Author Vivian Arend talks Paranormal v. Contemporary + Giveaway

As announced yesterday in my review post of WOLF GAMES, today I welcome author Vivian Arend to my blog. She’ll be talking about the differences between writing Paranormal Romance and writing Contemporary Romance. We’ll each be giving away one ebook in each genre. Check the end of this post for details on how to enter.

I have always been an eclectic reader. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery followed by the Number of the Beast by Heinlein. What Katy Did contrasted with Alas Babylon. If it didn’t move and had words on it, I read it.

So pop me into the world of writing and what do I do? Well to start, I write a young adult fantasy with elves and humans. Good and Evil. Tolkien and David Eddings and Piers Anthony primed me to take the plunge.

My first erotic romance slips more into the real world, but the paranormal/fantasy remains. The Granite Lake Wolves are of this world, but separate. A setting that I get to make minute adjustments to the realities around us to find my place. Whereas with the YA I drew maps, and created a world for them to wander through, the wolfies dwell in locations that exist. Places I’ve visited and enjoyed living and exploring.

And then I write another book and it’s set on a ranch in the foothills of Alberta and no one can switch their skin for fur. No one changes into sparkling lights or dolphins and all of a sudden I have to stop and consider. Because not only is the setting REAL, the solutions and people have to be real as well.

Paranormal verses contemporary. I write them both and I’ve very glad I do. Here’s why.

There’s a joy and a freedom in writing paranormal stories. If I want my wolfies to involuntarily change into their beast form when the full moon rises, I can make that a part of the world. If I don’t want it (nope—no involuntary shifts for my guys) then I take it out, no trouble. I’m in charge. In control of the rules and for an author with OCD—power!!

Here’s the bad side to writing paranormal. The rules I make up need to work and they need to stay consistent, especially from one book to the next. If mates can mind speak in book one, there had better be a very good reason they can’t in any future books, because readers will remember, even if I don’t. Also, if I make up science (like in a paranormal/sci-fi) it has to have at least a teeny tiny bit of logic in it. A reason it –might—work. In my futuristic, Claiming Derryn, there’s a furry little creatures called a sharysha that have pretty neat abilities. Is it possible, what they can do? Maybe…possibly? Good enough for a paranormal. Now they have to be able to do that all the time UNLESS I have a good reason.

I love writing paranormal works. My imagination gets to soar and the world is brighter and more shiny.

There’s a joy and a freedom in writing contemporary stories. There are no magic rules to remember. If you turn on the stove in a contemporary, it will get hot. Unless, of course, the electricity is off, or your characters have accidentally unplugged the power during a wildly passionate encounter. The ground is hard and the water is wet and we all know what coffee smells like in the morning.

Here’s the bad side to writing contemps. They are about ordinary people. Can you saying boring? My life isn’t all excitement, even the exciting parts! If I write about a Greek Billionaire who’s looking for a virgin secretary to make into his pregnant kidnapped mistress (best seller material, BTW)…he’s still a guy who probably forgets to put the toilet seat down. People act like people—good, bad, indifferent. As a writer, it’s my job to make something you might have done a million times exciting. In Rocky Mountain Heat the heroine cans peaches on a sultry fall day and the hero turns the routine farm chore into an encounter any woman would love to experience.

I love writing contemporary works. My heart and mind get to work together to lift out from the ordinary and change this world into something extraordinary.

Thanks so much for guestblogging with such a great post, Vivian! 

And now for the giveaway:
 I am giving away one ebook in the Granite Lake Wolves Series: WOLF SIGNS or WOLF FLIGHT or WOLF GAMES – paranormal (winner’s choice) and Vivian is giving away ROCKY MOUNTAIN HEAT – contemporary. 

The winners will be drawn randomly from the commenters who answer the following question:
Which do you prefer Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance or both?
Depending on your answer I’ll enter you in either or both giveaways.

Please leave a way to contact you if your email is not included in your profile
Contest is open to all worldwide and I’ll pick the two winners on Sunday, March 28th

15 thoughts on “Author Vivian Arend talks Paranormal v. Contemporary + Giveaway

  1. I love both! I want to have vampires in the morning and then ride the Austrailian outback in the afternoon. Throw in some psi-agents for tea and then a witty city girl in the evening, and my day is complete. You can reach me on Twitter @ambercat_13:)

  2. I really am a nitpicker when it comes to rules, and just like you said Vivian, I need very good reasoning why it doesn't work that way in a following book otherwise it really would diminish my reading pleasure. But, if the author makes it believable I do accept it easily as part of the characters or circumstances they are in. With Contemporary I just love it when an author delves intricately in to the relationship, the obstacles to overcome, the emotions that ride with it, the contemporary setting makes such a story feel even more real. This is opposite of PNR, this is where I let reality go and allow to soar with the authors fantasy and imagination…As for Paranormal vs Contemporary, I don't think I'm going to surprise Pearl here when I say Paranormal is my major book crack LOL

  3. I like both, although I tend to swing toward PNR more. BUT – if all I read was PNR, I would eventually get bored and lose interest. I am an eclectic reader too and I have to mix it up as much as I can.

  4. I am more of a paranormal girl, I love a well built and interesting world. I find contemporaries harder to believe, maybe as I am not American? I find them difficult to relate to/understand the situations/reactions. Whereas I can suspend belief and just enjoy from page one on a well written paranormal. PS. Don't enter me in competition, I already have all VAs books. Though can we con an excerpt for TJs book???? ;)

  5. I love both contemporary and paranormal romances. Each has their own allure. With paranormal, I get to step out of reality and into a world of vamps and werewolves, the ultimate alpha male.With contemporary, I get to stay in the real world and they give me hope for a possible HEA of my own!! LOL

  6. I think I love paranormal better! I do read a few contemporaries but that's not what is crowding my shelves. I have heard so much good about Wolf sign I would love to read it.(ok crawling back to bed to fight with horrible migraine)

  7. I love the paranormal more – maybe it's because the alpha male in the book really is a wolf or the sensual lover sucking on your neck really wants to suck your blood but there's just something about PNR that's got me hooked. My other fav genre is urban fantasy which has those same paranormal aspects. I just can't get enough!

  8. I love em both! When I'm reading paranormals I get the dark edginess that I love and crave but I need the everyday alphas in contemps to balance me out.

  9. Late to the party as usuall ;) Interesting issue!I think I'm liking both equally. I'm pretty new to the paranormal genre but falling for it big time. But I can't without the contemporaries, so I like the mix best :)

  10. I used to be a PNR reader because I really preferred the fantasy aspect of it. But in the last six months or so I have really enjoyed contemporary. It's nice to mix things up a bit.

  11. Hi P, please don't enter me just stopping by to say howdy.I tend to lean towards PNR the creatively and action draw me in. Lately, I've been hooked on contemps, usually a book that only focus on the relationship doesn't hold my attention, lately there have been some awesome releases in this genre. Love the interview!

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