by Madeline Iva
Howdy ladies! This is my third year organizing romance panels at Virginia Festival of the Book–which is next Saturday, March 22nd. Here’s what we’re offering this year:
and last, but not least:
What–no historical fiction this year??? OMG OMG OMG…
Keep yer panties on–three of the four authors on the Hell on Heels panel write historical fiction. Sabrina Jeffries, Cathy Maxwell, and Deanna Raybourne. In fact, Virginia loves history, the Virginia Festival of the Book loves history –and I geek out on history allllll the time. But this year the slant of our panels ended up being more towards contemporary.
Pourquoi? And what–no paranormal? No–we do have a YA paranormal romance panel and a great line up indeed. Jennifer Armentrout will be there, along with Althea Kontis, Jodi Meadows, and Wendy Higgins. It should be pretty interesting–especially since Jennifer Armentrout straddles the contemporary/paranormal divide.
In fact, she’s not the only one — authors Laura Kay and Alma Katzu who are appearing on the Publishing Alchemy panel straddle the same divide. So do I, in fact. I started off writing a contemporary romance novel (since expanded to a trilogy proposal) that’s out with an editor…but I think at heart I’m a paranormal gal.
I’m sensing a trend here.
Yet contemporary romances are where it’s at these days. Why? Blame indie authors. (Jennifer and Laura are indie authors at times too. So is Wendy Higgins–So is Alethea Kontis–hell, so is the entire world, I guess.) Apparently indie authors have found the contemporary sweet spot with readers. Publishers naturally want to hop on the bandwagon and are trying to keep up with the demand.
But does this mean Paranormal is going away? Well, the Twilight franchise has ended (not a moment too soon, haters say) and a satirical parody of paranormal romance is going around–no doubt soon to be followed by others. Ladies, I present to you the WERECHAUN. (Don’t ask.)
On the other hand J.R. Ward’s next book is releasing April 1st, and you know the feeding frenzy that will inspire. People are still posting daily spoilers all over fb about THE WALKING DEAD. VAMPIRE ACADEMY is coming out as a movie–I bet that’s going to have an impact–and as C.M.Kempe posted here ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE is coming out. (Finally!) So don’t count paranormal dead yet.
No pun intended.
I love paranormal. I feel like with paranormal the normal rules don’t apply. (duh.) I don’t like the normal rules. I like the sped up pace, I like the sped up emotions, I like my heroines a little more kick-ass and urban fantasy-ish. Okay, there is some pretty dumb paranormal out there, true–but there’s dumb anything out there. I like non-vampire paranormal with fae and other kinds of slithy toaves that gyre and gimble in the wabe.
So I’m definitely standing with one foot planted in paranormal and you’ll have to pry me out with a crow-bar. On the other hand….the coziness of small Southern home towns is appealing. So are the hard bodied tattooed guys in Laura Kaye’s series. And I’m going to simply have to check out Jennifer Armentrouts New Adult contemporary series to see what the clamoring roar is about. Too many books…too little time to read–it’s a cruel world, ladies.
Meanwhile, if you live in Virginia, or even West Virginia and maybe if you live in North Carolina — and you love, love, love romance, you might want to truck out to Charlottesville, VA for Love Fest’s FREE day of romance panels. We’re giving away, oh, two hundred pounds of books. I’m not joking.
We’re also giving away a gorgeous assortment of gift baskets with goodies from our little city’s swankest local shops. It’s a fun day to see some of your favorite authors up close and personal…and did I mention that all this delightful fun is FREE???
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