[Ed. note: In case you missed it, we had a blast reading Tessa Adams' first Dragon's Heat novel Dark Embers. You can read our review here.]
Thank you, Chelsea, for having me here today! I really appreciate the chance to guest blog about a topic that is near and dear to my heart—why shifters are so appealing in paranormal romance ☺ We all know vampires are hugely popular, and have been for forever, but in the last decade, shifters have made an incredible rise in popularity. Suddenly, everyone is paying attention to them and readers are clamoring for more. In fact, on my Tracy Deebs blog (which is for my May YA novel, Tempest Rising), I ran a survey about what mythical creature readers preferred—the choices were vampires, mermaids, shifters, zombies and ghosts. I expected vampires to blow the other choices out of the water, but was shocked (and pleasantly surprised) to see that shifters totally ran away with the vote.
But why is this? Why are shifters so incredibly hot in romance (even YA romance) today? I’m not sure I’m exactly an expert on the subject, but I’ll definitely give the question a shot.
1. Animal magnetism: When an author writes shifters, she is free to make them a little more wild than the average alpha hero. A little darker, a little more possessive. And while in real life, many women prefer a true partner, research has proven that in fantasies many (not all, but a lot) prefer that dominant wolf/panther/dragon type guy—the one who will always struggle between his animal side and his human side.
2. Sex Appeal: Shifters are sexy. There are no two ways around it. They’re strong, gorgeous, healthy, incredible fighters and very, very powerful in their own way. Some shifters simply heal quickly and are possessed of superhuman strength, others wield magic, others still live for hundreds of years in young, virile bodies. What’s no to love?
3. Strong Female Characters: One of the great things about shifter books is that the female shifters are so incredibly strong. They are often as powerful as the male in their own ways, and some female shifters are even as dominant as the men in the pack (Nalini Singh’s novels come to mind in this area)
4. Fun: Shifters are usually a lot of fun, even the dark, edgy ones. With vampires and demons, the darkness is very often overwhelming because of who they are, what they came from and what they have to do to survive. That struggle between good and evil, undead and alive, etc. But for most shifters, there is a pure joy in their animal form, in the gift of being able to shift between human and another form. They celebrate both sides of their nature as opposed to feeling ashamed or angry or resentful of who and what they are.
5. The authors writing today: I’ve been a huge paranormal romance fan since the genre first opened up, reading everything from shifters to vampires to demons to ghosts to sci fi to futuristic to time travel to urban fantasy … You get the point. Because I’ve read so much in the genre, I feel confident in saying that in my opinion some of the most exciting ideas and books are shifter books these days. Nalini Singh, Patricia Briggs, Deb Cooke, Christine Feehan, the list goes on and on …
Well, those are a few of the reasons I think Shifter romances are so popular today—and some of the things I love most about them. How about you? What kind of paranormal romance to you prefer to read? Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of Dark Embers, my first Dragon’s Heat novel.