first few pages of the story.

My publisher, Harlequin Luna, wants a strong woman as the main character, and expect some sensuality between her and her love interest. However, technically the UFs they publish are not romances. They do appeal to women who want an emotional read, but HEA's are optional. And since the UF is often a series, there's an opportunity for the main character and her love interest to build on their relationship and give it lots of rocky moments, even break up and end up with someone new. I take full advantage of that creative license in my books. :)

The name for a type of book that has all the elements you describe is called Urban Fantasy. Haha. :) So you answered your own question.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Thanks, Karen. Yep, I'm taking advantage of that creative license, too! I'm in the midst of having a big bump in the road for my heroine and the vampire she hooked up with in the first book. It's awesome to have the chance to write an entirely new book 2 and go back to my original plan of having all the interpersonal aspects unfold much more slowly. I really hope readers will hang in there with me and not get upset! Thanks for a great explanation. And I hope your sales go through the roof.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Karen Duvall said...

Thanks, Lynda! And i love your idea of having your internal aspects unfold slowly in the 2nd book. Great idea. :)

5:57 PM  

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