Welcome friends, readers and weirdo’s. Are you ready to get all warm and squishy with me?
Now don’t go getting all excited. Today’s post is about love. L.O.V.E. The Big L. Luuuuurve.
Why I have been thinking about love this week, I couldn’t tell you. In fact, it comes as somewhat a surprise to myself as I am without doubt quite cynical when it comes to all things warm and squishy. Maybe cynical isn’t the right word, I don’t know, but I think I am definitely more of a realist than a romantic.
I believe in love but I don’t believe in love at first sight. It doesn’t exist and anyone who says it does is a liar. Love isn’t forever. I’ve seen enough relationships come and go and for people to move onto the next ‘soul-mate’ to know this is true. Love won’t stop heads from being turned. Love does not conquer all.
So you see……I am a cynic, a realist…..or am I?
Paranormal romance is all the rage these days. When I was growing up and just starting to get a grip on the type of fiction I liked, I read either paranormal fiction or horror fiction. And I can tell you now, romance was never part of the plot. Okay so there was often a romantic interest thrown in, but mostly this was just for the author to chuck in a random sex scene. But let’s not kid ourselves; it was never about love. Just a bit of raw physical contact to keep the reader titillated between the horror scenes. Blood and sex. Sex and blood.
These days it’s a different story altogether (pardon the pun). We want spooky romance. We want spooky sex. We want heart-felt love and unbridled passion between a human and supernatural being, usually a vampire because let’s face it, coughing up werewolf fur balls isn’t quite as appealing is it? And in the majority of cases, we have to have the love with the passion. Penetration is wholly acceptable but we want the characters to be in love, or eventually fall in love. Even J.R Ward’s stallion vampires fall in love. Quite why we can’t have one without the other anymore, I don’t know? Are we striving for perfection? Is it the ultimate fantasy? We want Mr Darcy to have fangs. But we have to have love. Love is the key. We crave love. Without it, Darcy is just another hero in tight trousers with the obligatory hard-on.
And yet despite being educated in original old-school horror and believing myself to be a cynic in all matters of love, hearts and flowers, I find that I might just have created my very own fanged Mr Darcy. Michael: he of the broad shoulders, slim hips and a smile most women would die for. He’s undoubtedly a hit in the sack and he’ll give you a killer orgasm (particularly if your bank balance is healthy). But what’s more is that he is in love with my heroine, Sarah. Despite fighting tooth and nail not to create a love story, that’s inadvertently just what I’ve done.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with paranormal romance. I’m a Twilight fan. I’m not going to lie about that. I got sucked in just like millions of others did, only I did find it madly frustrating that they didn’t get it on until Breaking Dawn. I mean three novels is too long to wait for Mr Darcy to get the obligatory hard-on. But I’m a fan none the less. I just never intended to make Dark Sanctuary a love story.
Now, of course, it’s not just a love story. In fact, if I had to categorise it, I would still say its urban fantasy with elements of horror. I always sought to make it as real as it possibly could be. I play with the vampire myth for that very reason. I don’t shy away from the gore, blood and violence. Life is gritty after all, why sugar coat it when you write? But, from feedback I’ve had from those kind enough to read it, the love element still shines through. A friend of mine, who is not a fan of vampire fiction or horror, told me that she did see it as a love story. And weirdly, I’m becoming more accepting of that. I don’t mind if that’s what people get from it. I’m oddly at ease with it.
Maybe I’m becoming soft in my old age. Maybe Michael and Sarah will make a romantic out of me, after all. Maybe I’m just a much a sucker for a damn good love story as everyone else seems to be. I don’t know. I just try and create a healthy balance. A smattering of squishy-ness with a damn good splattering of death. After all, what’s a good story without its fair share of love, blood, sex and death?
Now if you don’t mind, enough with the warm and fluffy talk, I have people to kill and blood to spill…..