Desperately Seeking Dark Paranormals

February 21st, 2006 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Wondering what May Chen of Avon/HarperCollins is seeking in a writer? We knew you were. We’ll give you a little hint: it starts with good, ends with writing.

It’s really difficult to be specific about what qualities I’m looking for. It’s a synergy of several general components: the writing is clean, the voice is compelling, the premise is intriguing and different and the plot holds up. Then all of a sudden you realize that you have something special.

Though depressingly young, Chen is a well-respected editor in the romance genre. While her focus is generally British-set historicals, she’s also desperately seeking a really good dark paranormal romance. We think she’s sending the subtle signal that the days of the funny vampire are over. Ditto funny werewolves, though, now that we think on it, it might be impossible for a werewolf to be funny.

In other news, Chen discusses the appeal of romance novels, and why some people simply don’t get it:

I think romance novels get the least respect because there’s always a happy ending. People may disparage romances because they feel that it encourages women to live in a fantasy world and fosters unrealistic expectations for relationships. I think that’s a crock. I’d prefer the guy next door over Fabio or a vampire, no matter how hot, any day — wouldn’t you? In addition, what non-romance readers don’t realize is that the thrill of reading the books doesn’t stem from the resolution, although that is very gratifying, but by the journey the hero and heroine take. A romance novel at its best has a very textured and complex development of characterization and internal conflict that can be very compelling.

File Under: Publishers and Editors