Paranormal Romance and New Adult: Between Two Worlds
I am a lover of romance, and paranormal romance in particular. In fact, if I’m not reading a historical regency-era romance (the romances I cut my teeth on back when I was a wee girl) it’s pretty likely that I’m reading a paranormal romance or an urban fantasy. Why, then, did I decide to write a New Adult novel?
Easy: New Adult and Paranormal romances scratch the very same itch for me.
Don’t believe me? I wouldn’t have thought it either, but then I started reading New Adult, curious as to what the craze was all about, and I found myself getting swoony. But why? There were no deadly, preternaturally beautiful supernatural creatures lusting after the heroine’s blood (among other things) in sight. So what made them so much like the paranormal romances that make me sigh?
Because they were larger than life, that’s why. New Adult focuses on that time between when you leave high school and when you’ve found your footing in the real world. At last you are On Your Own. You now Control Your Destiny. All possibilities are open to you, in ways they never were before. When New Adult does its job right, it’s real life turned up to eleven, bringing back memories of those days for us oldbies, and reflecting the world as it is for young people going through that very transition in life.
In a paranormal romance the stakes are very high—usually life and death and the end of the world. But when you’re still trying to find your footing in the world, the emotional landscape is much the same. Everything is huge, earth-shattering, momentous. Firsts come at us at a lightning fast pace, leaving us reeling. If I may get pretentious for a moment, in his poem “Letter,” Croatian poet Zvonko Maković captured the feeling of being a new adult perfectly: “In the past when I took every mistake / for a defeat, / I believed that it is very easy to love”.
The men that enter your life in that time are special. Sometimes in a bad way! But they definitely leave their mark. If reading romance is like cheating without the guilt, then New Adult is when you hook up with your old ex, the one you were totally wrong for and who was wrong for you but god it was so hot. Oh, just like that vampire lover we like to read about… So wrong. And yet so wicked. Of course I couldn’t resist drawing parallels between the genres when I wrote Where I End and You Begin. The heroine is obsessed with ghosts and ghost stories. In fact, the very first line of the book is, “This is a ghost story.” New Adult and Paranormal touch on the supernatural and the hyperreal. If I want to feel something, these are now my go-to genres.
As in paranormal, in New Adult it’s a whole new world.
Andra Brynn is part of Insatiable Reads Book Tours, where the hottest authors in romance debut their sizzling new reads!
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