Thursday, March 30, 2017

Writing Speculative Romance

I write in different worlds, sometimes scifi, sometimes fantasy or paranormal. While the subgenres are different in the bookstore, to the writing me, they are all part of the same writing process.

Sometimes you hear about authors who start writing a nice contemporary romance and all of a sudden their characters are stumbling over dead bodies. They end up writing a romantic suspense.

I'm kind of like that. My settings tend to morph into something not at all Earthlike--a water world planet with dome cities, or a fantasy Northpole cabin in the woods, or a cozy tree root home, or a nearly deserted space station. 

I have written a couple stories set in a bar in modern day southern California, but then my characters morphed into otherworldly beings--a white tiger shifter and his love interest who sees ghosts and turns into a yeti shifter, or the half human daughter of an ancient god.

I have tried to write a straight contemporary romance story before, but no matter what I do, either Sci-fi, fantasy or paranormal elements seep in there. 

I am, at heart, a speculative romance writer. I feel very fortunate that I am writing in the ebook age, when readers will take chances on unusual speculative elements. 

Sometimes I am asked where my ideas come from, and I am not sure. I'm one of those global-abstract type thinkers and I read a lot. I like paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi tv and movies, also. I have three young adult kids who keep life interesting. My mind is like Jiffy pop, a million things happening at once and then it's done. 

Often the best ideas come to me when my hands are busy with a visual task that takes no thought, like washing dishes by hand, crocheting a known pattern or folding clothes. My solution for writer's block--read a good book or two and clean house.

I like to write stories of good and decent people in extraordinary circumstances-- people who don't deserve to be stranded in space, or born with the need to suck the soul life from others to live. People who want to be loved but haven't found that special someone yet. 

My April release is a short story fantasy romance, Orc in Winter, with an Orc hero, a young widow with a baby, and magic! Firmly in the speculative camp!
~ Melisse Aires


Diane Burton said...

Melisse, I'm one of those people who started out writing contemporary romance and the stories ended up being romantic suspense. Sci-fi romances are so much fun to write, and they all have suspense. I love the freedom of self-publishing--not being stuck in one genre. Your books are so interesting. Best wishes.

Maureen said...

I enjoyed your post! Every time I try to write a 'normal' story something paranormal or fantasy leaks into it. My stories that I think are a bit of dark humor have frightened people. I guess we just have to fed our muse and let them lead- because IMO those make the best stories :)

Victoria Craven said...

I'm like you. My characters or plat morph into something completely unexpected. My character Randolf was going to be just a guy with a small paranormal power and by the end he was Merlin. This was a great blog. One I could easily relate to.