Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Lighter Side of Paranormal

If you walk through the sci-fi/fantasy or young adult sections of a bookstore, you will see a predominance of dark covers. Black, charcoal gray, midnight blue. (Just take a quick gander down the right side of our page and you'll see what I mean.) And then, if you're in the YA fantasy section, you'll come across a bright spot. A hot pink or royal blue or bright turquoise spine. Those would be my books.


There aren't many of us out there writing light paranormal books. (To be fair, many of the darker paranormal books have strong humor elements. To be even more fair, some of the lighter paranormal books still get packaged with dark covers. And to be the fairest, my new series that starts next fall about descendants of Medusa swings a little darker than my other books.) But we are out there.

Whether a book is light or dark has less to do with the type of paranormal elements in the story, than with the voice and style of the author. While my mermaid books (Forgive My Fins) are super light, there are darker YA mermaids stories (Sea Change by Aimee Friedman and Siren by Tricia Rayburn), as well. Oh. My. Gods. take a lighter look at mythology, but the Percy Jackson series edges a little darker, and P. C. Cast's Goddess Summoning books darker still.

Maybe the determining factor is whether lives (or the fate of the whole entire world) are at stake. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that nobody dies in either my mythology or mermaid series. (I'm making no promises about the Medusa girls, though.) Or maybe it's just a darker, edgier outlook on life from the main characters. I guess it doesn't really matter why some books are darker than others, it only matters that there are readers out there for them both.

My question for all you readers out there is simple:

Do you prefer your paranormal on the dark side?
Or do you like the light, too
?

Really, this paranormal author wants to know.

teralynnchilds.com
@teralynnchilds

27 comments:

Blodeuedd said...

I like both, dark is cool, but light is nice too. And I espeically love yours :)

Faith said...

I like them both :)

I'll choose which to read depending on my mood... I'm not picky, if it's a great story I'll take it and enjoy it either way!

Danielle said...

I'm a sucker for a pretty cover whether its light or dark. I like your "Forgive my Fins" cover.

Crystal said...

I like them both but I must admit I do gravitate more towards the darker side.
And I love the colors on 'Forgive My Fins'.

donnas said...

I like both, totally depending on what I am in the mood for. There are days when I want a darker paranormal and days when I want to read a light and funny one.

Sullivan McPig said...

I don't care if a book is dark or light as long as it's well written, has a compelling story and characters that aren't too flat.

Michelle said...

I like both as well. I live my gritty, dark books, but sometimes something a little lighter hits the spot. I love the cover of your 'forgive my fin' book.
I do tend to stray away from things that look too cheesy, whether it's dark or on the lighter side. When I'm looking for my next book or series to read, no matter how far out there the story is, if I can't find a way to... Fall into the story and believe it(that's the only way I know to explain it) I will not read it. Does that make sense?

Barbara E. said...

I enjoy both, it just depends on what I'm in the mood for.

Leilani @Leilani Loves Books said...

Both is definitely good! I loved your books! They are indeed paranormal but are light but then I LOVE Jeaniene Frost's books and im sure that would be considered darker.

Patricia Lynne said...

Light or dark, it's all good for me as long as the story rocks!

Heather Long said...

I love both for different reasons. I think the light-hearted isn't as easy to write or to find, so when you do find it and it's done well, then I adore a book that makes me smile.

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

I like both, but I decide which one to go for based on my mood at that moment!

Lexie said...

I like both honestly. I mean I lean more towards darker, just because I'm a cynical sort of person overall, but I like the lighter side as well. Especially if there is a good amount of comedy involved.

Lexie

Bella said...

I definitely prefer my paranormal dark ... I find the lighter it is, the sillier the story seems to be, the less invested I am in the characters and their situations, and the less likely I am to finish the book ... but that's just personal opinion, really :)

Helen Lowe said...

Maybe the darkness has something to do with the vampire influence which is so strong at the moment and traditionally they're about night, blood, fear (ok, I know they've become sparkly very recently, but you know... tradition!) But I always enjoy a good, light-hearted read.

Sharon S. said...

I love witty PNR. Love the snarky female. I do enjoy the dark stuff, but I will always run back to the funny .

Joss Ware said...

I gotta tell you...for the longest time, I wasn't even sure what the difference was between light and dark paranormal.

Sometimes, I'm still not even sure.

But, insofar as I can figure it out, I like them both, depending on my mood--as many here have said.

Having said that, I actually really applaud an author who can do both. For example, I think JK Rowling does a great job of really mixing lightness and humor into a very dark story. I guess I'd mainly categorize her as dark, yet there is a LOT of humor in her books.

nymfaux said...

Ooo--I definitely see what Helen is talking about with the vampire influence and darker covers.

Purely cover-wise, I like the lighter/brigher covers...Sometimes when I see some of the more adult covers, I just go "whoa, what am I getting into, here?"

I have both light and dark leanings. And it just depends on my mood or how long I've absolutely been dying to get my hands on the newest TLC book!!!

Melissa said...

Both. I especially like it when the book has both as well. :)

librarypat said...

I appreciate a sense of humor. I enjoy paranormals on the lighter side. Sometimes I just like to have fun with them. I enjoy those in the middle, especially when they incorporate humor. I occasionally read over to the "dark side" of the genre, and appreciate the dry wit and humor that is often found there.

Paula R said...

I like both. I am digging the Medusa angle...very interesting. I am curious to see how her descendants turned out, considering the whole turn you into stone angle. Makes me wonder how she ever procreated. I am looking forward to this one.

My word veri is imaliv...so glad to be...LOL!!!

Peace and love,
Paula R.

Sweet Rachel! said...

I usually like the darker side. However, I always have. For instance maleficent was my favorite above sleeping beauty. you can not have just dark though without light to balance it out. I find light refreshing

Jessica said...

I definitely like the dark side a bit more. It's usually edgier and gritter. More my taste. But I do like reading the occasional book that's more on the light side.

Melissa said...

I prefer the darker side. I usually find the lighter paranormal books to be a little silly. Since I have been reading the genre, I have noticed that even my taste in music has become darker and gritter.

yabooknerd said...

I like both. I love girly girls and romance with a little fantasy but I also love feisty girls who can kick serious butt.

It's funny about the covers - but you're right, there's not many pink or light colored fantasy covers/spines - that just makes your books pop more :)

Katie Dalton said...

If I had to pick only one over the other I would say I like my paranormal on the darker side.
But I also want great dialog, if that comes in either form I will buy it and be happy.
Look forward to reading and reviewing your new books coming out.
To check out other paranormal reviews here is a link to my blog site.
http://ismellsheep.blogspot.com/
cant wait to hear from you all and make new friends. :)

mariska said...

I like both. And i love your forgive my fins :)