I'm over the moon (buh duh duh) about today's guest because it's Allison Pang, author of the Abby Sinclair trilogy. Her books are absolutely wonderful and I'm so excited that we're taking part in her blog tour celebrating the release of the third and final book in the trilogy, A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT, which comes out tomorrow.
One of the things I like best about Allison's books is how she manages to straddle the line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. The Abby Sinclair trilogy has many of the elements associated with both genres and I wanted to see what she had to say on the differences between the two.
Without further ado, here's Allison's take on the subject!
UF vs PNR
One of the questions I see being asked a lot is what the main differences are between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Sometimes I think this is really more of a marketing issue – where a book is shelved can definitely influence a reader’s expectations. But these days it seems like the lines between the genres are blurring together.
While both genres certainly share a lot of the same elements – otherworldly powers or preternatural creatures, strong-willed heroines and tortured heroes - it can be hard to classify them correctly. The bottom line, though, is going to be the romance. Although UF stories *can* have romance, they don’t have to, whereas in a PNR, the romance *is* the story.
So how do you tell if you’re reading a PNR or a UF with romantic elements? Often the key clue is the HEA (Happily Ever After). Romances are usually required to have one (and I’ve often seen reviewers lamenting the fact that the book they were reading *didn’t* have one – again – it can be hard if books aren’t labeled properly. ) But HEA or no, the main thing is the plot. If the plot centers around a couple and their quest to get together, it’s a romance. If you can take those romantic elements out of a story and the plot can still stand by itself, it’s a UF. Also, note that PNR books in a series will often focus on a different couple in each story – UF books will sometimes have a romantic arc that spans several books.
There are still plenty of books that seem to straddle this line (I’ve seen some reviewers and bloggers talking about labeling some books as UF-Romance to try to make sense of it) – my own included. That’s because when I originally wrote A Brush of Darkness, it was a PNR. Had an HEA and a *lot* more sex. >_< But after I sold it, the publisher asked if I could turn it into a UF – that meant toning down the love scenes and changing the focus of the plot. The secondary characters were beefed up, and the mystery elements fleshed out a bit more. And yes, there was no longer an HEA. I’m not sure how successful it was – I think that maybe there’s still too much romance for the average UF reader…and not enough for the average PNR reader, but overall I’m pretty happy with the mix.
So, what do you prefer to read? Clearly delineated genres, or books that seem to have multiple elements?
Thanks for visiting us, Allison, and writing such a great post!
Want more Allison? You can find her online at her website or on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter. Allison also has a graphic novel project site with Irma 'Aimo' Ahmed called Sad Sausage Dogs that features a great story called Fox & Willow.
Click on the banner to see the other stops on Allison's tour:
More about A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT:
Drinking from the waters of lethe and offering herself up as Faerie’s sacrificial Tithe …these just might be the least of Abby Sinclair’s problems..
Abby’s pact with a demon—whether or not she remembers making it—is binding, so she’d better count herself lucky that (in the words of a daemon who knows better) there’s nearly always a loophole. But her friends’ reckless attempts to free her, well intentioned though they may be, set off a disastrous chain of events. In no time at all, Abby turns her incubus lover mortal and gets herself killed, cursed, and married to an elven prince whose mother wants her dead. She might have even been able to recover from all that had she not lost the Key to the CrossRoads to her mortal enemy, who promptly uses his restored power to wreak havoc on the OtherWorld and put its very existence in jeopardy…
Only one person can make things right again, but to find her, Abby must place her trust in allies of mixed loyalties, and conquer her nightmares once and for all.
There is a tour-wide giveaway of 10 copies of A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT!
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