April 28th, 2009

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RT from A to Z

[Cross-posted from my blog]

Last year’s RT from A to Z was a huge hit. And so…here’s the all new 2009 edition. Maybe it’s not as clever as last year’s ode to RT. Sorry, but I’m still decompressing from a week of panels, promo and Perkins. (And it no way, shape or form mentions all the terrific people I saw this year. I mentioned the whole "decompressing" thing, yes?) Enjoy! And I hope to see you next year at RT.

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Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

*Cross-posted from my blog, where I've been talking about some of the thoughts and ideas that came up at Romantic Times last week*

One really interesting RT panel was devoted to defining the (often blurry) line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Jackie Kessler (who, by the way, just sold an awesome-sounding YA that you can read about here) suggested that in urban fantasy, the focus is usually on good vs. evil. It could be an external struggle, it could be an internal struggle, there may or may not be an apocalypse at stake, and shades of gray can abound, but at the end of the day, she suggested the heart of UF was good vs. evil; whereas the central focus in paranormal romance is usually the evolution of and relationship between a primary couple and their eventual happy ending. Jeaniene Frost came back and countered, ever so gently, that there are some paranormal romances that center as much or more on good vs. evil as on the couple in question and identified the romance genre expectation of an HEA (Happily Ever After) as the driving difference between paranormal romance and urban fantasy. In other words, in a paranormal romance series, at the end of the series, the couple has to be together; in an urban fantasy, they don't. So if you're going to blow up your primary love interest (not that I've ever come VERY, VERY close to doing that or anything), your readers will probably react less violently if you're shelved in fantasy than if you're shelved in romance, because the HEA expectation is built into the romance genre.

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