“Paranormal is dead.”
That was the line in a message on one of my online RWA chapter loops. It seems that agents and editors at the 2014 Romance Writers of America conference last week were saying that they no longer wanted “paranormal”—no one was reading it. Actually the agents and editors weren’t “acquiring” it because they felt the market is flooded. So, they believe no one is reading it.
Really? Then why is it one of the most popular Romance (with a capital “R”) genres in self-publishing? Could it be that there aren’t enough paranormals coming from the traditional publishers and readers are going to indie authors?
And paranormal doesn’t just mean vampires and werewolves (although my soon-to-be-released book is about the furries). “Paranormal” can mean anything from wizards, to elves, to aliens, to witches, to fairies. Para—(outside/around)—normal; whatever is not in the normal realm.
The paranormal still seems to be prominent in popular culture, especially on television.
So why aren’t agents and editors looking for paranormal stories? Are they REALLY the gate keepers (think “Ghostbusters” Zuul)? Or are we, the readers, the true gate keepers?
Every so often the “Zuuls” of traditional publishing tell aspiring authors: “Don’t write this. We won’t buy it.”
But now authors can say, “But this is the story I want to write. The story in my head. The story with all the weird stuff. And I’m writing it. And I will publish it on my own.”
Paranormal dead? Tell that to the producers of The Quest or the shareholders of the SyFy Channel. The most popular posts on my Facebook Author page are the ones about ghosts, hauntings and aliens.
No genre or subgenre is dead until the readers say it is dead.