For those of you who have been along for the ride, you know that I have been writing a series of books that revolve around a supernatural counselor. Or rather, a counselor who counsels the supernatural who live amongst us.
Both work, really. She is a wizard, after all.
In any case, I have fought with the defining genre almost since the moment of the book’s inception. I thought at first it was straight Paranormal Romance, but as the story grew I became convinced it was Urban Fantasy because, quite frankly, the love story isn’t the main focal point of this first book. In fact, it isn’t the focal point of the second book either. However, when stepping back and looking at the whole of the series, the love story written there actually is the focal point.
There’s just a lot of world/setting/stuff to get through in order for that love story to come to fruition.
I will be honest and say that I thought it couldn’t be Paranormal Romance unless there was a vampire-killing group who all wore leather pants and kicked some serious batoosh on the page. But I am also honest in that I am basing that assumption on a bazillion book covers. It isn’t a genre I normally read, which is weird because internet algorithms keep flashing their covers at me. The books I frequent are marketed as Fantasy Romance.
Yes, as a matter of fact, Nora’s books could feasibly be called Fantasy Romance as well. The only issue being that it is set in contemporary times and in our world, which lends itself to the Ubran Fantasy genre.
However, the setting is not a major player, which my research tells me is one of the defining elements of an Urban Fantasy. Something about that setting has to be made into a plot issue in order for the book to qualify, and I’m afraid it’s all just trimmings insofar as Nora’s books go. The main driving force behind Nora’s books are the relationships between the people.
Because she’s a counselor. And an empath.
This is what leads me to the idea that it is Paranormal Romance, even if we don’t have the love story as the focal point. Nora’s story is complicated. We learn a lot of things about bright folk living amongst humanity, the existence of Fairy, and the policing force set out to keep bright folk in line.
We’ll put it this way: it bends genres.
It mixes and matches.
It’s the beginning of a love story.
It’s an adventure.
And it has werewolves.
So it’s a lot of fun and in the end, don’t we want to have fun when we read?
2 thoughts on “The Great Genre Battle”
There’s a lot of PNR that is more paranormal first, romance sub-plot. From what I understand, if you can remove the romance from the book and it still work as a story, then the romance is a sub-plot. However, if the final story wrap up ends with the HEA, then romance is the main genre and the paranormal / fantasy is the sub-plot.
There are lots of PNR covers out there though that don’t have vampire killing groups in leather on them… in fact that’s more of a UF cover trope – typically a PNR cover will have one of a few different cover tropes on it
1) Manchest – just the guy’s chest – very romance orientated, steamy
2) Couple – heat is dictated by the outfits and pose – the more racey the pose and the more skin they show, the steamier the romance
3) Girl, often with one or more animals, usually wolves – shifter story – one wolf is wolf shifter, 3 wolves means reverse harem wolf shifter – her with glow magic wings = dragon shifter.
4) Girl with magic – this one can swing into either a witch story, a fae story or an UF – the backgrounds should tell you which
Hopefully that helps – sounds like yours is a romance sub-plot, but you don’t need to discount PNR, just show the rest of the series is with the same character and readers will know it’s not a romance main kind of story.
All of that is amazingly helpful.
The story ends with a HFN. And, yes, you can remove the romance and the story still works in this first book. The second book delves a little more into it.