An Elf By Any Other Name
No two vampires are the same. They’re beautiful, bloodthirsty snowflakes.
Every paranormal romance writer puts his or her own spin on the traditional creatures of fantasy–vamps, weres, fairies, dragons, demons, and so on. They are unique to the writer’s world, but still recognizable to the reader. So how does an author reinvent the paranormal wheel and create something that’s new but familiar? And how much is too much?
As I’ve said before, I like my monsters monstrous. If I pick up a vampire romance, I expect fangs and blood. If the book doesn’t deliver those, I’m probably going to be disappointed with it. If you don’t have those, it’s a hard sell to convince me that your vampire is a vampire, but there are so many other details of the vampire myth that can be bent, broken and rewritten to make it your own.
I’ve been working on a fantasy romance novel recently, and yes, there are elves in it. I like elves. They have pointy ears like Vulcans and say wise and mysterious things. And they’re pretty, like Orlando Bloom and Liv Tyler. I expect these things from elves, whether they’re in Dungeons and Dragons or an urban fantasy. But, I want my elves to be my elves. It’s a tricky thing to mess with a classic. I’m not sure if I messed with it enough, but we’ll see (and hope that my editor likes it)(fingers crossed).