Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Will It Blend? The Paranormal in the Historical

It isn't a particularly new trend, but it seems to be growing in popularity. While paranormal romances and fantasy fiction have soared, it seems as if the paranormal is finding its way into the historical. I'm not talking about the Pride and Prejudice Zombie thing which is parody and not really a true blend of genre. I'm more interested in books such as Suzanna Clarke's Jonahtan Strange & Mr. Norell or Amanda Grange's Mr. Darcy, Vampyre.
Why is this popular? Any thoughts? I think this is a trend which will grown more into the mainstream of historical fiction and historical romance. Will it help or hinder these markets? Will it become a more solid sub-genre? I'm not even going to go into Steampunk which I think is poised for an explosion and I think it is worthy of its own post. But do you agree there is a growing trend?

As a historical writer, are you open to adding paranormal elements to your writing? As a reader, is this violating the purity of the genre?


Melissa Marsh said...

I have to admit, I'm not much on the paranormal stuff. I usually don't like to read it and incorporating it into my novels has never been something I've wanted to do.

But I say kudos to those who want to try it. :-)

Angela said...

I think blending is when we really open things up to something new and imaginative. Purity is also static.

Natalie said...

If done well I think a paranormal and historical blend could be really popular. However, on the flip side of this, I have read a few and I only made it to the third chapter (if that) before I gave up. Authors trying to write this unusual combination need to appease both aspects of paranormal and historical. Unfortunately, I haven't come across one yet that did this.

*I haven’t read either of the books you mentioned; though, I might have to check them out now*

Traxy said...

I love anything paranormal, and I also love the history aspect. For me, a blend seems quite natural. A couple of months ago, I was saying to myself "why is fantasy always set in a medieval kind of period?" and wondered why they can't just set it in the 1800s instead. Brontë sisters with added magic, Austen and dragons and so on... Looking at the term Steampunk (I was going to look it up, so thanks for reminding me - and for providing a direct link!) I'm kind of wondering if that's not what I'm after, but at the same time I'm not sure. I'm not sure I want my world to have been introduced to steam power yet, and if I have more of a sword & sorcery set in Regency... is that really steampunk? Then again, if I want to have it in that sort of time period and want to add ghosts and that sort of thing, doesn't that then move into gothic?

Right now, I'm just trying to figure out what the world is like and who populate it, and how the magic is supposed to work... but once I have figured those things out, I'm hoping to know what sort of genre it's about! :)

prashant said...

I think blending is when we really open things up to something new and imaginative. Purity is also static.
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