Guest Author - Theresa Espinoza
Horror or Romance
With the popularity of authors such as Keri Arthur, Christine Feehan, and Laurell K. Hamilton, the debate continues as to whether their books are considered horror or alternative romance. Their series certainly have sex and romance in them, but they also have werewolves, vampires, shape shifters and magic. By definition, horror stories contain elements of the supernatural, blood, gore, and fear. These authors certainly use these aspects in their series.
Horror purists donít consider these books as horror and have a poor opinion of them in general. For the most part the books are well written and hold your interest. True, some of the sex scenes are racy, but the books are written for adults. Moreover, the books are not just about sex, there are plenty of blood, gore, and action. Ghosts, magic and other paranormal beings pop up when you least expect it in some of the series.
Romance purists often donít like the books and tag them as alternative romance. They donít dislike the supernatural aspects as much as the blood and gore. While some of the heroines and heroes live happily ever after, for the most part this eludes the subjects in these books. The books do have a romantic aspect though, with the main characters looking for love and sometimes finding it.
So do these authors qualify as horror writers? By following the definition of horror, they do. They embrace the supernatural, as well as action. There is blood, gore, murder and things that go bump in the night. You can be sure that vampires and werewolves will be prominently featured and even dragons. Author Anne Rice is best known for her vampire series, featuring Lestat. Rice is considered one of the top horror story authors and with good reason.
Good stories are good stories regardless of their genre. Widening the definition of horror opens up the genre to thousands of readers that love to read. People today are looking for that something different that grabs their attention and holds it. Good horror stories can do this easily. While series by Hamilton, Feehan and Arthur are often ignored, maybe it is time to take a better look at the series with an open mind.
In the Guardian series, written by Keri Arthur, the leading heroine is Riley Jenson. Jenson is a half wolf-half vampire that acts as a Guardian. As a guardian, she battles vampires, werewolves, shape shifters and magical creatures. The series is packed with action as Jenson faces battles and tries to come to terms with being forced to become a guardian.
So do these series of stories written by women belong in the romance genre or in the horror genre? Truthfully, they could hold their own in both categories. Like all things in life, the horror genre is changing to meet the needs of its readers.