Summer reading, Nora Roberts, and getting over paranormals

I read Nora Robert’s Vision in White over the weekend. Spectucular guy, that Carter. Great, wonderful beta hero. Who does a beta male better than Ms. Roberts? He might be my favorite, ever. Wasn’t crazy about Mac, the heroine. She annoyed me a bit. Maybe because she got Carter. I didn’t believe the mom character, Linda. Over the top.

I can’t really remember the last book I read for pleasure. That is, not for review or for a critique partner. So this was a rare treat, as I took time from my own writing (and that’s probably going to come back to haunt me in the form of a lovely rejection when I could have been smurfing up my manuscript).

One thing I found exceptionally refreshing about Vision in White is that it didn’t have a demon, were, ghost, hint of the demon, vampire, hint of anything vaguely foggy. Misty. Foreboding.

I don’t often read romances (gasp). But I’ve decided that I like contemporaries the best. Hands down, demon-free contemporaries. Not even suspenseful ones. Now my question to myself: why haven’t you written a contemporary without a bit of the paranormal? Oh, I did, a few novellas that are under my name Therese MacFarland at Amber Quill. That was a long time ago.

Could I have been slacking by “using” paranormal elements to substitute for great plots and characters? Ah, next up: write a contemporary romance. How about you?


3 thoughts on “Summer reading, Nora Roberts, and getting over paranormals

  1. After throwing yourself into your grand steampunk epic, it sounds like a plain old contemporary might be in due order! Nothing wrong with taking a break and touching back down to earth a while before revisiting those worlds of fancy.

    I’ve recently penned what I consider my first true contemporary, minus not only paranormal elements but the yaoi themes I tend to favor in “contemporary” labeled works like Blue Ruin. Even with the title of Off the Beaten Path, it’s about as normal a story for me as I could write, and I thoroughly enjoyed penning it.

    I don’t think authors like us rely on paranormal and/or over-the-top elements to compensate for any areas of weakness. Each layer in the pastiche is meant to enhance the reader experience! However, I will say that leaving those details out of Off the Beaten Path helped me focus more on the basic story in and of itself. I’ve come away from the experience a stronger writer, and am ready to tackle the more complex, multi-layered stuff again!

  2. ciarcullen says:

    Yes! That’s what I meant! That one might be a stronger writer for having fewer of those layers–so that the worldbuilding isn’t somehow covering up a lack of character depth. Look forward to Off the Beaten Path!

    Hey, and my Steampunk (I’m told it’s actually speculative romance) isn’t very epic. Just finished, for now ;o)

  3. Lucinda says:

    I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried writing different genres and just can’t break in anywhere. I just knew that my recent effort would be accepted, because I’d had such great feedback on it. I admire writers who can switch gears on a dime and write what’s selling and make it work.

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