Paranormal romance author Elizabeth Fisher lives in east Tennessee and has deep Appalachian roots that involve all the usual elements—moonshine stills, horse thieving ancestors and rumors of illicit banjo pickin’. Fortunately, due to her father’s less felonious North Carolina heritage, Fisher makes an honest living as a freelance editor and graphic designer. In her spare time, she reads, hikes and attempts to oil paint. She believes she’s making great strides in creatively incorporating the errant hairs of her cats—Buck and Bozo—into her still lifes. Her loving husband, Tim, is not so sure.
Curse Me Not
I got fed up.
My favorite fiction to curl up with has usually been a mix or urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Yet now after bingeing on the genre for a while, I find myself diversifying.
Yes, I grew bored with the standard tropes associated with, let’s call it “paranormal fantasy.” You know the tropes I’m talking about: good vampires in love or bad vampires on the rampage; guilt-ridden yet heroic shape-shifters; witches who serve more as sex objects than as empowered women.
Aside from that, however, what really had me stepping back from “paranormal fantasy” was the absence of relatable, realistic heroines. Invariably, the generic heroine is between the ages of 18 and 22, yet they always show the situational maturity of a thirty or forty-something. Granted, we’re talking speculative fiction here, so some willingness on the part of the reader to step outside reality is required. But c’mon. An adolescent heroine just hasn’t lived long enough to earn the right to be a truly multi-dimensional character in the face of calamity.
When I wrote, Curse Me Not, my “anti” paranormal fantasy, I first created a subtle, far more believable paranormal aspect to the story: my heroine (Elzetta Swan) can see people’s auras. Then I placed Elzetta in her early 40s, so the story could examine age-appropriate insecurities, hard-won skepticism and adult sensibilities. The story also shows Elzetta to have outgrown that “first love” phase of life. Instead, she would—and does—look upon idealized emotion with a certain level of fear and mistrust.
Victoria Lane of TheRomanceReviews.com wrote this in her review of my novel: What I liked…was that it focused on the case, the drama of what was happening. The romance is realistic and totally believable, and I seriously appreciate that the main characters are older than 40. Ali Barnard of Bargain Book Reviews was even more effusive. She wrote: I loved this book. Most [in the genre] are about teens, so reading from Elzetta’s perspective as a woman who’s already lived a good bit of life was refreshing. Elzetta’s voice came in loud and clear, and her charming turn of phrase had me laughing out loud.
Developing such a non-stereotypic heroine probably wasn’t the smartest idea marketing-wise, considering what’s typical of the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genres. Nonetheless, it was a move that I felt held more integrity for me as an author. Basically, it allowed me to write a novel that I—a woman of a certain age with a more sophisticated reading palette—would want to read myself.
0 comments (click to read and post)
You don't have to sign up to Koobug - you can read all of the content on the site. However, if you'd like to comment or recommend books and posts, you'll need an account.
It's completely free to use, whether you are an author or reader.
All we need from you is your email address, which we'll use to send you an access link. You can then click on the link and choose your password and profile picture.
We will not disclose your email address to anyone else, or use it to send you spam.
Enter your email address into the box, and a password if you have one. If this is your first time here, or you can't remember your password, leave the box blank; we'll email you a temporary key.