Friday, October 26, 2012

Why Paranormal Romance?

Often I’m asked how I got started writing paranormal romance. I don’t think it’s so much the ‘how’ as to the ‘why.’ When I first started reading romance, it was always historicals. I gobbled up books by Amanda Quick, Johanna Lindsey, and Laura Kinsale. I figured, hey, if I was going to lose myself in a fictional word, I didn’t want it to be like the one I currently live in (apologies to all the contemporary writers out there). I wanted to be swept away to a time long ago, when honor meant everything and a hero would lay down his life to protect those he loved. A time when the world was as rugged as the men who lived in it and things were not so PC. I wanted my knight in shining armor to come riding in on his white horse and rescue me in the nick of time, darn it.

But after a while, the books all started sounding the same. I was getting bored. I knew something was missing. So one day, as I stood in my local book store staring aimlessly at the multitude of books before me, the sales lady came up to me and asked if she could help. I told her my dilemma – that I loved historicals but I wanted something different. Something more. Something with magic. She smiled and pointed me to Jill Barnett’s BEWITCHING. Not only did this incredible author introduce me to paranormal romance, but it opened up the world of humorous historical paranormal romance to me. A major milestone. I had found what I didn’t know I’d been searching for! A book with history, romance, humor and a touch of magic. I didn’t know there could be such a thing.

So years later, when I decided to try my hand at writing, did I write what I loved? Nope. I sat down and tried to write one of those epic historical romances. It had a Highland laird, a warrior heroine, an evil father, revenge, coerced sex, illegitimate pregnancy, angst, deception, drama, and even a case of amnesia thrown in. Everything but the kitchen sink. Did it sell? Nope. And now that I know what I know, I’m not surprised. But at the time I was heartbroken. Why didn’t anyone love my great masterpiece? Then I heard those prolific words that gave me that ‘ah ha’ moment every author has. Not ‘write what you know,’ because unless you’re a history scholar or time traveler, no one really ‘knows’ what it was truly like to live in a time not our own. No, the prolific words that got me started writing in the paranormal genre were ‘write what you love to read.’ 

And so I did. And you know what? That book practically wrote itself. It flew from my fingertips with all the pieces falling magically into place. It was a book with bumbling guardian angels and reincarnated soul mates set in WWII Pompeii. By the time I finished it, I had what I thought was a pretty darn good book. Someone else thought so too, because it landed me an agent. Did it sell? Nope, mainly because of the time period (evidently NY publishing thinks the WWII time period has the cooties). But it came very close with one NY publisher, climbing up the editorial ladder to the top before it was rejected because I refused to rewrite it as a contemporary. Was I heartbroken? Yes. Did I give up on it? No. I self-published it and it’s slowly finding its way into reader’s hearts. Apparently I’m not the only one out there who loves humor, history and paranormal in their romance.

OUT OF THE ASHES – Pompeii, reincarnation and romance

"Lori Dillon brings a fresh new voice for paranormal historical romance readers to enjoy. OUT OF THE ASHES shows the author is a born storyteller, with emotion on every page. I cried at the end."   
                     — Rosemary Stevens,
                              Agatha Award winning author

To find out more about Lori Dillon and her writings, please visit her website at