From History to Hysterical

 

Pat here:

 As many of you know, I’ve been published in historical romance since 1984. I’ve written westerns, Americana, Victoriana, Regencies, and paranormal historical romance well before any of those genres became popular. Historical romance has cycled through variations of these sub-genres over the last three decades (three decades—oh my! Obviously, I wrote my first book as a teenager), and to speak frankly, the lords and ladies required of today’s historical romance need a lot of creativity to keep fresh. (Working with a younger sons’ theme rather than dukes and earls, I published my last Regency novel, Notorious Atherton,   in July 2013. Formidable Lord Quentin will be out 3/31/15.) I’ve always interspersed my historical romance writing with other genres to prevent becoming too jaded, but now I have to go further and further afield to keep my imagination entertained.

 


I wrote quite a few contemporary romances before that genre fell into the billionaire/sports figure/small town trope.(Small Town Girl) Then I added paranormal/psychics to my contemporaries to keep my fingers flying over Rice_RiskofLoveAndMagic600x900the keyboard. (Risk of Love and Magic is the latest) I still enjoy those genres… but lately, I’ve needed something other than pure romance. This applies to my reading as well as my writing, which is how I fell under the dangerous spell of urban fantasy.

 The definition of urban fantasy according to wikipedia is:  a sub-genre of fantasy defined by place. … the stories can take place in historical, modern, or futuristic periods, and the settings may include fictional elements. The prerequisite is that they must be primarily set in a city.

Now doesn’t that sound just up my alley?! Although I would have substituted "paranormal" for "fictional."

 Wikipedia goes on to list various authors who write urban fantasy with a nice addition about urban fantasy having a strong background of romance, but if the romantic relationship was removed from the book, the story would still hold up. That’s what I wanted to do—write the man/woman relationship where the main plot is the woman’s growth under difficult circumstances. And I don’t mean she’s thrown out of her ducal home into a position as a governess.

 I wrote the  first book under the pseudonym of Jamie Quaid. Called BOYFRIEND FROM HELL, it starts out with the protagonist, Tina Clancy, blowing up her BFHboyfriend. How could I possibly go wrong with a premise like that? From that point on, Tina learns she’s Saturn’s Daughter (although she wonders if that’s a typo for Satan’s Daughter), she is just coming into her powers in her twenty-seventh year—and there is no rule  book. For a lawyer who wants books and judges and juries before making any decisions, learning to try and execute villains based on her own abilities and knowledge is an enormous hurdle to take.

 The fun part of writing fantasy is that I can create a snarky heroine (who doesn't have to be beautiful, might I add), set her in a fantasy version of Baltimore—in this case, I’ve invented an environmental disaster zone on the harbor—and give her a complete cast of entertaining characters to help her out—or get in her way, which happens frequently. And then I can give her more boyfriends than one—and they’re not much more normal than Tina. No werewolves or vampires, just real people with real problems—and maybe a few abnormal challenges. And the best part is that I can deal with real world situations in fantastical ways–including making Giving Him Hell a Christmas story!

 Have you read any urban fantasy? Which books or authors do you prefer? And if you don’t like fantasy, please tell us why! I can send a promo code for a free copy of Giving Him Hell or a print copy of Damn Him to Hell to a randomly selected commenter, so let’s hear your opinions, please.

95 thoughts on “From History to Hysterical”

  1. My experience with Urban Fantasy has been that most of what I read was dystopian. My fantasy is usually more of mages and semi-medieval tales. I have no idea if he is urban fantasy or not but I loved Scott Lynch’s anti-hero in his series.

    Reply
  2. My experience with Urban Fantasy has been that most of what I read was dystopian. My fantasy is usually more of mages and semi-medieval tales. I have no idea if he is urban fantasy or not but I loved Scott Lynch’s anti-hero in his series.

    Reply
  3. My experience with Urban Fantasy has been that most of what I read was dystopian. My fantasy is usually more of mages and semi-medieval tales. I have no idea if he is urban fantasy or not but I loved Scott Lynch’s anti-hero in his series.

    Reply
  4. My experience with Urban Fantasy has been that most of what I read was dystopian. My fantasy is usually more of mages and semi-medieval tales. I have no idea if he is urban fantasy or not but I loved Scott Lynch’s anti-hero in his series.

    Reply
  5. My experience with Urban Fantasy has been that most of what I read was dystopian. My fantasy is usually more of mages and semi-medieval tales. I have no idea if he is urban fantasy or not but I loved Scott Lynch’s anti-hero in his series.

    Reply
  6. Oooooh–the dark side of Pat Rice! Who knew? But now that I do, this series is on my TBR list. I’ve read a fair amount of urban fantasy, coming to it from the mystery side where I’d been spending quality conference time with Charlaine Harris for years before Dead Until Dark came out. That led me to a whole raft of really good vampire and werewolf series, and quite a few clunkers. Top of the line for me, in addition to Charlaine, are Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, Kim Hamilton, Tanya Huff, and Seanan McGuire.
    Kathy/Kaitlyn

    Reply
  7. Oooooh–the dark side of Pat Rice! Who knew? But now that I do, this series is on my TBR list. I’ve read a fair amount of urban fantasy, coming to it from the mystery side where I’d been spending quality conference time with Charlaine Harris for years before Dead Until Dark came out. That led me to a whole raft of really good vampire and werewolf series, and quite a few clunkers. Top of the line for me, in addition to Charlaine, are Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, Kim Hamilton, Tanya Huff, and Seanan McGuire.
    Kathy/Kaitlyn

    Reply
  8. Oooooh–the dark side of Pat Rice! Who knew? But now that I do, this series is on my TBR list. I’ve read a fair amount of urban fantasy, coming to it from the mystery side where I’d been spending quality conference time with Charlaine Harris for years before Dead Until Dark came out. That led me to a whole raft of really good vampire and werewolf series, and quite a few clunkers. Top of the line for me, in addition to Charlaine, are Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, Kim Hamilton, Tanya Huff, and Seanan McGuire.
    Kathy/Kaitlyn

    Reply
  9. Oooooh–the dark side of Pat Rice! Who knew? But now that I do, this series is on my TBR list. I’ve read a fair amount of urban fantasy, coming to it from the mystery side where I’d been spending quality conference time with Charlaine Harris for years before Dead Until Dark came out. That led me to a whole raft of really good vampire and werewolf series, and quite a few clunkers. Top of the line for me, in addition to Charlaine, are Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, Kim Hamilton, Tanya Huff, and Seanan McGuire.
    Kathy/Kaitlyn

    Reply
  10. Oooooh–the dark side of Pat Rice! Who knew? But now that I do, this series is on my TBR list. I’ve read a fair amount of urban fantasy, coming to it from the mystery side where I’d been spending quality conference time with Charlaine Harris for years before Dead Until Dark came out. That led me to a whole raft of really good vampire and werewolf series, and quite a few clunkers. Top of the line for me, in addition to Charlaine, are Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, Kim Hamilton, Tanya Huff, and Seanan McGuire.
    Kathy/Kaitlyn

    Reply
  11. I need to look into these but from what I’m seeing online, these are set in a fantasy world. Urban fantasy tends to be set in the real world with fantasy aspects. I’m not fond of dystopian. I want people struggling to fix the world we’re in. But I love a good fantasy world too!

    Reply
  12. I need to look into these but from what I’m seeing online, these are set in a fantasy world. Urban fantasy tends to be set in the real world with fantasy aspects. I’m not fond of dystopian. I want people struggling to fix the world we’re in. But I love a good fantasy world too!

    Reply
  13. I need to look into these but from what I’m seeing online, these are set in a fantasy world. Urban fantasy tends to be set in the real world with fantasy aspects. I’m not fond of dystopian. I want people struggling to fix the world we’re in. But I love a good fantasy world too!

    Reply
  14. I need to look into these but from what I’m seeing online, these are set in a fantasy world. Urban fantasy tends to be set in the real world with fantasy aspects. I’m not fond of dystopian. I want people struggling to fix the world we’re in. But I love a good fantasy world too!

    Reply
  15. I need to look into these but from what I’m seeing online, these are set in a fantasy world. Urban fantasy tends to be set in the real world with fantasy aspects. I’m not fond of dystopian. I want people struggling to fix the world we’re in. But I love a good fantasy world too!

    Reply
  16. Pat, I see that you also recommended Patricia Briggs. I should have read further. *G*
    I love these Jamie Quaid books of yours because they are about believable people. I don’t miss vampires at all!

    Reply
  17. Pat, I see that you also recommended Patricia Briggs. I should have read further. *G*
    I love these Jamie Quaid books of yours because they are about believable people. I don’t miss vampires at all!

    Reply
  18. Pat, I see that you also recommended Patricia Briggs. I should have read further. *G*
    I love these Jamie Quaid books of yours because they are about believable people. I don’t miss vampires at all!

    Reply
  19. Pat, I see that you also recommended Patricia Briggs. I should have read further. *G*
    I love these Jamie Quaid books of yours because they are about believable people. I don’t miss vampires at all!

    Reply
  20. Pat, I see that you also recommended Patricia Briggs. I should have read further. *G*
    I love these Jamie Quaid books of yours because they are about believable people. I don’t miss vampires at all!

    Reply
  21. I have generally come to urban fantasy from the F/SF side, more often elves than vampires — Charles De Lint, Gail Baudino, Tanya Huff, Sharon Lee. (Sharon’s setting isn’t very urban— very small-town Maine!) But I’m always happy to add to the TBR stack.

    Reply
  22. I have generally come to urban fantasy from the F/SF side, more often elves than vampires — Charles De Lint, Gail Baudino, Tanya Huff, Sharon Lee. (Sharon’s setting isn’t very urban— very small-town Maine!) But I’m always happy to add to the TBR stack.

    Reply
  23. I have generally come to urban fantasy from the F/SF side, more often elves than vampires — Charles De Lint, Gail Baudino, Tanya Huff, Sharon Lee. (Sharon’s setting isn’t very urban— very small-town Maine!) But I’m always happy to add to the TBR stack.

    Reply
  24. I have generally come to urban fantasy from the F/SF side, more often elves than vampires — Charles De Lint, Gail Baudino, Tanya Huff, Sharon Lee. (Sharon’s setting isn’t very urban— very small-town Maine!) But I’m always happy to add to the TBR stack.

    Reply
  25. I have generally come to urban fantasy from the F/SF side, more often elves than vampires — Charles De Lint, Gail Baudino, Tanya Huff, Sharon Lee. (Sharon’s setting isn’t very urban— very small-town Maine!) But I’m always happy to add to the TBR stack.

    Reply
  26. Most excellent quality authors! I got into elves with Tolkien and appreciate Pratchett’s take on the whole kingdom of Others, but I don’t think I could write fantasy on that level. That doesn’t keep me from reading it!

    Reply
  27. Most excellent quality authors! I got into elves with Tolkien and appreciate Pratchett’s take on the whole kingdom of Others, but I don’t think I could write fantasy on that level. That doesn’t keep me from reading it!

    Reply
  28. Most excellent quality authors! I got into elves with Tolkien and appreciate Pratchett’s take on the whole kingdom of Others, but I don’t think I could write fantasy on that level. That doesn’t keep me from reading it!

    Reply
  29. Most excellent quality authors! I got into elves with Tolkien and appreciate Pratchett’s take on the whole kingdom of Others, but I don’t think I could write fantasy on that level. That doesn’t keep me from reading it!

    Reply
  30. Most excellent quality authors! I got into elves with Tolkien and appreciate Pratchett’s take on the whole kingdom of Others, but I don’t think I could write fantasy on that level. That doesn’t keep me from reading it!

    Reply
  31. I love fantasy but I lean towards non urban; I don’t know exactly what the sub genre is called! “Fantasy-Romance” in general terms (i know that at least). Love love love CL Wilson’s latest The Winter King (her 1st series was awesome too but TWK is even better).

    Reply
  32. I love fantasy but I lean towards non urban; I don’t know exactly what the sub genre is called! “Fantasy-Romance” in general terms (i know that at least). Love love love CL Wilson’s latest The Winter King (her 1st series was awesome too but TWK is even better).

    Reply
  33. I love fantasy but I lean towards non urban; I don’t know exactly what the sub genre is called! “Fantasy-Romance” in general terms (i know that at least). Love love love CL Wilson’s latest The Winter King (her 1st series was awesome too but TWK is even better).

    Reply
  34. I love fantasy but I lean towards non urban; I don’t know exactly what the sub genre is called! “Fantasy-Romance” in general terms (i know that at least). Love love love CL Wilson’s latest The Winter King (her 1st series was awesome too but TWK is even better).

    Reply
  35. I love fantasy but I lean towards non urban; I don’t know exactly what the sub genre is called! “Fantasy-Romance” in general terms (i know that at least). Love love love CL Wilson’s latest The Winter King (her 1st series was awesome too but TWK is even better).

    Reply
  36. Emma Bull’s “War for the Oaks” is, I think, classified as urban fantasy. It’s an early example but still one of the best. A bit more recent are Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate books. Again, not sure if they totally fit into the urban fantasy genre but they are fun.
    As a city girl myself, I like the urban settings, and I also like that these are a bit different from the standard paranormal in that there’s more more variety both in terms of characters and plots. Some PN books have a bit of the “I’ve plotted my way into a corner so I’ll just give the hero/heroine a new superpower”, but this seems to be less of an issue with UF.

    Reply
  37. Emma Bull’s “War for the Oaks” is, I think, classified as urban fantasy. It’s an early example but still one of the best. A bit more recent are Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate books. Again, not sure if they totally fit into the urban fantasy genre but they are fun.
    As a city girl myself, I like the urban settings, and I also like that these are a bit different from the standard paranormal in that there’s more more variety both in terms of characters and plots. Some PN books have a bit of the “I’ve plotted my way into a corner so I’ll just give the hero/heroine a new superpower”, but this seems to be less of an issue with UF.

    Reply
  38. Emma Bull’s “War for the Oaks” is, I think, classified as urban fantasy. It’s an early example but still one of the best. A bit more recent are Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate books. Again, not sure if they totally fit into the urban fantasy genre but they are fun.
    As a city girl myself, I like the urban settings, and I also like that these are a bit different from the standard paranormal in that there’s more more variety both in terms of characters and plots. Some PN books have a bit of the “I’ve plotted my way into a corner so I’ll just give the hero/heroine a new superpower”, but this seems to be less of an issue with UF.

    Reply
  39. Emma Bull’s “War for the Oaks” is, I think, classified as urban fantasy. It’s an early example but still one of the best. A bit more recent are Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate books. Again, not sure if they totally fit into the urban fantasy genre but they are fun.
    As a city girl myself, I like the urban settings, and I also like that these are a bit different from the standard paranormal in that there’s more more variety both in terms of characters and plots. Some PN books have a bit of the “I’ve plotted my way into a corner so I’ll just give the hero/heroine a new superpower”, but this seems to be less of an issue with UF.

    Reply
  40. Emma Bull’s “War for the Oaks” is, I think, classified as urban fantasy. It’s an early example but still one of the best. A bit more recent are Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate books. Again, not sure if they totally fit into the urban fantasy genre but they are fun.
    As a city girl myself, I like the urban settings, and I also like that these are a bit different from the standard paranormal in that there’s more more variety both in terms of characters and plots. Some PN books have a bit of the “I’ve plotted my way into a corner so I’ll just give the hero/heroine a new superpower”, but this seems to be less of an issue with UF.

    Reply
  41. I adore Emma Bull! And I think Gail has been classified as Steam Punk because of the setting, but really, there’s no reason urban fantasy can’t be historical, right?
    And yes, I think these books define the protagonist’s abilities and then throw up roadblocks instead of allowing them to jump the shark.
    Although I’ve set Tina up to gain more abilities as time goes on. But they’ll just make life more complicated!

    Reply
  42. I adore Emma Bull! And I think Gail has been classified as Steam Punk because of the setting, but really, there’s no reason urban fantasy can’t be historical, right?
    And yes, I think these books define the protagonist’s abilities and then throw up roadblocks instead of allowing them to jump the shark.
    Although I’ve set Tina up to gain more abilities as time goes on. But they’ll just make life more complicated!

    Reply
  43. I adore Emma Bull! And I think Gail has been classified as Steam Punk because of the setting, but really, there’s no reason urban fantasy can’t be historical, right?
    And yes, I think these books define the protagonist’s abilities and then throw up roadblocks instead of allowing them to jump the shark.
    Although I’ve set Tina up to gain more abilities as time goes on. But they’ll just make life more complicated!

    Reply
  44. I adore Emma Bull! And I think Gail has been classified as Steam Punk because of the setting, but really, there’s no reason urban fantasy can’t be historical, right?
    And yes, I think these books define the protagonist’s abilities and then throw up roadblocks instead of allowing them to jump the shark.
    Although I’ve set Tina up to gain more abilities as time goes on. But they’ll just make life more complicated!

    Reply
  45. I adore Emma Bull! And I think Gail has been classified as Steam Punk because of the setting, but really, there’s no reason urban fantasy can’t be historical, right?
    And yes, I think these books define the protagonist’s abilities and then throw up roadblocks instead of allowing them to jump the shark.
    Although I’ve set Tina up to gain more abilities as time goes on. But they’ll just make life more complicated!

    Reply
  46. Just dropping back in to say I investigated your e-books on Amazon this morning, and got Garden of Dreams. I haven’t done anything else since except finish it. Thank you. I think.
    Abigail

    Reply
  47. Just dropping back in to say I investigated your e-books on Amazon this morning, and got Garden of Dreams. I haven’t done anything else since except finish it. Thank you. I think.
    Abigail

    Reply
  48. Just dropping back in to say I investigated your e-books on Amazon this morning, and got Garden of Dreams. I haven’t done anything else since except finish it. Thank you. I think.
    Abigail

    Reply
  49. Just dropping back in to say I investigated your e-books on Amazon this morning, and got Garden of Dreams. I haven’t done anything else since except finish it. Thank you. I think.
    Abigail

    Reply
  50. Just dropping back in to say I investigated your e-books on Amazon this morning, and got Garden of Dreams. I haven’t done anything else since except finish it. Thank you. I think.
    Abigail

    Reply
  51. I have read a few. Your two books you have written here seem like they were fun and interesting for you to write!! I would love to read them😀

    Reply
  52. I have read a few. Your two books you have written here seem like they were fun and interesting for you to write!! I would love to read them😀

    Reply
  53. I have read a few. Your two books you have written here seem like they were fun and interesting for you to write!! I would love to read them😀

    Reply
  54. I have read a few. Your two books you have written here seem like they were fun and interesting for you to write!! I would love to read them😀

    Reply
  55. I have read a few. Your two books you have written here seem like they were fun and interesting for you to write!! I would love to read them😀

    Reply

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