Paranormal and Dark Fantasy

Vampires, Werewolves, and Demons, Oh My!

What is paranormal fantasy? What about dark fantasy?

We hear these terms a lot lately. With the Twilight books so successful, it seems dark, paranormal, Gothic fantasy might be the world's hottest genre. But what IS this genre about? And what exactly do we call it?

Some people call it paranormal fantasy. If romantic elements are present (such as with Twilight), it's often referred to as paranormal romance. The word "paranormal" suggests creatures out of the ordinary -- vampires, ghosts, werewolves, demons, fallen angels, and zombies.

Other people call it dark fantasy, suggesting dark themes such as the undead or the supernatural.

Whatever you call it, books in this genre usually have a Gothic mood. You won't find dragons, orcs, or hobbits here. There are no knights, dwarf warriors, or elf archers; those belong in the realm of high fantasy. Dark, paranormal fantasy is about the creepy, the surreal. If high fantasy is red and gold, paranormal fantasy is black and deep purple.

The genre traces its roots to authors such as Edgar Allen Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, and Bram Stoker. The dark, Gothic tone those authors set helped inspire modern dark fantasy.

So far, this sounds a lot like horror. And there are indeed similarities between the genres. But while horror is about scaring you, paranormal fiction is more about the magical and the surreal.

So the next time you feel like reading about vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons, or fallen angels... search the dark or paranormal fantasy shelves!

Please take a look at my own contribution to dark, paranormal fantasy. My novel Flaming Dove tells the story of Laila -- half demon, half angel, outcast in the years following Armageddon.

Here is a list of some dark fantasy novels for Kindle.



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