There Be Dragons (Just Not Here)

By Susan/Miranda

Royalharlotfront_cover_4First of all, let it be known that I am not a Believer. 

I don’t have unicorns on my t-shirts, crystals hanging from my rear-view mirror, fairies in my garden, or a bustle in my hedgerow.  I really do watch Most Haunted for the old houses and castles, not the ghosts (which sounds like buying Playboy for the articles, but I swear it’s true.)  I think that vampires are creepy cannibals, not sexy love-gods.  And there’s nary a single hobbit or Harry Potter among my DVD’s.

There’s also no fantasy or paranormal elements in my books, either, and no matter what the omnipotent Publishing Market demands, I don’t see that changing.  My poor characters have to muddle along like the rest of us lowly mortals, without magic, e.s.p., or the fear of getting hairy every full moon. It’s not that I have any deep philosophical objections to fantasy, or that I view witches, wizards, and vampires as a personal threat on religious grounds.  Nothing so grand as that.

The sad truth is that I just . . . don’t . . . get it.  Like people who are color-blind or tone-deaf, I was born without the woo-woo gene.  Oh, I check my horoscope every day, and I’m willing to curse this particularly vile retrograde along with the rest of the world, but as the disclaimers always say, I do it for Entertainment Purposes Only.  How Mary Jo and Susan/Sarah can put up with me is proof of just how good friends they are.

All of which makes Dragon Month here at the WordWenches something of a challenge to me.  Yes, a good writer can breathe life into anything, and turn even a tea-cup into a character readers will never forget.  I’m sure that given the gifted writers behind Dragon Lovers –– Wenches Jo and Mary Jo, and Honorary Wenches Barbara Samuel and Karen Harbaugh –– that Dragon Lovers will be an anthology that readers will devour, and I fervently hope for them that it lands them on the bestseller lists.

But dragons and moi?  Dragons are reptiles. Really, really big and scary reptiles, with over-sized bat-wings, scales, claws, and fire-breathing capacities enough to scorch entire medieval villages.  It sounds like a bad deal all around to me, like one of those pictures in National Geographic that you wished you hadn’t looked at after you did.  No, thank you.  My imagination just shuts down cold.

I’m in the minority, of course.  J.K. Rowling’s proof enough of that.  Publishing today loves all things paranormal and fantasy, and just as the historical romance world has narrowed its range, the more fantastical side of fiction has widened to the obvious delight of many readers. This is a good thing, too.  I’m all for diversity in books.  If there’s a book a writer wants to write and a reader wants to read, then it should be out there.  The world would be a powerfully dull snoozerama if we all read and wrote exactly the same thing.  End of story.

Well, not quite.  I’m re-reading this now, and that opening disclaimer about me not being a Believer.  I really should amend that.  Because as a writer, I do Believe: I believe in characters and stories and the solemn agreement between subjects and predicates.  I believe in history and love and heroes and heroines who do brave, wonderful, foolish things.  I believe in writers trying their damnedest to get the story out of their heads and onto the page.  I believe in imagination, and having the courage to go wherever it takes you. 

Just please, please, please don’t ask me to write about dragons.

So what about you?  Does fantasy make you fly, or are you a stick-in-the-mud realist like me? What do you think of the paranormal and fantasy trend? 

120 thoughts on “There Be Dragons (Just Not Here)”

  1. I’m a realist, and thats why I like fantasy books. Who reads Romances as a How To manual? Or Historicals to pass their history exams? Ok, maybe those are bad examples! But there is enough boring real life in real life. I read books to see somewhere different.

    Reply
  2. I’m a realist, and thats why I like fantasy books. Who reads Romances as a How To manual? Or Historicals to pass their history exams? Ok, maybe those are bad examples! But there is enough boring real life in real life. I read books to see somewhere different.

    Reply
  3. I’m a realist, and thats why I like fantasy books. Who reads Romances as a How To manual? Or Historicals to pass their history exams? Ok, maybe those are bad examples! But there is enough boring real life in real life. I read books to see somewhere different.

    Reply
  4. I’m a realist, and thats why I like fantasy books. Who reads Romances as a How To manual? Or Historicals to pass their history exams? Ok, maybe those are bad examples! But there is enough boring real life in real life. I read books to see somewhere different.

    Reply
  5. Susan Miranda, I think you nailed it–the sff gene is someone one has or one doesn’t have. Many years ago, I read an article by Lady Antonia Fraser in which she said she’d read anything–but science fiction, which she just didn’t “get.” So you are in excellent company. 🙂
    Mary Jo, who was born with the sff gene and it manifested pretty darned early.

    Reply
  6. Susan Miranda, I think you nailed it–the sff gene is someone one has or one doesn’t have. Many years ago, I read an article by Lady Antonia Fraser in which she said she’d read anything–but science fiction, which she just didn’t “get.” So you are in excellent company. 🙂
    Mary Jo, who was born with the sff gene and it manifested pretty darned early.

    Reply
  7. Susan Miranda, I think you nailed it–the sff gene is someone one has or one doesn’t have. Many years ago, I read an article by Lady Antonia Fraser in which she said she’d read anything–but science fiction, which she just didn’t “get.” So you are in excellent company. 🙂
    Mary Jo, who was born with the sff gene and it manifested pretty darned early.

    Reply
  8. Susan Miranda, I think you nailed it–the sff gene is someone one has or one doesn’t have. Many years ago, I read an article by Lady Antonia Fraser in which she said she’d read anything–but science fiction, which she just didn’t “get.” So you are in excellent company. 🙂
    Mary Jo, who was born with the sff gene and it manifested pretty darned early.

    Reply
  9. I started out in the SF/F genre before I even knew what genre was. I like dragons, whether they’re the friendly or “let’s slay ’em” type — it’s mostly the latter I’ve come across (i.e., McKinley’s “The Hero and the Crown”, but I think she’s coming out with one more dragon-sympathetic in her upcoming release, “Dragonhaven”).
    And, I grew up on Whedon. Vampires, werewolves, super-powers, etc can all be very believable to me, depending on how they’re written (sometimes more believable that books without a fantasy element). What I like best are stories that focus on the human aspect or emotions, using the fantasy as a way to showcase it (power of the metaphor and all that, or just using larger than life situations or beings to highlight the emotions).
    However, I don’t think I have the Rowling/Potter gene (or the Tolkien one (though I liked the movies) or the CS Lewis one or…). I tend to think more in terms of author than genre anyway (I have a hard time keeping track of all the new ones that seem to be popping up). As for recent trends in romance, I’ll read pretty much anything as long as I like the writing. I’m not particularly genre-loyal.

    Reply
  10. I started out in the SF/F genre before I even knew what genre was. I like dragons, whether they’re the friendly or “let’s slay ’em” type — it’s mostly the latter I’ve come across (i.e., McKinley’s “The Hero and the Crown”, but I think she’s coming out with one more dragon-sympathetic in her upcoming release, “Dragonhaven”).
    And, I grew up on Whedon. Vampires, werewolves, super-powers, etc can all be very believable to me, depending on how they’re written (sometimes more believable that books without a fantasy element). What I like best are stories that focus on the human aspect or emotions, using the fantasy as a way to showcase it (power of the metaphor and all that, or just using larger than life situations or beings to highlight the emotions).
    However, I don’t think I have the Rowling/Potter gene (or the Tolkien one (though I liked the movies) or the CS Lewis one or…). I tend to think more in terms of author than genre anyway (I have a hard time keeping track of all the new ones that seem to be popping up). As for recent trends in romance, I’ll read pretty much anything as long as I like the writing. I’m not particularly genre-loyal.

    Reply
  11. I started out in the SF/F genre before I even knew what genre was. I like dragons, whether they’re the friendly or “let’s slay ’em” type — it’s mostly the latter I’ve come across (i.e., McKinley’s “The Hero and the Crown”, but I think she’s coming out with one more dragon-sympathetic in her upcoming release, “Dragonhaven”).
    And, I grew up on Whedon. Vampires, werewolves, super-powers, etc can all be very believable to me, depending on how they’re written (sometimes more believable that books without a fantasy element). What I like best are stories that focus on the human aspect or emotions, using the fantasy as a way to showcase it (power of the metaphor and all that, or just using larger than life situations or beings to highlight the emotions).
    However, I don’t think I have the Rowling/Potter gene (or the Tolkien one (though I liked the movies) or the CS Lewis one or…). I tend to think more in terms of author than genre anyway (I have a hard time keeping track of all the new ones that seem to be popping up). As for recent trends in romance, I’ll read pretty much anything as long as I like the writing. I’m not particularly genre-loyal.

    Reply
  12. I started out in the SF/F genre before I even knew what genre was. I like dragons, whether they’re the friendly or “let’s slay ’em” type — it’s mostly the latter I’ve come across (i.e., McKinley’s “The Hero and the Crown”, but I think she’s coming out with one more dragon-sympathetic in her upcoming release, “Dragonhaven”).
    And, I grew up on Whedon. Vampires, werewolves, super-powers, etc can all be very believable to me, depending on how they’re written (sometimes more believable that books without a fantasy element). What I like best are stories that focus on the human aspect or emotions, using the fantasy as a way to showcase it (power of the metaphor and all that, or just using larger than life situations or beings to highlight the emotions).
    However, I don’t think I have the Rowling/Potter gene (or the Tolkien one (though I liked the movies) or the CS Lewis one or…). I tend to think more in terms of author than genre anyway (I have a hard time keeping track of all the new ones that seem to be popping up). As for recent trends in romance, I’ll read pretty much anything as long as I like the writing. I’m not particularly genre-loyal.

    Reply
  13. >> Does fantasy make you fly, or are you a stick-in-the-mud realist like me? >>
    Err, uhmm, Susan Miranda, thing is, in my case, that I can’t rell the difference.

    Reply
  14. >> Does fantasy make you fly, or are you a stick-in-the-mud realist like me? >>
    Err, uhmm, Susan Miranda, thing is, in my case, that I can’t rell the difference.

    Reply
  15. >> Does fantasy make you fly, or are you a stick-in-the-mud realist like me? >>
    Err, uhmm, Susan Miranda, thing is, in my case, that I can’t rell the difference.

    Reply
  16. >> Does fantasy make you fly, or are you a stick-in-the-mud realist like me? >>
    Err, uhmm, Susan Miranda, thing is, in my case, that I can’t rell the difference.

    Reply
  17. I cut my teeth on SF while in Jr. High with Asimov and Heinlein. I found Tolkein and Lewis later and have read a bunch of other SF/F. Right now I’m reading David Weber’s latest, “Off Armageddon Reef” which is very good. It has the feel of “Master and Commander” or “Horatio Hornblower” set on another world. Fantasy doesn’t have to have a dragon to make it interesting. I’m more into how society works and how the people struggle to live their lives in this different setting. But I do love a fantasy with detailed maps of the world (the Weber has one- Oh, JOY!) It increases the feeling that the story is rooted in reality.
    I loved Robin McKinley’s “The Blue Sword” and “The Hero and the Crown.” I’m glad to hear that she’s coming out with something new. I’ll keep an eye out for it.
    Vampires don’t attract me at all and if the magic in a story is too dark, I’ll not finish the book. I have been reading Laurel K Hamilton’s Faery series but I’m getting tired of it. I hope she gets to the point pretty quickly- maybe by the end of the next volume.

    Reply
  18. I cut my teeth on SF while in Jr. High with Asimov and Heinlein. I found Tolkein and Lewis later and have read a bunch of other SF/F. Right now I’m reading David Weber’s latest, “Off Armageddon Reef” which is very good. It has the feel of “Master and Commander” or “Horatio Hornblower” set on another world. Fantasy doesn’t have to have a dragon to make it interesting. I’m more into how society works and how the people struggle to live their lives in this different setting. But I do love a fantasy with detailed maps of the world (the Weber has one- Oh, JOY!) It increases the feeling that the story is rooted in reality.
    I loved Robin McKinley’s “The Blue Sword” and “The Hero and the Crown.” I’m glad to hear that she’s coming out with something new. I’ll keep an eye out for it.
    Vampires don’t attract me at all and if the magic in a story is too dark, I’ll not finish the book. I have been reading Laurel K Hamilton’s Faery series but I’m getting tired of it. I hope she gets to the point pretty quickly- maybe by the end of the next volume.

    Reply
  19. I cut my teeth on SF while in Jr. High with Asimov and Heinlein. I found Tolkein and Lewis later and have read a bunch of other SF/F. Right now I’m reading David Weber’s latest, “Off Armageddon Reef” which is very good. It has the feel of “Master and Commander” or “Horatio Hornblower” set on another world. Fantasy doesn’t have to have a dragon to make it interesting. I’m more into how society works and how the people struggle to live their lives in this different setting. But I do love a fantasy with detailed maps of the world (the Weber has one- Oh, JOY!) It increases the feeling that the story is rooted in reality.
    I loved Robin McKinley’s “The Blue Sword” and “The Hero and the Crown.” I’m glad to hear that she’s coming out with something new. I’ll keep an eye out for it.
    Vampires don’t attract me at all and if the magic in a story is too dark, I’ll not finish the book. I have been reading Laurel K Hamilton’s Faery series but I’m getting tired of it. I hope she gets to the point pretty quickly- maybe by the end of the next volume.

    Reply
  20. I cut my teeth on SF while in Jr. High with Asimov and Heinlein. I found Tolkein and Lewis later and have read a bunch of other SF/F. Right now I’m reading David Weber’s latest, “Off Armageddon Reef” which is very good. It has the feel of “Master and Commander” or “Horatio Hornblower” set on another world. Fantasy doesn’t have to have a dragon to make it interesting. I’m more into how society works and how the people struggle to live their lives in this different setting. But I do love a fantasy with detailed maps of the world (the Weber has one- Oh, JOY!) It increases the feeling that the story is rooted in reality.
    I loved Robin McKinley’s “The Blue Sword” and “The Hero and the Crown.” I’m glad to hear that she’s coming out with something new. I’ll keep an eye out for it.
    Vampires don’t attract me at all and if the magic in a story is too dark, I’ll not finish the book. I have been reading Laurel K Hamilton’s Faery series but I’m getting tired of it. I hope she gets to the point pretty quickly- maybe by the end of the next volume.

    Reply
  21. Ignore that previous comment please, because it makes no sense – because typepad tripped me.
    What I meant to say to your comment:
    >
    Susan Miranda, the thing is, that in my case, I can’t tell the difference.

    Reply
  22. Ignore that previous comment please, because it makes no sense – because typepad tripped me.
    What I meant to say to your comment:
    >
    Susan Miranda, the thing is, that in my case, I can’t tell the difference.

    Reply
  23. Ignore that previous comment please, because it makes no sense – because typepad tripped me.
    What I meant to say to your comment:
    >
    Susan Miranda, the thing is, that in my case, I can’t tell the difference.

    Reply
  24. Ignore that previous comment please, because it makes no sense – because typepad tripped me.
    What I meant to say to your comment:
    >
    Susan Miranda, the thing is, that in my case, I can’t tell the difference.

    Reply
  25. Taste is always… a matter of taste. I can’t categorize what I like on whether it’s got fantasy elements or not, nor what sort of element it has; the real question for me is 1) is it well-written, 2) do the characters — whether animal, human, or mythical — have personalities that intrigue me and 3) does it MEAN anything? Humor never hurts, either! E.g. most vampire fiction leaves me cold (snerk!) but I adore Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mystery series, and I get a kick out of MaryJanice Davidson’s creatures of every kind. It’d be a shame for anybody to miss such great stuff because they thought they didn’t like “that type” of thing. Naturally, as writers, we’re all much too open-minded for that to be a concern, of course!

    Reply
  26. Taste is always… a matter of taste. I can’t categorize what I like on whether it’s got fantasy elements or not, nor what sort of element it has; the real question for me is 1) is it well-written, 2) do the characters — whether animal, human, or mythical — have personalities that intrigue me and 3) does it MEAN anything? Humor never hurts, either! E.g. most vampire fiction leaves me cold (snerk!) but I adore Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mystery series, and I get a kick out of MaryJanice Davidson’s creatures of every kind. It’d be a shame for anybody to miss such great stuff because they thought they didn’t like “that type” of thing. Naturally, as writers, we’re all much too open-minded for that to be a concern, of course!

    Reply
  27. Taste is always… a matter of taste. I can’t categorize what I like on whether it’s got fantasy elements or not, nor what sort of element it has; the real question for me is 1) is it well-written, 2) do the characters — whether animal, human, or mythical — have personalities that intrigue me and 3) does it MEAN anything? Humor never hurts, either! E.g. most vampire fiction leaves me cold (snerk!) but I adore Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mystery series, and I get a kick out of MaryJanice Davidson’s creatures of every kind. It’d be a shame for anybody to miss such great stuff because they thought they didn’t like “that type” of thing. Naturally, as writers, we’re all much too open-minded for that to be a concern, of course!

    Reply
  28. Taste is always… a matter of taste. I can’t categorize what I like on whether it’s got fantasy elements or not, nor what sort of element it has; the real question for me is 1) is it well-written, 2) do the characters — whether animal, human, or mythical — have personalities that intrigue me and 3) does it MEAN anything? Humor never hurts, either! E.g. most vampire fiction leaves me cold (snerk!) but I adore Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mystery series, and I get a kick out of MaryJanice Davidson’s creatures of every kind. It’d be a shame for anybody to miss such great stuff because they thought they didn’t like “that type” of thing. Naturally, as writers, we’re all much too open-minded for that to be a concern, of course!

    Reply
  29. “I grew up reading sci-fi/fantasy, and still do. So I guess it’s odd that I don’t care for paranormal romance. Can’t explain it, just don’t.”
    I know what you mean. I enjoy some paranormal romance and I’m looking forward to DRAGON LOVERS, but at least 90% of the paranormal romance genre just doesn’t work for me somehow. It feels like an unbalanced, awkward mix, with some elements exaggerated and others underplayed.
    The best analogy I can think of is that I love authentic Italian food, and I equally appreciate the country Southern food I grew up on (except for the overcooked mushy vegetables, but I digress). However, they’re very different genres of cuisine. A master chef could probably come up with a fusion of the two that would balance their flavors and qualities perfectly, and I’d delight in the Southern-fried Italian. But if you didn’t get the balance just so, it would just taste strange and unappetizing. And that’s my reaction to most of the paranormal romances I’ve tried–I feel like I’m trying to swallow the literary equivalent of pulled pork with spaghetti sauce.

    Reply
  30. “I grew up reading sci-fi/fantasy, and still do. So I guess it’s odd that I don’t care for paranormal romance. Can’t explain it, just don’t.”
    I know what you mean. I enjoy some paranormal romance and I’m looking forward to DRAGON LOVERS, but at least 90% of the paranormal romance genre just doesn’t work for me somehow. It feels like an unbalanced, awkward mix, with some elements exaggerated and others underplayed.
    The best analogy I can think of is that I love authentic Italian food, and I equally appreciate the country Southern food I grew up on (except for the overcooked mushy vegetables, but I digress). However, they’re very different genres of cuisine. A master chef could probably come up with a fusion of the two that would balance their flavors and qualities perfectly, and I’d delight in the Southern-fried Italian. But if you didn’t get the balance just so, it would just taste strange and unappetizing. And that’s my reaction to most of the paranormal romances I’ve tried–I feel like I’m trying to swallow the literary equivalent of pulled pork with spaghetti sauce.

    Reply
  31. “I grew up reading sci-fi/fantasy, and still do. So I guess it’s odd that I don’t care for paranormal romance. Can’t explain it, just don’t.”
    I know what you mean. I enjoy some paranormal romance and I’m looking forward to DRAGON LOVERS, but at least 90% of the paranormal romance genre just doesn’t work for me somehow. It feels like an unbalanced, awkward mix, with some elements exaggerated and others underplayed.
    The best analogy I can think of is that I love authentic Italian food, and I equally appreciate the country Southern food I grew up on (except for the overcooked mushy vegetables, but I digress). However, they’re very different genres of cuisine. A master chef could probably come up with a fusion of the two that would balance their flavors and qualities perfectly, and I’d delight in the Southern-fried Italian. But if you didn’t get the balance just so, it would just taste strange and unappetizing. And that’s my reaction to most of the paranormal romances I’ve tried–I feel like I’m trying to swallow the literary equivalent of pulled pork with spaghetti sauce.

    Reply
  32. “I grew up reading sci-fi/fantasy, and still do. So I guess it’s odd that I don’t care for paranormal romance. Can’t explain it, just don’t.”
    I know what you mean. I enjoy some paranormal romance and I’m looking forward to DRAGON LOVERS, but at least 90% of the paranormal romance genre just doesn’t work for me somehow. It feels like an unbalanced, awkward mix, with some elements exaggerated and others underplayed.
    The best analogy I can think of is that I love authentic Italian food, and I equally appreciate the country Southern food I grew up on (except for the overcooked mushy vegetables, but I digress). However, they’re very different genres of cuisine. A master chef could probably come up with a fusion of the two that would balance their flavors and qualities perfectly, and I’d delight in the Southern-fried Italian. But if you didn’t get the balance just so, it would just taste strange and unappetizing. And that’s my reaction to most of the paranormal romances I’ve tried–I feel like I’m trying to swallow the literary equivalent of pulled pork with spaghetti sauce.

    Reply
  33. It does all come down to a matter of taste — where you want to spend your reading-time. Probably another part of the equation for me is that I find I’m reading less and less fiction of any kind these days. Non-fiction history just seems more interesting right now, which I suppose makes the leap to fictional other-worlds even bigger.
    Intersting how many of you mention having begun reading SFF as children. I was an omnivorous kid-reader, but again I never veered off into SFF. I went for talking animals (The Adventurers, Charlotte’s Web, Beatrix Potter) but that was probably because I really believed that animals DID talk. 🙂
    Thank you, Mary Jo, for that Antonia Fraser quote. Words I can live by. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  34. It does all come down to a matter of taste — where you want to spend your reading-time. Probably another part of the equation for me is that I find I’m reading less and less fiction of any kind these days. Non-fiction history just seems more interesting right now, which I suppose makes the leap to fictional other-worlds even bigger.
    Intersting how many of you mention having begun reading SFF as children. I was an omnivorous kid-reader, but again I never veered off into SFF. I went for talking animals (The Adventurers, Charlotte’s Web, Beatrix Potter) but that was probably because I really believed that animals DID talk. 🙂
    Thank you, Mary Jo, for that Antonia Fraser quote. Words I can live by. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  35. It does all come down to a matter of taste — where you want to spend your reading-time. Probably another part of the equation for me is that I find I’m reading less and less fiction of any kind these days. Non-fiction history just seems more interesting right now, which I suppose makes the leap to fictional other-worlds even bigger.
    Intersting how many of you mention having begun reading SFF as children. I was an omnivorous kid-reader, but again I never veered off into SFF. I went for talking animals (The Adventurers, Charlotte’s Web, Beatrix Potter) but that was probably because I really believed that animals DID talk. 🙂
    Thank you, Mary Jo, for that Antonia Fraser quote. Words I can live by. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  36. It does all come down to a matter of taste — where you want to spend your reading-time. Probably another part of the equation for me is that I find I’m reading less and less fiction of any kind these days. Non-fiction history just seems more interesting right now, which I suppose makes the leap to fictional other-worlds even bigger.
    Intersting how many of you mention having begun reading SFF as children. I was an omnivorous kid-reader, but again I never veered off into SFF. I went for talking animals (The Adventurers, Charlotte’s Web, Beatrix Potter) but that was probably because I really believed that animals DID talk. 🙂
    Thank you, Mary Jo, for that Antonia Fraser quote. Words I can live by. *g*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  37. Susan Willbanks wrote: “And that’s my reaction to most of the paranormal romances I’ve tried–I feel like I’m trying to swallow the literary equivalent of pulled pork with spaghetti sauce.”
    I loved this — an excellent analogy!
    I suspect that the paranormal books like this out there are written by people who don’t necessarily have the “gift” for that sub-genre, but are trying to be professional writers, paying the bills by writing what’s selling. I can hardly fault them for it (sheesh, most writers have to do it one time or another), but sometimes it’s painfully clear when a writer’s work doesn’t have “heart.” Most readers can spot it, too, often faster than editors.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  38. Susan Willbanks wrote: “And that’s my reaction to most of the paranormal romances I’ve tried–I feel like I’m trying to swallow the literary equivalent of pulled pork with spaghetti sauce.”
    I loved this — an excellent analogy!
    I suspect that the paranormal books like this out there are written by people who don’t necessarily have the “gift” for that sub-genre, but are trying to be professional writers, paying the bills by writing what’s selling. I can hardly fault them for it (sheesh, most writers have to do it one time or another), but sometimes it’s painfully clear when a writer’s work doesn’t have “heart.” Most readers can spot it, too, often faster than editors.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  39. Susan Willbanks wrote: “And that’s my reaction to most of the paranormal romances I’ve tried–I feel like I’m trying to swallow the literary equivalent of pulled pork with spaghetti sauce.”
    I loved this — an excellent analogy!
    I suspect that the paranormal books like this out there are written by people who don’t necessarily have the “gift” for that sub-genre, but are trying to be professional writers, paying the bills by writing what’s selling. I can hardly fault them for it (sheesh, most writers have to do it one time or another), but sometimes it’s painfully clear when a writer’s work doesn’t have “heart.” Most readers can spot it, too, often faster than editors.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  40. Susan Willbanks wrote: “And that’s my reaction to most of the paranormal romances I’ve tried–I feel like I’m trying to swallow the literary equivalent of pulled pork with spaghetti sauce.”
    I loved this — an excellent analogy!
    I suspect that the paranormal books like this out there are written by people who don’t necessarily have the “gift” for that sub-genre, but are trying to be professional writers, paying the bills by writing what’s selling. I can hardly fault them for it (sheesh, most writers have to do it one time or another), but sometimes it’s painfully clear when a writer’s work doesn’t have “heart.” Most readers can spot it, too, often faster than editors.
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  41. Edith, your comments are as entertaining as your posts! *g*
    I don’t know if I have the para/fantasy gene or not. Back in the Dark Ages when I was in high school, I loved Tolkien, et al. And I still enjoy movies with those elements. But as an adult my preferred reading is “straight.”
    Which is why I’m so glad to see anthologies like DRAGON LOVERS, where I can enjoy really excellent writing about dragons, but in short stories rather than full-length novels.
    Seems odd I love dragons, but not necessarily stories *about* dragons–or other para/fantasy elements. (Wench stories excluded, of course!)

    Reply
  42. Edith, your comments are as entertaining as your posts! *g*
    I don’t know if I have the para/fantasy gene or not. Back in the Dark Ages when I was in high school, I loved Tolkien, et al. And I still enjoy movies with those elements. But as an adult my preferred reading is “straight.”
    Which is why I’m so glad to see anthologies like DRAGON LOVERS, where I can enjoy really excellent writing about dragons, but in short stories rather than full-length novels.
    Seems odd I love dragons, but not necessarily stories *about* dragons–or other para/fantasy elements. (Wench stories excluded, of course!)

    Reply
  43. Edith, your comments are as entertaining as your posts! *g*
    I don’t know if I have the para/fantasy gene or not. Back in the Dark Ages when I was in high school, I loved Tolkien, et al. And I still enjoy movies with those elements. But as an adult my preferred reading is “straight.”
    Which is why I’m so glad to see anthologies like DRAGON LOVERS, where I can enjoy really excellent writing about dragons, but in short stories rather than full-length novels.
    Seems odd I love dragons, but not necessarily stories *about* dragons–or other para/fantasy elements. (Wench stories excluded, of course!)

    Reply
  44. Edith, your comments are as entertaining as your posts! *g*
    I don’t know if I have the para/fantasy gene or not. Back in the Dark Ages when I was in high school, I loved Tolkien, et al. And I still enjoy movies with those elements. But as an adult my preferred reading is “straight.”
    Which is why I’m so glad to see anthologies like DRAGON LOVERS, where I can enjoy really excellent writing about dragons, but in short stories rather than full-length novels.
    Seems odd I love dragons, but not necessarily stories *about* dragons–or other para/fantasy elements. (Wench stories excluded, of course!)

    Reply
  45. “It’d be a shame for anybody to miss such great stuff because they thought they didn’t like “that type” of thing.”
    I’ve read CH, and MJD, and Laurel K. Hamilton, and Lyndsey Sands, and . . . well you get the picture. But none of these books has grabbed me enough to make me a fan, to make me a convert to the subgenre. I have friends who are full-on fangirrrrls of all these authors, so I know it’s me.

    Reply
  46. “It’d be a shame for anybody to miss such great stuff because they thought they didn’t like “that type” of thing.”
    I’ve read CH, and MJD, and Laurel K. Hamilton, and Lyndsey Sands, and . . . well you get the picture. But none of these books has grabbed me enough to make me a fan, to make me a convert to the subgenre. I have friends who are full-on fangirrrrls of all these authors, so I know it’s me.

    Reply
  47. “It’d be a shame for anybody to miss such great stuff because they thought they didn’t like “that type” of thing.”
    I’ve read CH, and MJD, and Laurel K. Hamilton, and Lyndsey Sands, and . . . well you get the picture. But none of these books has grabbed me enough to make me a fan, to make me a convert to the subgenre. I have friends who are full-on fangirrrrls of all these authors, so I know it’s me.

    Reply
  48. “It’d be a shame for anybody to miss such great stuff because they thought they didn’t like “that type” of thing.”
    I’ve read CH, and MJD, and Laurel K. Hamilton, and Lyndsey Sands, and . . . well you get the picture. But none of these books has grabbed me enough to make me a fan, to make me a convert to the subgenre. I have friends who are full-on fangirrrrls of all these authors, so I know it’s me.

    Reply
  49. I like fantasy (correction: I like some fantasy). I don’t care about ghosts and goblins, etc. I find it much easier to swallow fantasy when I think of the happenings as being in “another world”, but I really hated Tolkein, I read the first book and then never touched the others because I realized that reading it was a chore. I hate chores, especially if I am doing it to relax or escape. Makes no sense, eh? I read the Belgariad, and loved it, never read the other by Eddings because they seemed to be the same story retold. I love Pratchett, because every story seems fresh – but even then I have favorite characters. Read some of Piers Anthony, but got tired of it. It seems I have a short attention span. However, I also never got into the unicorns on the shirts/posters, etc. Fantasy works as a book for me, but not as a something to live my life around.

    Reply
  50. I like fantasy (correction: I like some fantasy). I don’t care about ghosts and goblins, etc. I find it much easier to swallow fantasy when I think of the happenings as being in “another world”, but I really hated Tolkein, I read the first book and then never touched the others because I realized that reading it was a chore. I hate chores, especially if I am doing it to relax or escape. Makes no sense, eh? I read the Belgariad, and loved it, never read the other by Eddings because they seemed to be the same story retold. I love Pratchett, because every story seems fresh – but even then I have favorite characters. Read some of Piers Anthony, but got tired of it. It seems I have a short attention span. However, I also never got into the unicorns on the shirts/posters, etc. Fantasy works as a book for me, but not as a something to live my life around.

    Reply
  51. I like fantasy (correction: I like some fantasy). I don’t care about ghosts and goblins, etc. I find it much easier to swallow fantasy when I think of the happenings as being in “another world”, but I really hated Tolkein, I read the first book and then never touched the others because I realized that reading it was a chore. I hate chores, especially if I am doing it to relax or escape. Makes no sense, eh? I read the Belgariad, and loved it, never read the other by Eddings because they seemed to be the same story retold. I love Pratchett, because every story seems fresh – but even then I have favorite characters. Read some of Piers Anthony, but got tired of it. It seems I have a short attention span. However, I also never got into the unicorns on the shirts/posters, etc. Fantasy works as a book for me, but not as a something to live my life around.

    Reply
  52. I like fantasy (correction: I like some fantasy). I don’t care about ghosts and goblins, etc. I find it much easier to swallow fantasy when I think of the happenings as being in “another world”, but I really hated Tolkein, I read the first book and then never touched the others because I realized that reading it was a chore. I hate chores, especially if I am doing it to relax or escape. Makes no sense, eh? I read the Belgariad, and loved it, never read the other by Eddings because they seemed to be the same story retold. I love Pratchett, because every story seems fresh – but even then I have favorite characters. Read some of Piers Anthony, but got tired of it. It seems I have a short attention span. However, I also never got into the unicorns on the shirts/posters, etc. Fantasy works as a book for me, but not as a something to live my life around.

    Reply
  53. When a book is labeled paranormal I too am wary. There have been some really bad ones written but I have read some lately that were very good.

    Reply
  54. When a book is labeled paranormal I too am wary. There have been some really bad ones written but I have read some lately that were very good.

    Reply
  55. When a book is labeled paranormal I too am wary. There have been some really bad ones written but I have read some lately that were very good.

    Reply
  56. When a book is labeled paranormal I too am wary. There have been some really bad ones written but I have read some lately that were very good.

    Reply
  57. I read (and watched!)LOTS of SF/F as a teen, mostly the ones where women/girls are main characters or at least taken seriously (back in The Day there was some weird misogynistic SF out there). Hadn’t read one for over 20 years when I stuck my toe in the water with MJP’s A KISS OF FATE.
    Now I am having serious Fantasy creep as I find myself picking up (and enjoying) more books with paranormal elements. One of Susan Wilbanks’ recent comments about Naomi Novik’s books recently got me to the bookstore and I am happily engaged in the amazing HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON.
    I still don’t really get the vampire thing, though. I think I was in a “new parent” sleep deprivation fog through much of the Buffy era.
    BTW, my teen daughter loves SF/F and now haunts the Harry Potter fan fiction sites (who knew Snape and Hermione were such an Item?).

    Reply
  58. I read (and watched!)LOTS of SF/F as a teen, mostly the ones where women/girls are main characters or at least taken seriously (back in The Day there was some weird misogynistic SF out there). Hadn’t read one for over 20 years when I stuck my toe in the water with MJP’s A KISS OF FATE.
    Now I am having serious Fantasy creep as I find myself picking up (and enjoying) more books with paranormal elements. One of Susan Wilbanks’ recent comments about Naomi Novik’s books recently got me to the bookstore and I am happily engaged in the amazing HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON.
    I still don’t really get the vampire thing, though. I think I was in a “new parent” sleep deprivation fog through much of the Buffy era.
    BTW, my teen daughter loves SF/F and now haunts the Harry Potter fan fiction sites (who knew Snape and Hermione were such an Item?).

    Reply
  59. I read (and watched!)LOTS of SF/F as a teen, mostly the ones where women/girls are main characters or at least taken seriously (back in The Day there was some weird misogynistic SF out there). Hadn’t read one for over 20 years when I stuck my toe in the water with MJP’s A KISS OF FATE.
    Now I am having serious Fantasy creep as I find myself picking up (and enjoying) more books with paranormal elements. One of Susan Wilbanks’ recent comments about Naomi Novik’s books recently got me to the bookstore and I am happily engaged in the amazing HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON.
    I still don’t really get the vampire thing, though. I think I was in a “new parent” sleep deprivation fog through much of the Buffy era.
    BTW, my teen daughter loves SF/F and now haunts the Harry Potter fan fiction sites (who knew Snape and Hermione were such an Item?).

    Reply
  60. I read (and watched!)LOTS of SF/F as a teen, mostly the ones where women/girls are main characters or at least taken seriously (back in The Day there was some weird misogynistic SF out there). Hadn’t read one for over 20 years when I stuck my toe in the water with MJP’s A KISS OF FATE.
    Now I am having serious Fantasy creep as I find myself picking up (and enjoying) more books with paranormal elements. One of Susan Wilbanks’ recent comments about Naomi Novik’s books recently got me to the bookstore and I am happily engaged in the amazing HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON.
    I still don’t really get the vampire thing, though. I think I was in a “new parent” sleep deprivation fog through much of the Buffy era.
    BTW, my teen daughter loves SF/F and now haunts the Harry Potter fan fiction sites (who knew Snape and Hermione were such an Item?).

    Reply
  61. I think I have half the gene for fantasy (can you have half a gene?). I like it in movies and TV — I grew up on Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings trilogy still blows me away, and Buffy was the best heroine ever.
    That being said, I don’t really like much fantasy in my books. I’ve read some fantasy that I like (Robin Hobb, especially), but I usually find it a bit of a chore to read it. I don’t mind a whiff of magic — I really like some of Nora Roberts’ trilogies before she went full bore paranormal. And Harry Potter? Can’t WAIT for the new book. BUT…I do not like the current trend of vampires, werewolves, or other beasties at all. I just don’t get it. Sucking blood or biting people is not sexy or romantic to me. It’s just gross. Kind of ironic for a Buffy fan, but there you go.
    But it takes all sorts of people to make the world go round, even in the reading world. So I will continue to enjoy the books I like, exploring new authors, and hope the paranormal craze settles down a bit (but not go away, so those of you who love it can still feed your craving) :).

    Reply
  62. I think I have half the gene for fantasy (can you have half a gene?). I like it in movies and TV — I grew up on Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings trilogy still blows me away, and Buffy was the best heroine ever.
    That being said, I don’t really like much fantasy in my books. I’ve read some fantasy that I like (Robin Hobb, especially), but I usually find it a bit of a chore to read it. I don’t mind a whiff of magic — I really like some of Nora Roberts’ trilogies before she went full bore paranormal. And Harry Potter? Can’t WAIT for the new book. BUT…I do not like the current trend of vampires, werewolves, or other beasties at all. I just don’t get it. Sucking blood or biting people is not sexy or romantic to me. It’s just gross. Kind of ironic for a Buffy fan, but there you go.
    But it takes all sorts of people to make the world go round, even in the reading world. So I will continue to enjoy the books I like, exploring new authors, and hope the paranormal craze settles down a bit (but not go away, so those of you who love it can still feed your craving) :).

    Reply
  63. I think I have half the gene for fantasy (can you have half a gene?). I like it in movies and TV — I grew up on Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings trilogy still blows me away, and Buffy was the best heroine ever.
    That being said, I don’t really like much fantasy in my books. I’ve read some fantasy that I like (Robin Hobb, especially), but I usually find it a bit of a chore to read it. I don’t mind a whiff of magic — I really like some of Nora Roberts’ trilogies before she went full bore paranormal. And Harry Potter? Can’t WAIT for the new book. BUT…I do not like the current trend of vampires, werewolves, or other beasties at all. I just don’t get it. Sucking blood or biting people is not sexy or romantic to me. It’s just gross. Kind of ironic for a Buffy fan, but there you go.
    But it takes all sorts of people to make the world go round, even in the reading world. So I will continue to enjoy the books I like, exploring new authors, and hope the paranormal craze settles down a bit (but not go away, so those of you who love it can still feed your craving) :).

    Reply
  64. I think I have half the gene for fantasy (can you have half a gene?). I like it in movies and TV — I grew up on Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings trilogy still blows me away, and Buffy was the best heroine ever.
    That being said, I don’t really like much fantasy in my books. I’ve read some fantasy that I like (Robin Hobb, especially), but I usually find it a bit of a chore to read it. I don’t mind a whiff of magic — I really like some of Nora Roberts’ trilogies before she went full bore paranormal. And Harry Potter? Can’t WAIT for the new book. BUT…I do not like the current trend of vampires, werewolves, or other beasties at all. I just don’t get it. Sucking blood or biting people is not sexy or romantic to me. It’s just gross. Kind of ironic for a Buffy fan, but there you go.
    But it takes all sorts of people to make the world go round, even in the reading world. So I will continue to enjoy the books I like, exploring new authors, and hope the paranormal craze settles down a bit (but not go away, so those of you who love it can still feed your craving) :).

    Reply
  65. You know, maybe this “gene” theory of mine has to be broken down further. I know plenty of people who loooovvve Buffy, but don’t like fairies. Or those who like vampires, but no Harry Potter. But then, that’s no different from readers who like regencies, but not westerns, or medievals, but no chick-lit.
    In the end, everything comes down to a case-by-case basis…and isn’t it grand that there’s so much to choose from? *G*

    Reply
  66. You know, maybe this “gene” theory of mine has to be broken down further. I know plenty of people who loooovvve Buffy, but don’t like fairies. Or those who like vampires, but no Harry Potter. But then, that’s no different from readers who like regencies, but not westerns, or medievals, but no chick-lit.
    In the end, everything comes down to a case-by-case basis…and isn’t it grand that there’s so much to choose from? *G*

    Reply
  67. You know, maybe this “gene” theory of mine has to be broken down further. I know plenty of people who loooovvve Buffy, but don’t like fairies. Or those who like vampires, but no Harry Potter. But then, that’s no different from readers who like regencies, but not westerns, or medievals, but no chick-lit.
    In the end, everything comes down to a case-by-case basis…and isn’t it grand that there’s so much to choose from? *G*

    Reply
  68. You know, maybe this “gene” theory of mine has to be broken down further. I know plenty of people who loooovvve Buffy, but don’t like fairies. Or those who like vampires, but no Harry Potter. But then, that’s no different from readers who like regencies, but not westerns, or medievals, but no chick-lit.
    In the end, everything comes down to a case-by-case basis…and isn’t it grand that there’s so much to choose from? *G*

    Reply
  69. Edith, I’m still working on relling the difference….I have to confess that I really went and looked up “rell”, wondering if I’d missed some special nuance of meaning. Duh.

    Reply
  70. Edith, I’m still working on relling the difference….I have to confess that I really went and looked up “rell”, wondering if I’d missed some special nuance of meaning. Duh.

    Reply
  71. Edith, I’m still working on relling the difference….I have to confess that I really went and looked up “rell”, wondering if I’d missed some special nuance of meaning. Duh.

    Reply
  72. Edith, I’m still working on relling the difference….I have to confess that I really went and looked up “rell”, wondering if I’d missed some special nuance of meaning. Duh.

    Reply
  73. When it comes to me, just like everyone else, there are always exceptions. However, for the most part, I like my romances straight, realistic types. I just like the scifi and time travel in my Star Trek and the paranormal and all related in my X-Files.
    That said, back to the first statement. . . I have a few paranormal related books because I simply loved the authors and they went to a new story type and I just had to try it.
    As for the trend, I figure it’ll be like anything else, there’s a lot of it out now, but things will calm down, and some will, ah, pun intended, survive. LOL Some authors will continue to write them and others won’t. But like you said, and like I said in other places, we all like to read different things, so just because a fad might have cooled, it certainly does not mean sometimes should go away. Just all the media types should try to remember that there are people out there that did like something that’s been out a while now, and we don’t want to see it disappear! 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  74. When it comes to me, just like everyone else, there are always exceptions. However, for the most part, I like my romances straight, realistic types. I just like the scifi and time travel in my Star Trek and the paranormal and all related in my X-Files.
    That said, back to the first statement. . . I have a few paranormal related books because I simply loved the authors and they went to a new story type and I just had to try it.
    As for the trend, I figure it’ll be like anything else, there’s a lot of it out now, but things will calm down, and some will, ah, pun intended, survive. LOL Some authors will continue to write them and others won’t. But like you said, and like I said in other places, we all like to read different things, so just because a fad might have cooled, it certainly does not mean sometimes should go away. Just all the media types should try to remember that there are people out there that did like something that’s been out a while now, and we don’t want to see it disappear! 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  75. When it comes to me, just like everyone else, there are always exceptions. However, for the most part, I like my romances straight, realistic types. I just like the scifi and time travel in my Star Trek and the paranormal and all related in my X-Files.
    That said, back to the first statement. . . I have a few paranormal related books because I simply loved the authors and they went to a new story type and I just had to try it.
    As for the trend, I figure it’ll be like anything else, there’s a lot of it out now, but things will calm down, and some will, ah, pun intended, survive. LOL Some authors will continue to write them and others won’t. But like you said, and like I said in other places, we all like to read different things, so just because a fad might have cooled, it certainly does not mean sometimes should go away. Just all the media types should try to remember that there are people out there that did like something that’s been out a while now, and we don’t want to see it disappear! 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  76. When it comes to me, just like everyone else, there are always exceptions. However, for the most part, I like my romances straight, realistic types. I just like the scifi and time travel in my Star Trek and the paranormal and all related in my X-Files.
    That said, back to the first statement. . . I have a few paranormal related books because I simply loved the authors and they went to a new story type and I just had to try it.
    As for the trend, I figure it’ll be like anything else, there’s a lot of it out now, but things will calm down, and some will, ah, pun intended, survive. LOL Some authors will continue to write them and others won’t. But like you said, and like I said in other places, we all like to read different things, so just because a fad might have cooled, it certainly does not mean sometimes should go away. Just all the media types should try to remember that there are people out there that did like something that’s been out a while now, and we don’t want to see it disappear! 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  77. PS — media types, should have added in parenthesis is for books/movies/tv and whatever else because they all work the same way. The new big thing’s out, everyone has to copy it, but that usually means something else gets pushed out of the way, something that plenty of people were just happy with. 🙂 But you probably knew that already so I probably don’t even need this second entry. LOL 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  78. PS — media types, should have added in parenthesis is for books/movies/tv and whatever else because they all work the same way. The new big thing’s out, everyone has to copy it, but that usually means something else gets pushed out of the way, something that plenty of people were just happy with. 🙂 But you probably knew that already so I probably don’t even need this second entry. LOL 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  79. PS — media types, should have added in parenthesis is for books/movies/tv and whatever else because they all work the same way. The new big thing’s out, everyone has to copy it, but that usually means something else gets pushed out of the way, something that plenty of people were just happy with. 🙂 But you probably knew that already so I probably don’t even need this second entry. LOL 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  80. PS — media types, should have added in parenthesis is for books/movies/tv and whatever else because they all work the same way. The new big thing’s out, everyone has to copy it, but that usually means something else gets pushed out of the way, something that plenty of people were just happy with. 🙂 But you probably knew that already so I probably don’t even need this second entry. LOL 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  81. “You know, maybe this “gene” theory of mine has to be broken down further. I know plenty of people who loooovvve Buffy, but don’t like fairies. Or those who like vampires, but no Harry Potter. But then, that’s no different from readers who like regencies, but not westerns, or medievals, but no chick-lit.”
    For me, I think it’s pretty much a writer-by-writer basis, not so much (sub?)genres or types of characters. For example, I love nearly everything Whedon has done, but I don’t seek out vampire stories (in print or on film); I don’t not look for them either, but the immortal life has never held that much appeal to me.
    Harry Potter, by all accounts should be books I like – coming-of-age story, magic, fantasy, a series where the characters get to grow older, a girl who does things, etc – and yet I can’t get into them at all.
    I don’t really understand the difference between fantasy and paranormal, or between women’s fiction and chick lit, and sometimes between chick lit and romance… Maybe one of these days I’ll figure it out, if they stop subdividing.

    Reply
  82. “You know, maybe this “gene” theory of mine has to be broken down further. I know plenty of people who loooovvve Buffy, but don’t like fairies. Or those who like vampires, but no Harry Potter. But then, that’s no different from readers who like regencies, but not westerns, or medievals, but no chick-lit.”
    For me, I think it’s pretty much a writer-by-writer basis, not so much (sub?)genres or types of characters. For example, I love nearly everything Whedon has done, but I don’t seek out vampire stories (in print or on film); I don’t not look for them either, but the immortal life has never held that much appeal to me.
    Harry Potter, by all accounts should be books I like – coming-of-age story, magic, fantasy, a series where the characters get to grow older, a girl who does things, etc – and yet I can’t get into them at all.
    I don’t really understand the difference between fantasy and paranormal, or between women’s fiction and chick lit, and sometimes between chick lit and romance… Maybe one of these days I’ll figure it out, if they stop subdividing.

    Reply
  83. “You know, maybe this “gene” theory of mine has to be broken down further. I know plenty of people who loooovvve Buffy, but don’t like fairies. Or those who like vampires, but no Harry Potter. But then, that’s no different from readers who like regencies, but not westerns, or medievals, but no chick-lit.”
    For me, I think it’s pretty much a writer-by-writer basis, not so much (sub?)genres or types of characters. For example, I love nearly everything Whedon has done, but I don’t seek out vampire stories (in print or on film); I don’t not look for them either, but the immortal life has never held that much appeal to me.
    Harry Potter, by all accounts should be books I like – coming-of-age story, magic, fantasy, a series where the characters get to grow older, a girl who does things, etc – and yet I can’t get into them at all.
    I don’t really understand the difference between fantasy and paranormal, or between women’s fiction and chick lit, and sometimes between chick lit and romance… Maybe one of these days I’ll figure it out, if they stop subdividing.

    Reply
  84. “You know, maybe this “gene” theory of mine has to be broken down further. I know plenty of people who loooovvve Buffy, but don’t like fairies. Or those who like vampires, but no Harry Potter. But then, that’s no different from readers who like regencies, but not westerns, or medievals, but no chick-lit.”
    For me, I think it’s pretty much a writer-by-writer basis, not so much (sub?)genres or types of characters. For example, I love nearly everything Whedon has done, but I don’t seek out vampire stories (in print or on film); I don’t not look for them either, but the immortal life has never held that much appeal to me.
    Harry Potter, by all accounts should be books I like – coming-of-age story, magic, fantasy, a series where the characters get to grow older, a girl who does things, etc – and yet I can’t get into them at all.
    I don’t really understand the difference between fantasy and paranormal, or between women’s fiction and chick lit, and sometimes between chick lit and romance… Maybe one of these days I’ll figure it out, if they stop subdividing.

    Reply
  85. I was a Buffy fanatic and I really liked the first four Harry Potters…and then got a little bored and quit, though I still see the movies. Also quickly lost interest in LKH. I seem to be more open to SFF in movies & TV than in books. I love Terry Pratchett madly and envy him deeply. But he’s the exception. Maybe because he’s so damn funny and the satire is spot on. SFF never was really my thing, and with the exception of Wench books, I tend to find it a chore. I like Pratchett’s swamp dragons because they explode but doubt I’ll have anything to say about dragons, either, Susan/Miranda. They just don’t make me hot.

    Reply
  86. I was a Buffy fanatic and I really liked the first four Harry Potters…and then got a little bored and quit, though I still see the movies. Also quickly lost interest in LKH. I seem to be more open to SFF in movies & TV than in books. I love Terry Pratchett madly and envy him deeply. But he’s the exception. Maybe because he’s so damn funny and the satire is spot on. SFF never was really my thing, and with the exception of Wench books, I tend to find it a chore. I like Pratchett’s swamp dragons because they explode but doubt I’ll have anything to say about dragons, either, Susan/Miranda. They just don’t make me hot.

    Reply
  87. I was a Buffy fanatic and I really liked the first four Harry Potters…and then got a little bored and quit, though I still see the movies. Also quickly lost interest in LKH. I seem to be more open to SFF in movies & TV than in books. I love Terry Pratchett madly and envy him deeply. But he’s the exception. Maybe because he’s so damn funny and the satire is spot on. SFF never was really my thing, and with the exception of Wench books, I tend to find it a chore. I like Pratchett’s swamp dragons because they explode but doubt I’ll have anything to say about dragons, either, Susan/Miranda. They just don’t make me hot.

    Reply
  88. I was a Buffy fanatic and I really liked the first four Harry Potters…and then got a little bored and quit, though I still see the movies. Also quickly lost interest in LKH. I seem to be more open to SFF in movies & TV than in books. I love Terry Pratchett madly and envy him deeply. But he’s the exception. Maybe because he’s so damn funny and the satire is spot on. SFF never was really my thing, and with the exception of Wench books, I tend to find it a chore. I like Pratchett’s swamp dragons because they explode but doubt I’ll have anything to say about dragons, either, Susan/Miranda. They just don’t make me hot.

    Reply
  89. Long live (non-paranormal) historical romance!
    In my life I’m a “Woo-Woo and a half.” But give me my romance straight, thanks. Which is probably why my muse has chained me to my desk to write historical paranormals. The universe has a perverse and ironic sense of humor.
    Terry Pratchett understands this. Which is why he is God. Of Discworld, anyway!

    Reply
  90. Long live (non-paranormal) historical romance!
    In my life I’m a “Woo-Woo and a half.” But give me my romance straight, thanks. Which is probably why my muse has chained me to my desk to write historical paranormals. The universe has a perverse and ironic sense of humor.
    Terry Pratchett understands this. Which is why he is God. Of Discworld, anyway!

    Reply
  91. Long live (non-paranormal) historical romance!
    In my life I’m a “Woo-Woo and a half.” But give me my romance straight, thanks. Which is probably why my muse has chained me to my desk to write historical paranormals. The universe has a perverse and ironic sense of humor.
    Terry Pratchett understands this. Which is why he is God. Of Discworld, anyway!

    Reply
  92. Long live (non-paranormal) historical romance!
    In my life I’m a “Woo-Woo and a half.” But give me my romance straight, thanks. Which is probably why my muse has chained me to my desk to write historical paranormals. The universe has a perverse and ironic sense of humor.
    Terry Pratchett understands this. Which is why he is God. Of Discworld, anyway!

    Reply
  93. Lois wrote: “The new big thing’s out, everyone has to copy it, but that usually means something else gets pushed out of the way, something that plenty of people were just happy with.”
    You’re right, Lois, it’s like this in publishing just like every other money-making business. Some publisher decides to take a chance on a book with a fresh, new idea. In turn readers like it because it IS new and fresh, and buy bunches. The money-folks see this, and conclude that it’s the idea, not the author, and so bring in the clones of the once-fresh idea. Readers buy a few of the clones, get turned off by them, stop buying , and the trend is suddenly declared dead. It happened most recently to Chick-lit, and odds are it will happen on some level with the vampires et al.
    The only comforting thing from this foolishness is that the best writers — usually the ones everyone else copied — survive and continue prospering. Readers understand the difference. In the ranks of consumers, readers surely are among the smartest!

    Reply
  94. Lois wrote: “The new big thing’s out, everyone has to copy it, but that usually means something else gets pushed out of the way, something that plenty of people were just happy with.”
    You’re right, Lois, it’s like this in publishing just like every other money-making business. Some publisher decides to take a chance on a book with a fresh, new idea. In turn readers like it because it IS new and fresh, and buy bunches. The money-folks see this, and conclude that it’s the idea, not the author, and so bring in the clones of the once-fresh idea. Readers buy a few of the clones, get turned off by them, stop buying , and the trend is suddenly declared dead. It happened most recently to Chick-lit, and odds are it will happen on some level with the vampires et al.
    The only comforting thing from this foolishness is that the best writers — usually the ones everyone else copied — survive and continue prospering. Readers understand the difference. In the ranks of consumers, readers surely are among the smartest!

    Reply
  95. Lois wrote: “The new big thing’s out, everyone has to copy it, but that usually means something else gets pushed out of the way, something that plenty of people were just happy with.”
    You’re right, Lois, it’s like this in publishing just like every other money-making business. Some publisher decides to take a chance on a book with a fresh, new idea. In turn readers like it because it IS new and fresh, and buy bunches. The money-folks see this, and conclude that it’s the idea, not the author, and so bring in the clones of the once-fresh idea. Readers buy a few of the clones, get turned off by them, stop buying , and the trend is suddenly declared dead. It happened most recently to Chick-lit, and odds are it will happen on some level with the vampires et al.
    The only comforting thing from this foolishness is that the best writers — usually the ones everyone else copied — survive and continue prospering. Readers understand the difference. In the ranks of consumers, readers surely are among the smartest!

    Reply
  96. Lois wrote: “The new big thing’s out, everyone has to copy it, but that usually means something else gets pushed out of the way, something that plenty of people were just happy with.”
    You’re right, Lois, it’s like this in publishing just like every other money-making business. Some publisher decides to take a chance on a book with a fresh, new idea. In turn readers like it because it IS new and fresh, and buy bunches. The money-folks see this, and conclude that it’s the idea, not the author, and so bring in the clones of the once-fresh idea. Readers buy a few of the clones, get turned off by them, stop buying , and the trend is suddenly declared dead. It happened most recently to Chick-lit, and odds are it will happen on some level with the vampires et al.
    The only comforting thing from this foolishness is that the best writers — usually the ones everyone else copied — survive and continue prospering. Readers understand the difference. In the ranks of consumers, readers surely are among the smartest!

    Reply
  97. Loretta wrote: “I like Pratchett’s swamp dragons because they explode but doubt I’ll have anything to say about dragons, either, Susan/Miranda. They just don’t make me hot.”
    Stand close enough so they can breathe on you, Loretta, and I’m sure they will. *g*

    Reply
  98. Loretta wrote: “I like Pratchett’s swamp dragons because they explode but doubt I’ll have anything to say about dragons, either, Susan/Miranda. They just don’t make me hot.”
    Stand close enough so they can breathe on you, Loretta, and I’m sure they will. *g*

    Reply
  99. Loretta wrote: “I like Pratchett’s swamp dragons because they explode but doubt I’ll have anything to say about dragons, either, Susan/Miranda. They just don’t make me hot.”
    Stand close enough so they can breathe on you, Loretta, and I’m sure they will. *g*

    Reply
  100. Loretta wrote: “I like Pratchett’s swamp dragons because they explode but doubt I’ll have anything to say about dragons, either, Susan/Miranda. They just don’t make me hot.”
    Stand close enough so they can breathe on you, Loretta, and I’m sure they will. *g*

    Reply
  101. Susan,
    i love it that you were willing to write about not liking, or not being into dragons. It takes guts to express a negative. I also find I am not much into fantasy, and am turned off by vampires. The exception is when a fantasy is written in a way that is so wonderfully human that the magical elements just illustrate the human qualities, rather than dominating them. I loved Mary Jo’s the Marriage Spell for exactly that reason.
    Merry

    Reply
  102. Susan,
    i love it that you were willing to write about not liking, or not being into dragons. It takes guts to express a negative. I also find I am not much into fantasy, and am turned off by vampires. The exception is when a fantasy is written in a way that is so wonderfully human that the magical elements just illustrate the human qualities, rather than dominating them. I loved Mary Jo’s the Marriage Spell for exactly that reason.
    Merry

    Reply
  103. Susan,
    i love it that you were willing to write about not liking, or not being into dragons. It takes guts to express a negative. I also find I am not much into fantasy, and am turned off by vampires. The exception is when a fantasy is written in a way that is so wonderfully human that the magical elements just illustrate the human qualities, rather than dominating them. I loved Mary Jo’s the Marriage Spell for exactly that reason.
    Merry

    Reply
  104. Susan,
    i love it that you were willing to write about not liking, or not being into dragons. It takes guts to express a negative. I also find I am not much into fantasy, and am turned off by vampires. The exception is when a fantasy is written in a way that is so wonderfully human that the magical elements just illustrate the human qualities, rather than dominating them. I loved Mary Jo’s the Marriage Spell for exactly that reason.
    Merry

    Reply
  105. Merry wrote: “I love it that you were willing to write about not liking, or not being into dragons. It takes guts to express a negative.”
    Oh, Merry, how very nice of you! Though I wouldn’t exactly call it “guts”, especially here in the free-thinking world of the Wenches. I’d have to call it more like “bull-headedly opinionated” rather than “gutsy” (but either way I’ll take it as a compliment. 🙂

    Reply
  106. Merry wrote: “I love it that you were willing to write about not liking, or not being into dragons. It takes guts to express a negative.”
    Oh, Merry, how very nice of you! Though I wouldn’t exactly call it “guts”, especially here in the free-thinking world of the Wenches. I’d have to call it more like “bull-headedly opinionated” rather than “gutsy” (but either way I’ll take it as a compliment. 🙂

    Reply
  107. Merry wrote: “I love it that you were willing to write about not liking, or not being into dragons. It takes guts to express a negative.”
    Oh, Merry, how very nice of you! Though I wouldn’t exactly call it “guts”, especially here in the free-thinking world of the Wenches. I’d have to call it more like “bull-headedly opinionated” rather than “gutsy” (but either way I’ll take it as a compliment. 🙂

    Reply
  108. Merry wrote: “I love it that you were willing to write about not liking, or not being into dragons. It takes guts to express a negative.”
    Oh, Merry, how very nice of you! Though I wouldn’t exactly call it “guts”, especially here in the free-thinking world of the Wenches. I’d have to call it more like “bull-headedly opinionated” rather than “gutsy” (but either way I’ll take it as a compliment. 🙂

    Reply
  109. There seems to be a similar pattern here for many people. I started out with Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, Boxcar Children etc and then moved on to The Witch of Blackbird Pond followed by C.S. Lewis. My Parents gave me a leather-bound dual volume of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights for Christmas in 6th grade and I was on my way to Romance Land. To me, romance is a kind of fantasy. That said, while I was making my way through all of Victoria Holt, Georgette Heyer and the Walker Regencies, I was also working through Stephen King, Anne Rice and the Dune books. From the time I was about ten, all the way through Junior High, my friends and I played imagination games that involved a complicated world of witches who got their powers from special rocks and wooden staffs. So I embraced fantasy pretty early, but in general I’m not a huge reader of paranormal Romance. I’m not sure I’d read any until recently, during a reading slump I picked up Mary Jo’s A Kiss of Fate. It reminded me of the epic feeling fantasy can provide in a story–ultimate good and evil and so forth. When it is done well, I think fantasy can really elevate the emotional stakes. When it fails it is simply hokey, but can still be fun when taken on its own terms.

    Reply
  110. There seems to be a similar pattern here for many people. I started out with Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, Boxcar Children etc and then moved on to The Witch of Blackbird Pond followed by C.S. Lewis. My Parents gave me a leather-bound dual volume of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights for Christmas in 6th grade and I was on my way to Romance Land. To me, romance is a kind of fantasy. That said, while I was making my way through all of Victoria Holt, Georgette Heyer and the Walker Regencies, I was also working through Stephen King, Anne Rice and the Dune books. From the time I was about ten, all the way through Junior High, my friends and I played imagination games that involved a complicated world of witches who got their powers from special rocks and wooden staffs. So I embraced fantasy pretty early, but in general I’m not a huge reader of paranormal Romance. I’m not sure I’d read any until recently, during a reading slump I picked up Mary Jo’s A Kiss of Fate. It reminded me of the epic feeling fantasy can provide in a story–ultimate good and evil and so forth. When it is done well, I think fantasy can really elevate the emotional stakes. When it fails it is simply hokey, but can still be fun when taken on its own terms.

    Reply
  111. There seems to be a similar pattern here for many people. I started out with Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, Boxcar Children etc and then moved on to The Witch of Blackbird Pond followed by C.S. Lewis. My Parents gave me a leather-bound dual volume of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights for Christmas in 6th grade and I was on my way to Romance Land. To me, romance is a kind of fantasy. That said, while I was making my way through all of Victoria Holt, Georgette Heyer and the Walker Regencies, I was also working through Stephen King, Anne Rice and the Dune books. From the time I was about ten, all the way through Junior High, my friends and I played imagination games that involved a complicated world of witches who got their powers from special rocks and wooden staffs. So I embraced fantasy pretty early, but in general I’m not a huge reader of paranormal Romance. I’m not sure I’d read any until recently, during a reading slump I picked up Mary Jo’s A Kiss of Fate. It reminded me of the epic feeling fantasy can provide in a story–ultimate good and evil and so forth. When it is done well, I think fantasy can really elevate the emotional stakes. When it fails it is simply hokey, but can still be fun when taken on its own terms.

    Reply
  112. There seems to be a similar pattern here for many people. I started out with Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, Boxcar Children etc and then moved on to The Witch of Blackbird Pond followed by C.S. Lewis. My Parents gave me a leather-bound dual volume of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights for Christmas in 6th grade and I was on my way to Romance Land. To me, romance is a kind of fantasy. That said, while I was making my way through all of Victoria Holt, Georgette Heyer and the Walker Regencies, I was also working through Stephen King, Anne Rice and the Dune books. From the time I was about ten, all the way through Junior High, my friends and I played imagination games that involved a complicated world of witches who got their powers from special rocks and wooden staffs. So I embraced fantasy pretty early, but in general I’m not a huge reader of paranormal Romance. I’m not sure I’d read any until recently, during a reading slump I picked up Mary Jo’s A Kiss of Fate. It reminded me of the epic feeling fantasy can provide in a story–ultimate good and evil and so forth. When it is done well, I think fantasy can really elevate the emotional stakes. When it fails it is simply hokey, but can still be fun when taken on its own terms.

    Reply

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