Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Guest Post + Giveaway: Robin DeJarnett and Whirlwind


Today as part of the Whirlwind Blog Tour hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader I have author Robin DeJarnett stopping by to provide us with a comparison between contemporary and paranormal romance. She's also generously offered up a copy of Whirlwind for one lucky commenter, so be sure and check the bottom of the post for details on the giveaway. There are giveaways at every stop of the tour, so just follow the above link to see the list of participating blogs and enter to win as many times as possible!

CONTEMPORARY VS. PARANORMAL:
ONE ROMANCE WRITER'S THOUGHTS


As an author of contemporary romantic suspense and a reader of paranormal romance, I enjoy both the realism of contemporary stories and the fantasy of a good undead or shape-shifting hero. I’d never really thought about comparing the two genres until recently – until I wrote a paranormal romance short story. What surprised me were the similarities between the two types of writing. What challenged me were the differences.

Really it’s Superman vs. Batman vs. James Bond

You may think that the biggest difference between contemporary and paranormal romance would be the hero. In many paranormal romances, it’s the hero who’s of some other species, while the heroine is human. No, this isn’t always the case, but judging by the number of covers that contain bare-chested, tattooed men, I think it’s a good place to start our discussion. CAUTION: I’ll be generalizing a lot here, so bear with me. What I found was the heroes in the two genres aren’t necessarily that different. The hero, no matter what species, may be a leather-wearing alpha male or a refined gentleman. The ghosts in his past may be real or a figment of his imagination, but his heroine is always able to accept his flaws. And whether he’s a supernatural bad-boy with the ability to incinerate you where you stand (Superman), an ex-Navy Seal who can kill with his little finger (Batman), or suave, smart, and looks great in a tux (Bond), his girl (and his readers) swoon for him.

Rewriting History…or Creating Mythology

For me, the hardest part of writing paranormal is creating the mythos surrounding the paranormal aspects of the story. The setting isn’t so hard – so many paranormals are set in contemporary times that I expect to see a werewolf running around my neighborhood one of these days. But coming up with the hows and whys is easier said than done. Here’s where you get a little sneak peek into my upcoming story**. It’s a vampire story, so I had to decide which features I wanted my vampires to have. Do they bleed? Do they read minds? Do they sparkle? And since my story is short – just over 10,000 words, how much of the mythos do I need to reveal? What made sense in this case? My story, Concessions, takes place in Las Vegas. You’d think the issue of sunlight wouldn’t be that big a deal in Sin City – half the population is nocturnal. But my story takes place in the summer, during the day, so I had to decide how my vampires would react to the sunlight. Having them catch fire would make my short story a little tooshort, so I had to think of something else (and sparkles were right out). Here’s what I came up with when one of my vampires got caught in the sun:

[The vampire] turned to face me just as a car drove by. Sunlight bounced off the windows, lighting up his scowl with a flash. Instead of bursting into flames, his face shimmered and vanished, leaving an empty hood staring at me for a split second. What the hell? I rubbed my eyes. … It was a trick of the light—it had to be.

The Conflict’s the Thing

While inventing the mythology for my paranormal world was hard, the obstacles the hero and heroine had to overcome were easier to come up with. When writing (or reading) a contemporary story, the barriers the lovers must overcome have to feel real – but not too real. One of criticisms of contemporary romance in general is it's too close to reality. Reading should be an escape, but reading about a divorcee who’s concerned her lover will walk away when he finds out she has a child may be too close to home for some. It may be simplistic, but an interspecies relationship has that barrier built in. One or both of the lovers has to sacrifice some part of themselves, be it their immortality or their soul or something else, in order for the couple to be together. It’s compelling, don’t get me wrong. But creating an obstacle for a contemporary couple to face that isn’t too real can be a challenge. That’s probably why I enjoy adding the element of suspense. Having a serial killer stalking the heroine definitely gives the couple something to overcome that most people don't face everyday. And, as you can see from this little excerpt from my romantic suspense, Whirlwind, it can also bring them together:

“I know what [he] took out of my purse. … He is coming after me.” Paranoid, I checked my mirrors, as if [the killer] could be right behind us. Jason leaned over and put his arm around me. “He won’t get near you, Melissa. I promise. He doesn’t know where you are, and you said yourself there’s no way he can find you. It’ll be okay.” His voice was low and calm. Only a hint of fear lurked around the corners of his eyes. “Let’s get something to eat, and then why don’t you let me drive for a while? You can call Detective Clark and tell him what you remembered.” He cradled my cheek in his hand and kissed me very softly. “It’ll be fine, trust me.” I let my head fall onto his shoulder and closed my eyes, trying to muster my common sense. Jason was right, of course. How could [the killer] find me? I took a deep breath. “Thanks,” I said, wishing there was a better way to tell him how grateful I was he’d stayed. Somehow I’d make it through this mess, with Jason’s help. I tried not to think about what would happen when he left on Friday. What would I do then?

In the End, it’s about Love


The truth is, both contemporary and paranormal romances are just that: romances. The lovers do manage to overcome their obstacles, be they manmade or supernatural, and find their happily ever after. And whether they live forever or grow old and gray, the key is that they are together.

Thanks so much for stopping by Robin! For more information on Robin, Whirlwind, and her other works, you can find her here:

Website
Twitter
Watch the Trailer

CONCESSIONS

Concessions will be released this July as part of Omnific Publishing's Summer Lovin’ Anthology: Heat Wave. All profits of this limited release will benefit Save the ta-tas, an organization fighting to stop cancer.

Lindsey Colton leads a lonely life running the concession stand at a Las Vegas movie theater. When a dark, mysterious man ducks in one afternoon, Lindsey is introduced to a new world: one of vampires, princes, and fiery sex. Her seductive lover, Devon, has grand plans to steal her away, but only if she is willing to give up her humanity and he is willing to give up his future as king. Lindsey is more than eager to start anew with her immortal love…but the concessions Devon has to make could cost Lindsey her life.

WHIRLWIND

Whirlwind is also available from Omnific Publishing in print and e-book formats, and is can be purchased directly through the Kindle and Nook stores.

Love at first sight is a myth to aspiring journalist Melissa Williams, but when she meets Jason McAlister at a friend’s wedding, a Cinderella-like fantasy turns her no-nonsense world upside down. She sees in his penetrating blue eyes not just an evening, but a lifetime together that includes much more than a glass slipper and a kiss.

Realizing she shared a few salacious emails with Jason months ago, a humiliated Melissa loses herself in the crowd, thankful he doesn’t know who she is. But he does know—and with a gentle touch and a steamy kiss, he soon picks up their flirtation right where it left off.

As midnight strikes, Melissa succumbs to Jason’s sexy pull, unaware that a woman’s body has been discovered in the wake of the party. When evidence points to Melissa as the killer’s next target, the lines between fantasy and reality blur. She goes into hiding, charmed by one mysterious man and hunted by another.

Cinderella lost a shoe—Melissa could lose both her handsome prince and her life.

GIVEAWAY

I have one paperback copy of Whirlwind to give away today! To enter, please just leave a comment on the post and include a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to US residents only and will run through midnight EST on Friday, June 24th after which time a winner will be chosen and announced on the blog. Good luck everyone!


43 comments:

  1. Well,
    Let me be the first to say that was a very enlightening post about contemporary versus paranormal. I never thought about contemporary romance and the fact that you wouldn't want to really read something everyday. About a divorce and child custody battle or things that actually happen. But you're right. I don't want to read about that stuff. I want to escape into something less realistic when I read even if it's a killer after me. Great topic!

    Heather

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  2. Sounds like a good book.


    sassysasha817 at gmail dot com

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  3. Love the guest post. And I agree what Robin said about In The End It Is All About Love :)

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  4. Great post! Sounds very interesting :)

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  5. Of course it's all about love... and strawberry poptarts. Just sayin!

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  6. Just found out about this book a couple of days ago. It sounds good. Can't wait to read it.

    lyssad87(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. Wow! I've loving Robin's spin on vampire's in the daylight. It's kind of scary but hella intriguing. Can't wait to read Concessions. I'm loving the double use of the title!

    I'm definitely a big fan of swooning over the hero, supernatural or contemporary, especially when they own up to their flaws.

    Awesome guest post from Robin, which offered a lot to think about!

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  8. Would love to read Robin's work. Count me in :)

    bookpassion11@gmail.com

    Donna :)

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  9. Interesting comparison. I would be hard to adequately create a mythology if your story is short. The mythology usually takes up a lot of space.

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  10. (not entering)

    Robin is right on the money--it doesn't matter if it is historical, contemporary, or paranormal in romance it is all about the love story at the core. The story surrounding it needs to be good but the romance has to grab you, keep you there, and have you wanting them together!

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  11. Nice post. I do think that creating a mythology is the best part about writing :D

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  12. Great post!
    I would love to give this book a read!

    jennimerritt.writing (at) gmail (dot) com

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  13. Wow! Great post. I hadn't really thought about the similarities between paranormal and contemporary, but you make good points! (Plus, I like what you did with the vampire, there. Unique!)

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  14. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! Heard loads about this book!

    bwithbite (at) gmail (dot) com

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  15. I meant guest post! *smacks head*

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  16. *snickers* I can just imagine a vampire wandering out and bursting into flames. Think of all the panic it would cause.

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  17. I love the great worlds and myths that writers create, but it always does come down to love! Thanks for the guest post!

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  18. Great guest post! I agree that no matter what the genre, in the end it's about love.

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  19. No need to enter me in the contest. I enjoyed this guest post and its so true...it all comes down to love and its probably the most important part for me.

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  20. Would love to read this one!

    mk261274 at gmail dot com

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  21. (not entering) but had to say I just loved that last bit about love. So sweet! Great interview Jenny.

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  22. I would love to read this book. Perhaps I'll win it for my birthday next week. lol :)

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  23. oops - forgot to leave my email :)

    nicnac63(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  24. I would love to win this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

    jcross719 at yahoo dot com

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  25. I loved this guest post and see how a writer's mind works. I tend to lean on the paranormal romances because of the interesting twists to the mythology and/or world, but I definitely agree that for a good romance novel, it has been all about love in the end.

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  26. What a wonderfully insightful guest post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

    This Week’s WoW: Blood Rights

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  27. Thanks for the giveaway...

    gfc follower

    vidishamun@gmail.com

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  28. That's a very insightful comparison. It really is about the love and the obstacles that the characters must overcome (be they supernatural or our world's challenges.) Terrific article! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Robin.

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  29. I can see why mythology would be the hardest thing to come up with. Besides the characters, that is what your story revolves around so you have to make it unique and interesting.

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  30. I have been following this tour and would love to win a copy of this book - thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

    GFC follower Denise Zaky

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

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  31. Interesting insight on the process of writing a paranormal romance----I think, for me, reading one is more fun than writing one would be!!!

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  32. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

    okibi_insanity[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  33. This was such a thoughtful post...I would never have gone so in depth in the differences between contemporary and paranormal! Fab thoughts! I'm not entering, but thanks for the awesome giveaway, anyway!

    You're much too generous for our good haha

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  34. Thanks for the giveaway
    jenhedger at hotmail dot com

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  35. Victoria ZumbrumJune 16, 2011 at 7:56 AM

    I really want to read this book. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

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  36. I would Love to be entered!

    Jen
    Lratrandom@gmail.com

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  37. Concessions sounds really interesting! I like both romance and mysteries (started out reading mysteries) so I think I'll really like Whirlwind.

    acm05atjuno.com

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  38. Awesome guest post, Robin! I often wondered how hard it is to choose which myths to put in your book when you write paranormal stories, and I'm glad that you addressed that very thing! Thanks for the great giveaway! I would love to win a copy of your book :)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

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  39. Awesome guest post, Robin! Your book sounds like something I would love to read, so thank you very much for this giveaway:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

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  40. I agree with the hero, as long as the are swoon-worthy, I don't care if they are supernatural or just debonair. Thanks for the giveaway. I can't wait to read Whirlwind.

    GFC: Candice
    candicerjames (at) gmail (dot) com

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  41. Thanks for the chance to win!

    andralynn7@gmail.com

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  42. Really great guest post! ^_^ Thanks for hosting such an awesome giveaway. :)

    AndyE.1989@yahoo.com

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  43. Hi Robin! I have to admit I'm just not into paranormal as much as I am into contemporary romance. I do like to read about everyday dilemmas and how the characters play them out, but I'm obviously in the minority! Having said that, I think it's cool you tried something different for the short story, and how you handled the sunlight issue is intriguing.

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