Monday, February 8, 2010


I sit here, baffled, why there isn't a stronger historical/paranormal market out there. Try to google it, the sub-genre category does not really exist in the Romance Novel world. And I cannot being to fathom why.
Urban Fantasy has caught on as a sub-genre, but it MUST be a contemporary setting. Look at the writing guidelines for Harlequin's Nocturne line, again, contemporary only.

I mean, a lot of these vampires, werewolf legends have basis and beginnings back in the Victorian Age or earlier, it only makes logical sense to set a story in the time period. Why not a juicy, Gothic Vampire story set back in 1879?? Try and find one. It is tough sledding. Only a handful, like Susan Krinard's Wolf series for example. Or some from Colleen Gleeson.

I found one, it actually said 'Historical Paranormal' on the spine, it was from Berkeley. But, I found it in a clearance bin, so that should tell you the popularity of these novels.

And when someone does write a Historical Paranormal, publishers seem flummoxed as to how to market them! Case in point, Donna MacMeans 'The Trouble With Moonlight', granted there are no vampires or werewolves in sight, but there are some paranormal elements. Well, you wouldn't know that to look at the rather bland cover here. A more appropriate cover may have been, lets say, Nathan Kamp as the hero James Locke, shadowed in the dark, full moon above, and a see through heroine standing behind him, looking at him admiringly, LOL! ( I have this book on order)

I also mentioned this 'sub-genre that doesn't really exist' at a blog post at Trueromance from Nocturne author Linda Thomas-Sundstrom and she agreed: Yes - it seems to be a tough sale at the moment. I also have a historical Gothic paranormal I’d like to see on the shelves. But maybe the fever will continue to spread, in the future, and more historical folks will begin to crave the next step. I’m hoping for that. The mix is terrific. Fingers are crossed.

I Guess my fingers are crossed as well. For under my bed, cuddled up next to the dust bunnies, is a manuscript for a historical paranormal about a half-vampire. It may never see the light of day. *sigh*


Suzanna said...

I think you know I agree with you on this one, Karen! I would love to see more historical paranormal novels. As you said, maybe one day ...

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew said...

I really don't understand it myself, as a lot of historical readers say they like paranormal as well. Seems to me it would make the perfect marriage. Well, here's hoping...someday.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Karen -

Thanks for mentioning THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT. It's really a fun and sexy read. The cover doesn't even look historic, does it? LOL.

I have a theory that paranormals appeal to younger readers (ie 30 and younger), and the historicals appeal to an older market. While you might think that something that combines the two would appeal to both audiences, I think instead the readers look at the element they are least comfortable with and pass on the book. Why take a chance when there are so many excellent books that don't ask that they stretch their comfort level? Rather then joining two audiences, it excludes both.

My hope is this will change with time - especially as I have a sequel to Moonlight that I'd love to write.

The best way to change this is to encourage more and more people to buy the historic paranormals that are out there. The publishers pay attention to sales.

Karyn Gerrard AKA~Drew said...

Hi Donna!

What a great theory, it has a lot of merit, in fact, I would say you are bang-on here.
I have a few blog buddies that are my age (mid-late forties) that love both genres, we could be a very select, narrow group. Too select to find a footing in the sub-genre market, as you say, sales are everything.
But I really think Publishers are not marketing these stories well at all.
Though, over at the Romance Dish, Historical releases for Feb, out of 34 titles, 2 have paranormal listed in brackets. A sign of hope? dang, I hope so.
Thanks for swinging by Donna, can't wait to read your book!