Chasing Inspiration

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Paranormal Inspirational What?

I was talking to author Patti O'Shea a few months ago and as I was asking her questions about paranormal romance, I blurted out that this story is an inspirational paranormal. She didn't bat an eye but it made me pause and think for a moment. Can paranormal stories and inspirational stories share real-estate in the same book? The answer may surprise you.

According to, paranormal means:
of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.
Supernatural phenomena. Without scientific explanation. Interesting, is it not? Most people attribute paranormal story lines with ghosts, psychics, shapeshifters (were-creatures), vampires, witches, and the like. But if I take the definition of paranormal at face value, it includes anything that can't be explained scientifically. Which means, when  my heroine senses things about characters around her through the spiritual gift of discernment, that makes my inspirational type novel have paranormal overtones. Right?

Well, not if you talk to anyone in the inspirational markets. You don't want to go there. However, I can talk about my book being an inspirational with strong supernatural elements.

It's all in how you present the story. The story itself doesn't change if I call it a paranormal romance or an inspirational romance with supernatural elements. It's still the same story. But how it's presented will cause people to think of the story in a certain way. And depending on the slice of the market I'm after will depend on how I want editors, agents, even readers to think of it.

I'm not ready to go after anyone with the story yet, so once NaNo is over, I'm going to jump back into this story and finish it. But as I write, it's not a bad idea to be thinking about who might be attracted to such a story. Be it a paranormal with spiritual elements or an inspirational with supernatural elements. *grin*

1 comment:

  1. The way I see it, this seems to be a marketing question. What section of the romance readership do you want to reach? People who read "inspirational" romance strike me as a different breed than those who read "paranormal." I, for example, stay away from inspirationals but paranormals draw me like a moth toward flame.

    It is true that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but Romeo and Juliet still had issues, ya feel me? *wink*