Sara Humphreys is the award-winning author of the Amoveo Legend series. The third book in the series, Untamed, won two PRISM awards: Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best. The first two novels from her Dead in the City series have been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award. Sara was also a professional actress. Some of her television credits include A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me. She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie, but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with Mr. H., their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she's not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook. For a full list of Sara's books and reading order, please visit www.sarahumphreys.com
Keeping Paranormal Romance Believable
Anytime someone picks up a romance novel, they’re ready, willing and able to engage in the suspension of disbelief. However, as writers, we can’t throw any old crazy notion onto the page and ask readers to believe it. It’s our job to build a world that is paranormal by nature but completely believable at the same time. It has to make sense. The super-human powers, and conversely, their limitations need to have a reason for existing. For example, the dragons in UNDISCOVERED can only shape-shift under the cover of darkness and exposure to direct sunlight immediately makes them shift back to their human form.
They come from the earth and find themselves most at ease when they are deep beneath the surface. Sacred stones, one specific to their family bloodline, create their hibernation cocoons and are at the root of much of their power. Also, how long would enormous, flying fire-breathing dragons remain hidden from humans? The sunlight limited them but it protected them as well—for a while anyway. (No spoilers!)
It’s not only about the world-building. We want you to fully accept that a super hot motorcycle riding dude can shape-shift into a fire-breathing dragon at night and bring the heroine breakfast in bed the next morning. But how? What’s the key?
I can’t speak for anyone else but here’s my recipe.
First and foremost, I want to create a heroine that the reader (you) can relate to. This gal has to be someone you know or have known. Maybe she’s you. I want you to recognize her and root for her happy ending as if it was your own. Now, I bet you’re probably thinking that you’ve never known a vampire or shape-shifter before and those creatures aren’t real. So how on earth could you know someone like that? Fair enough but even shape-shifter girls get the blues, right? We can all relate to feelings of loneliness, longing, lust, love, isolation, desperation, the devastation of failure and the sweet nectar of success. So these supernatural women may have powers beyond the norm but at the core, beyond the telepathy and shape-shifting, lies the heart of a real woman.
Secondly, I want to give you a hero that you can totally fall in love with. Yes. He’s hot. Smokin’ freakin’ hot. The boy has ripped abs, arms like Norman Reedus, and a wicked grin that will make you melt. He’s strong and a protector. This is a man’s man but he has to have some kind of vulnerability, right? I’m all for alpha males but I do not like a domineering jerk and there’s nothing sexier to me than a man who is willing to expose his insecurities to the woman he loves. Yes. He might morph into badass dragon but beyond the wings and the bluster of his fiery disposition lies the soul of a man. A man who longs to be loved.
There might be vampires, demons, shape-shifting tigers or bad ass dragons on the page but it’s the human stories of love, loss, and triumph that make them believable. The Happily Ever After makes it a romance but isn’t all romance kind of paranormal anyway?
Maybe it’s just me?
He’s the man of her dreamsA long time ago, Zander Lorens was cursed to walk the earth stripped of his Dragon Clan powers. Every night, trapped in a recurring nightmare, Zander relives his darkest moment. He can hardly believe it when the dream changes and a beautiful young woman appears. Zander believes she’s the key to ending his torment. Finding her in the real world is one thing, but how will he convince her of who—and what—she really is?She’s the end to his nightmareRena McHale uses her unique sensitivity as a private investigator, touting herself as a “human divining rod” and finder of the lost. By day she struggles with sensory overload, and by night her sleep is haunted by a fiery dragon shifter. Nothing in her life makes sense, until the man from her dreams shows up at her door with a proposition…Sara Humphreys is the award-winning author of paranormal and contemporary romance including shapeshifter and vampire stories, and contemporary romance about firefighters, police officers, and K9 cops. A public speaker and speaker trainer, Sara lives with her husband and four sons in Bronxville, New York.
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