Urban Fantasy Author
Book Bling Blog
Many writers have a difficult time labeling their work or fitting it into specific categories or genres. In today’s popular cross-genre norm, this makes sense. Novels still need to be labeled for marketability, so I want to examine the differences and common traits of two popular modern genres that are often confused: Urban Fantasy and Paranormal.
I read somewhere that the difference between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal is that Paranormal is Urban Fantasy in which the main characters have sex. At first, I thought this was funny. Then I thought about it and decided it’s not as silly a statement as it seems. The description does, however, require a bit more elaboration to be considered anything more than an oversimplified characterization.
First let’s start by examining the genres individually. Urban Fantasy was once considered to be a subgenre of Fantasy in which the story took place in a major city or town. Nowadays, it’s considered Urban Fantasy if it takes place in a contemporary setting (VS say High Fantasy which often takes place in ancient or medieval times or magical locales). The everyday world is far from “normal” however. It involves magic or characters with supernatural powers or characteristics, though they still interact with everyday mortals—you know, Muggles. Urban Fantasy often has fantastical creatures, too, even those usually found in paranormal novels. The main character(s) battle supernatural beings, even if they have supernatural powers of their own.
Paranormal novels contain supernatural beings, such as vampires, werewolves or other shapeshifters. They can take place in any time or locale. The main characters may or may not have actual intercourse, but they have a personal relationship of some kind around which the events and plot revolve.
So why do I write Urban Fantasy? Because I like multi-layered, complex subplots. My novels contain romantic elements, but they go beyond the two main characters. They are about 2 branches of the same family: feuding supernatural beings. I decided to write a spin-off mini-series where I focused on the romantic relationship some of the minor characters had, that didn't get enough face-time in the larger novels. They're characters readers liked and wanted to know more about. Why aren't they paranormal romance novels then? Because though there is a very intimate personal relationship between the two main characters, and their romance effects the plot, there is still enough subplot that there is a story present even if they didn't have a romance. Why is it a romance? Because their relationship does move the plot forward. Complicated enough for you? Well, let's put it this way: if you like the romance elements of my Urban Fantasy, you will really like the Romance spin-off series.
Hudson here, Elizabeth's social media VP. I hope you enjoyed this post, though I have to say it's as clear as mud to me. Then too, I'm a dog, so my relationships are much less complicated.
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