What’s in a Genre? Crossovers in Romantic Fiction

Over the past few years, more and more successful romances have crossed into other genres.

We’re pretty familiar with the paranormal romances–vamps, werewolves, and Greek gods, oh my! But there are also science fiction and fantasy romances, western romances, romantic suspense, and so on.

Before my recent foray into the world of romance, I was a big fan of fantasy novels. Of course, my favorite fantasies were written by women and included strong romantic storylines, but that’s neither here nor there.

I am a fan of the crossovers because they pull together some of my favorite genres and ideas. I love a great romance that takes place in space, in a land filled with faeries and magic, or just here in our world with fantastical creatures I like to daydream about but probably wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.

Now, if only those Winchester boys could just find some nice girls and settle down in season 6 of Supernatural… just kidding!

What do you think about crossover romances? Do you love them, or do you just wish the genres would stay pure?


3 Responses to “What’s in a Genre? Crossovers in Romantic Fiction”

  1. 1 Carolyn Haley
    17 February, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    “What do you think about crossover romances? Do you love them, or do you just wish the genres would stay pure?”

    I go both ways. I love crossover romances for the same reasons you do: They pull together favorite genres and ideas. To me, romance is as endlessly appealing as the quest story, or the mystery. All stories are about people, and love and passion are what make the most interesting people dynamics, especially when there’s an external challenge that draws them together (or pushes them apart, as the case may be).

    Conversely, I think genres should stay pure, because they are appealing in themselves, for their own reasons, and not everybody likes the complexity of crossovers.

    Perhaps a new genre should be created, simply called “Crossover”?

    At any rate, the biggest minus of crossover romances is the difficulty for the author in selling them (I know about that, having written a crossover — see my recent Guest Interview [plug, plug!]) along with the difficulty for readers in finding them.

    As a reader, I dislike certain flavors of “pure” genre and have to wade through a lot of them to find the mixtures I prefer, because they are buried in whatever category a publisher feels they belong in — and, in print land, they are never double-shelved. A big plus of e-publishing is that a novel can be listed in more than one category.

  2. 17 February, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    It depends. I like to read some stories that are for example pure fantasy and other times I like a romance element in it. But if there is a romance in the story or series, I want it to have a HEA at the end of it.

  3. 22 February, 2010 at 2:34 am

    It will only not get published if you give up on the one that plagues you. I say finish, just finish!

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