Archive for 'urban fantasy'



Deep mythology urban fantasy romance: When one genre just isn’t enough
by Jessa Slade on December 1st, 2008

Currently working on: Chapter 9 in FORGED OF SHADOWS
Wherein our heroes run into trouble of the demonic kind
Mood: Freaked by approaching holidays (almost as scary as demons)

This week, the S&S authors are discussing the different subgenres of story we write… and why.

I’ve dabbled in most of romance’s subgenres: historical, romantic comedy, futuristic, and now urban fantasy.  Even the rom-com had a touch of darkness.  It was an evil dachshund, but still.

Not that darkness has to mean evil, of course.  I’ve always been fascinated by the shadow side, the id, the anima, the B side, the path under the trees.  As a kid, I jumped into toadstool circles, not so much because I believed in fairies as that I longed to find out if there was more to see than THIS side. 

(Have you seen this movie? LEGEND is a lovely tale of
light and dark, power and innocence. And action!)

In those days, I liked the Beast better before he became the Prince.  I wanted the unicorn – at least once – to run off with the village whore.  Okay, and maybe I did think, if you made it to Summerland, why would you WANT to come back?

Now that I’m older and wiser(-ish), I realize that the shadow isn’t out THERE, it’s in US.  And what better place to explore the forces of light and dark, the principles of masculine and feminine, the powers of love and lust than a romance novel?

So what if an ancient darkness possessed you?  And what if that darkness yearned for the light?  Would life be easier if you knew for a fact that good and evil battled for your immortal soul?  What hard choices would you make if only you could ensure Creation survived the apocalypse brewing within humanity itself – especially if maybe you can’t call yourself human anymore?

Those are the big questions in my story.  (Yeah, the fate of the world as we know it just seemed too small; let’s hang the universe in the balance!)  I also play with the more intimate questions of relating with the other half of your soul: like how to divvy up the household chores… such as  cleaning up the brimstone poisoning, and how opening your heart to your mate can be harder than battling demons.

But while the plot makes of my story a dark paranormal romance, the characters are just like you and me.  Um, except (hopefully) for the demonic possession thing.  But the forces at work inside us all are every bit as terrifying and wondrous.

Does this not sound Christmas-y?  As we descend into the darkest part of year, there’s no better time to contemplate the shadow side and the hope that rises from it.  My story began at the end of 2007 (when I won the Rose City Romance Writers writing contest and sold my book) and won’t see the light of day again until the waning months of 2009 (when the book finally appears on shelves near you).  No wonder I’m quite in tune with the wee dark months. 

So tell me, what seed dreams have sprouted in your dark times?  Which shadow aspects of your soul do you most fear… or cherish?  Your comments count toward your chance to win this week’s holiday gift from me!