Posted in News
March 13, 2014

Contemporary VS. Paranormal: Who Do You Love?

a Mary Burton
Mary Burton brings some class to Love Fest on the Small Towns & Sweet Tea panel.

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:

Small Towns & Sweet Tea–The Charm of Southern Contemporary Romance

Hell on Heels: Bad Girls, Feminism, & Rebellion in Romance Fiction

Publishing Alchemy: How Romance Authors Quickly Master New Publishing Trends

and last, but not least:

Too Young to Fight It–Why we love YA Paranormal Romance.

What–no historical fiction this year??? OMG OMG OMG…

b Deanna Raybourne
Deanna Raybourne has a story about men, women, and a party game played with some sheets with holes in them–you will not want to miss her hair raising stories of what they actually did in your great grandmother’s day.

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.

d Jennifer Armentrout
Jennifer Armentrout writes paranormal and she writes contemporary–she’s the total package. I loved her LUX series.

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.

b Cathy Maxwell
Cathy Maxwell tells it like it is. She is whip smart–we’re so glad to have her at the festival this year.

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.

c Laura Kaye
Laura Kaye has been fighting the good fight this year. Come and hear about her three rounds with the big boys–speaking truth to power in the publishing world.

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.

b Sabrina Jeffries
Sabrina Jeffries will share stories about her writing success–and how when the time came, she decided not to take ‘no’ for an answer.

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???

It’s also free to follow our blog.  Just push that little ‘ole button off to your right.

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  • Post authorElizabeth Shore

    It keeps getting better and better every year! Wish I could go. The author panel you’ve got lined up is outstanding!

    Reply to Elizabeth Shore
    • Post authorMadeline Iva

      Awesome writers and awesome panelists–I’m excited.

      Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorLizEverly

    I’ll be there, too. Actually, moderating a panel. 😉

    Reply to LizEverly
  • Post authorDarla G. Denton, Writer

    I really want to go! Im only 4 hours away but I didn’t plan ahead. I wonder if the husband would be up to a last minute road trip lol

    Reply to Darla G. Denton, Writer
    • Post authorMadeline Iva

      Hope you can come, Darla! Charlottesville is a fun little town. 🙂

      Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    Reblogged this on madeline iva and commented:

    Crushing on Love Fest authors and considering whether indie contemporary romance is pushing my beloved paranormal sub-genre aside.

    Reply to Madeline Iva

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