Vampires, shape-shifters, psychics, mages, ghosts, zombies, and more: the romance genre is full of things that go bump in the night…in more ways that one. 😉
Paranormal romance and urban fantasy exploded onto the shelves in the late 90’s and are still going strong today. Although trends come and go within the genre, overall it doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. We just can’t get enough!
What is it that makes paranormal and urban fantasy so popular? Here are a few possibilities:
- It lets us get away from our everyday lives. Your boss is a jerk, your dinner exploded in the microwave, and your cat just barfed on your favorite shoes. But pick up a the right book and you’re not just whisked away to somewhere different—you’re whisked away to somewhere awesome, where people slay demons and date vampires, read minds, and talk to ghosts. Everything is bigger, brighter, and more magical—even the grungy bits. Heck yeah, sign me up for that, baby!
- It exercises our imaginations. Once we’re out of elementary school, we aren’t really encouraged to be imaginative on a daily basis any more. All those fun books about dragons and genies disappear from the classroom, and we’re told to read about Important Serious Stuff. Then it’s college with more facts and figures, and a job, and ugh. PNR, urban fantasy, fantasy, and science fiction reconnect us with our imaginations. What would it be like to turn into a wolf, or live through a zombie apocalypse, or sleep with an empath, or cast a spell?
- The dream of being special. Fated mates are hugely popular and for good reason. If someone in real life came up to you and said you were the one person in the entire world for him and were fated to be together forever, you’d be calling the police while macing his face. But a werewolf or a vampire in a story? Suddenly it’s gone from creepy to romantic.
What about you guys? Why do you think PNR and urban fantasy remains so popular? Even better, why do you personally like to read it? Let me know in the comments!