Friday, July 23, 2010

Urban Fantasy vs. Paranormal Romance? What’s the deal?

So this has been something I’ve been researching and debating for some time now. What is the difference between these two genres? It can’t just be that one has to end with HEA while the other has a carte blanche to do whatever…like kill the hero kind of whatever.

Now before this leads to any side debates about true urban fantasy, I want to specify that I’m talking about Urban Fantasy as it exists today, not as it existed back in the day when it was classic fantasy with an urban twist.

I know that Urban Fantasy is grittier, darker, a lot of the time in first person. I know that it’s female focused with lots of Buffy like heroines running around.

What I’m having trouble with is the sex. How much sex is too much in an Urban Fantasy?

Coming from erotic writing, I have a particular inclination to have sex, graphic sex, in my manuscripts. Now, in a paranormal romance (at least the stuff I’m reading) that’s acceptable, expected, if not demanded by myself and a portion of the reading public. But what about Urban Fantasy?

I gather that many UF novels have some element of romance or sex in them, that it’s a subplot. But how much is too much? I've read many debates on public forums about this topic…some say it’s better when there’s none while others want more. I’m inclined to agree with the latter.

It’s something I’m struggling with now. I want to write something that I would want to read and I like to read both paranormal romance and Urban Fantasy with graphic, mind-blowing sex scenes in them. As do all of my friends. Now I know that some would argue with this viewpoint. I just finished reading a series of comments on a forum where a ton of people were complaining about graphic, embarrassing sex scenes in novels but I have to say I get a little bored, and disappointed if there isn’t at least one. (And if there is only one, I feel cheated…like we were building up for nothing)

Maybe I’m reading UF for the wrong reasons.

Just for clarity…what do you all want? UF with graphic sex or not? Behind closed door kind of description or none at all?

On another note – I unexpectedly got my first review of Assassin the other day! 4 out of 5 stars! Check it out here at The Book Pushers – Thanks Julie for your constructive feedback and wonderful compliments!

And remember – there’s still a contest going on for this month – comment each week and you’re entered that many times for an e-copy of Assassin! I’ll be drawing a winner on August 1st.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Do you find that your writing comes in handy for other things?

I’ve always felt like writing is not transferable…tradable…if you know what I mean. I have friends who have jobs and skills that they can use as a commodity…trade with others, such as an electrician doing side jobs or a tattoo artist cutting some deals in exchange for something else…like say, electrical work ;)

But as a writer, I’ve never felt like I had something I could trade. I mean, I have had friends come to me to help them write an important letter or edit documents…I even had one friend as me to help write his performance appraisal…and I gladly help when asked…but I’ve never believed that my skill as a writer is something that people need.

This may seem like a strange post but it’s something that I’ve been thinking about lately. What has writing done for me and why did I develop that particular skill out of so many possibilities? Maybe I should have pursued a career that would have played to those strengths more and then I would feel like it was a more useful skill. I don’t know what the answer is but I do know that many of my friends can do more useful things with their talents…things that people need.

I can write a book, novella, short story. I can bring entertainment to readers who pick my work up. I can draft a letter or a speech with little effort…something that I know many of my friends can’t or don’t want to do.

What does my writing do for me? Well, a lot…What does it do for others? That I don’t know.

What do you all think? Does your writing serve a purpose? Can you use it as a commodity? Do your friends value your skill?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What supernatural creature are you?

So I was talking to some friends the other day and for some strange reason the conversation turned to superpowers and supernatural creatures. Now, this isn't strange for me because, as you all know, I do exclusively write about the paranormal, but my friends thought that it was fascinating to come up with their top three wish list of supernatural abilities.

Anyway, the conversation was very enlightening to say the least. So I thought I would share what I came up with as my top choice for supernatural creature with my top three supernatural ability wants based on what I've created in my own creatures over the years.

My top choice was to be a witch. I mean, I've been accused of being a witch (well, okay, I’ve been accused of being something that sounds like witch…but close enough) on many occasions. I've also been asked, quite seriously, at work, if I practice wicca. So, I figure it's the best choice for me.

1. Enchanting: I'd love to be able to enchant people into doing things my way. How much easier would life be if I didn't have to argue with the people I work with when I know something is going to work my way? I'd love to be able to take their will away...maybe not all the time, I do hate brainless twits but every once in a while it sure would save some time and hassle if I could zap a person into doing things without arguing.

2. Healing: I think it would be very handy to be able to heal myself and others. No more bandages or broken bones...headaches or pulled muscles...just a little hands on and more injury.

3. Scrying: Otherwise known as the ability to eavesdrop from a distance. How great would it be to listen in on a conversation without having to be in the room? Or to see forward or backward in time in order to settle an argument? I'd say it would be pretty cool. I can't count the number of times I've thought, "wow, I wish I were a fly on that wall." Being able to Scry would get you into that room undetected. Although, maybe sometimes you don't want to hear what others are talking about...but since I'm a gossip whore I say bring it on...I love to hear it all, even if someone does think I'm a crazy witch!

Anyway, those are my top picks. What about you? What supernatural creature would you be and what would be your top three powers?

Friday, July 2, 2010

What is your kryptonite?

As some of you already know, I’m in the process of some pretty extensive revisions for my agent. Changing 3rd person point of view to 1st, rearranging scene sequence, developing characters in a slightly different way, etc. Once we settled on an outline that worked for both of us I began my alterations. I work fast so things were going along at a good pace until…

Well, until I discovered that I had a copy of one of Rhyannon Byrd’s Blood Runner series that I hadn’t yet read. How could I have forgotten it? I can’t really say…I just did and it lay forgotten on my desk for a long time until recently when I stumbled on it again.

I just had to read it. It was a compulsion. I couldn’t just look at it teasing me on my desk and not crack it open. It was far too tempting.

So instead of dumping my work altogether I made some deals with myself. Write for an hour, read for an hour. Revise a chapter, read a chapter. It worked pretty well for the first fifty pages or so of Byrd’s book, but then, like all of her books, I was hooked and I gorged myself on it over two nights, shifting my work to the morning instead.

It sounds bad, I know. I don’t usually get side-tracked so easily but there are certain things that act as kryptonite for me…you know, that weirdo green rock that weakens Superman? Well apparently a good romance is my weakness, especially in the face of extensive revisions.

At least it was only two days…and it’s not like I didn’t write altogether. I did get five chapters done in 48 hours.

Anyway, I’m curious, what’s your weakness? What will derail your strongest attempts to stay focused?

Don't forget, I've got another contest going on this month for an e-copy of Assassin. All you have to do is comment and you're entered to win!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

And the Winner is...

Up here in Canada we're celebrating Canada Day! I thought it would be fitting as part of that celebration to give away another copy of Assassin to one lucky winner!

Thanks to everyone who posted here or on my interview at Seriously Interviewed. I've drawn a name from those who commented and the winner is...Selestial! Congratulations!

I'll be running another contest for the remainder of the month of July. All you have to do is post a comment on my blog. Each time you post (one per week) your name will be entered to win an e-copy of the more weeks you comment, the more times your name will go into the draw!

Check back in every Friday for new blog posts!