2018 releases

Hell's Bell
Scent of the Jaguar
His Outback Nanny
The Queen's Game
366 Days of Flash Fiction
On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure
Lusting the Enemy

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Darklight On...Rowena Cory Daniells: Kissing Cousins, or ...

Where Fantasy meets Romance ...

I grew up reading Fantasy and SF, didn't know it was a genre but loved it all the same. I read Georgette Heyer's regency stories, never realising they were 'Romance'. They were just great stories, which happened to have a love story as the central theme.

I like a book which has a love story running through it. Love is a great motivator, whether it's a mother's love for their child, a king's love for his people, or the love you have for someone special.

The characters in my fantasy trilogy, King Rolen's Kin, are motivated by love, love for their family, love for that special person, some even suffer unrequited love. They are also motivated by ambition, the need to see justice done and, sometimes, the simple need to survive.

That's the difference between a Romance book and a Fantasy with a love story. Romantic love is the prime motivation in a Romance, while it is one of many/several motivations in a Fantasy.
Having said that, the line between some Dark Urban Fantasies (as the Romance field defines them) and Dark Urban Fantasies (as the Speculative Fiction field defines them) is getting finer and finer. Take Trent Jamieson's 'Death Most Definite' and Tansy Rayner Robert's 'Power and Majesty', both are published by speculative fiction publishers, Orbit and Voyager respectively.

Trent's trilogy is set in Brisbane were Death is a business, Tansy's trilogy is set in an invented city which is threatened by supernatural means. In the first books of both these series love is a strong motivation. In Trent's book the main character, Steve, falls in love with a dead girl (it's not icky, he can see dead people and she's there to help him). In Tansy's book the main character, Velody, is swept into the supernatural world filled with very sexy, rather menacing males. There's bucket loads of passion and sensuality. Both books have drama and action, both books have sex and love, and both books end with the promise of more to come (no Happily Ever After).

Now compare that to your Romance Dark Urban Fantasy -- the protagonist, a feisty female, is swept into a supernatural world, where sensual, menacing characters interact with them, and team up while they fight off evil. Plus there's no HEA because the main character goes in to further adventures in a series.

So there you have it. A Romance or a fantasy with a love story, the line is getting ever thinner!

The King Rolen's Kin Trilogy came out in July, August and September of this year. I had a new fantasy trilogy - The Outcast Chronicles due out in 2012.

See Rowena's blog here.
Her web page here.


  1. Hi Rowena, I agree the line is getting thinner - especially for the books that have it all - romance, action, adventure.

    I think love is definitely a strong motivating factor in many books. And like you said there are sorts of love.

    Thanks for the name of those two books - I shall chase them up.

  2. Hi Eleni,

    Both books are lots of fun. (I am a friend of both writers, but the books are good anyway!)

    Cheers, R

  3. I can support Rowena in saying those two books are fabulous - cause they are :)

    I think the thin line is becoming one of the strengths of PR/UF - drawing readers from a variety of backgrounds into our dark delights :)

  4. I started my reading life with reading a lot of fantasy and then moved onto romances. I didn't even know that I was reading romances. Just goes to show how young and naive I was back then. I just liked the emotional ride I was getting. I'm loving that the line gets thinner and thinner between the genres as they are my two favorite genres. A fantasy story with a happy ending or well developed emotional aspects and characters are just a pleasure to read.

  5. I am finding I prefer dark romantic UF. I am glad the lines are bluring and giving me more to enjoy . I love this explanation by Erica Hayes:

    "So I guess, for me, that's a big difference between PR and romantic UF.
    In PR, love conquers the darkness. In romantic UF, love makes the
    darkness worthwhile."

  6. Hi Nicole,

    More readers all around!

  7. Hi Daz,

    I love a good romance!

  8. Hi Sharon,

    Love this quote.

    "In romantic UF, love makes the
    darkness worthwhile."

    Actually, it's love that makes the 'putting rubbish out' worthwhile. LOL

  9. I completely agree on this!
    The line is getting thinner - if there ever was a clear line.
    I think genres are very connected with each other and there are many overlaps.

    Sometimes a story can be described as Dark Paranormal Romance or Light Urban Fantasy Romance, you know?

    Like Erica Hayes said in one of her interviews:
    In PR, love conquers the darkness. In romantic UF, love makes the darkness worthwhile.