Genre Talk

I’ll have the paranormal mixed grill, hold the werewolves

No one likes everything about their chosen obsession.

Car fanatics don’t love every car ever made. I love ice cream, but can’t stand rum and raisin or peppermint choc chip. And there are some aspects of the paranormal genre that just don’t float my boat.


Werewolves? I’m lookin’ at you.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the odd shapeshifter. Dudes that change into other things can be very cool. And it’s not an animal sex squick thing. I’ve done a serpent book. I believe I’ve established my non-human smexxin’ credentials.

But werewolves? Meh.

Maybe it’s just the way authors write them – apparently every single wolf-shifter ever is a rampant alpha male with a monomaniac sex drive and a creepy destined-mate delusion (and wow, is that another me-no-like post in the making…) But on the whole, werewolf romances just make my eyes glaze over. Pack dynamics, alphas and betas and zetas and weetas, staring each other down with scowls and attitude, holding dick-measuring contests, the Hairy Butt Pack vs. the Snarling Chihuahuas, whatever. Werewolf schmerwolf. Couldn’t care less.

americanwerewolfThen again, I love the old-style wolfman movies. The kind of werewolf who bursts out into hairy beast form at the full moon (ready or not, none of this shift-when-I-feel-like-it luxury) and gallops off, slavering and howling at the sky, to bag himself some nice fresh meat for supper. American Werewolf in London. Being Human. Jack Nicholson’s Wolf. Benicio Del Toro’s The Wolfman. Oyy.

But for some reason? I’m yet to find a werewolf romance book that I really enjoyed. None of those old movies have happy endings, except maybe Wolf – but to get their HEA, Jack and Michelle must both become monsters. QED. Sweet ending, if you ask me. No skirting around the issue that hey, sorry to burst your bubble, sweetheart, but your dude’s not a dude anymore…

Maybe the HEA is the part I find hard to swallow – then again, I’m totally okay with the idea that a centuries-old vampire or angel or fairy or demon can have a HEA with a mortal human. Perfectly plausible, old chap. Nothing strange here. Just check your brain at the door and we’ll carry on, say what?


Hey, I never said my prejudice was rational. Nor need it be. There are a few elements of our obsession that we just don’t rate. And that’s okay.

So what paranormal creature just doesn’t float your boat? Sparkling vamps? Shape-shifting Viking vampire angel Navy SEALS? Zombies as romance heroes? 

P.S. If you’re a werewolf fan? Go ahead, convince me. I dare you…

34 thoughts on “I’ll have the paranormal mixed grill, hold the werewolves

  1. Hmm, yes, really don’t get zombies. They’re non-sentient walking corpses, an environmental threat with a human appearance… And I agree with what you say about werewolves. Some very good films – Ginger Snaps, for example.

  2. I love all things paranormal, but if I HAD to pick one that was my least favorite, I guess I would pick fairies. It might just be because I have not read a lot of fairy stuff, so I have not found any that I really like.

    • I do like my fairies. So long as they’re the interesting kind. The ones who are just like ordinary people can be a bit dull… I like the crazy, mischievous kind!

  3. Hmmm, have read a few wolffy stories, NOT a huge fan either.
    Also had my fill of the cat shape-shifter variety( cougars, panthers cheetahs etc.)
    But what’s getting a little hairy with some of these character is having sex when they are half tuned or still in their animal form… creepy… AND I like to read a good erotica …..but really? that’s NOT cool…

  4. NOT a huge fan of the Weres’ stories anymore.
    But it’s a toss up between the feline shifters.
    Whats really NOT cool is the shifter-beasts that have sexual relations with each other or humans, while … *ON the TURN* … or in their animal form…Bit on the ewwww side fo me … and I don’t mind a good erotic story .. but seriously?.

  5. Don’t care for Zombies. They give me the creeps. Nothing romantic about them. Still enjoy my shifter stories!

  6. I have to admit, I enjoy shifter stories from time to time.

    But the romance hero that will have me running screaming in the other direction is the zombie hero. I’m sorry but there’s nothing romantic about body parts that fall off.

    Picture it, the hero and heroine are in the bedroom. Stretched out on the bed, the heroine stares up at the hero. His whitish eyes smoldering as he reaches to unzip his fly but it snags. Undaunted, determined not to ruin the mood, he tugs and tugs until he rends the fabric free. Except, wait! He’s torn away a vital body part!

    Nope. No zombie heroes for me. 😉

    • Well, yeah. That would be gross. Not any grosser than having blood all over the place, though, really, and vamp sex scenes do that all the time. We demand equality for zombie heroes! Rights for reanimated lovers!

  7. Writer’s need an imagination. Traveling on vacations, experience different ways of life. Writing comes from what you know, just change the characters to what you want them to be. I wrote a children’s story about a boy, but the last page he was a boy vampire.

  8. Well now I like werewolves, being a huge dog lover. I love luxurious, fluffy tails and the gold eyes, and wolves are just beautiful to me. I do get a little tired of the whole domination thing though. I must agree that I can’t understand the whole zombie lover thing. Don’t they stink?

  9. Ah, I have to say that I’m in the “Zombies are NOT lovable” camp. Really, just how does one make love to a rotting corpse; EWWW and Yucko!!! I’m good with just about everything else, and I do like my werewolves. I kinda like them on the dark and rough side, where there is a real battle between the beast and the man, sometimes having the beast win out and do some not so nice things. I’m ok with pack dynamics as long as it isn’t drawn out and I don’t need it in every single chapter either. It should be background story, and not alot of testosterone jockying unless it is directly related to the hero and heroine. I have read stories where the Weres are a ‘true’ werewolves…the walking-on-two-legs kind and truly beastly looking, Most of the ones out there though are those that turn into gorgeous wolves, and I’m ok with that too. But, my favorite shifters are the Dragons! The bigger the better… 😉 Thanks for getting my brain working before I head out to work! Have a great day!

  10. I’m probably also in the no-zombies camp. Eating people? No thanks. Then again, just the trailer for Warm Bodies was enough to make me reconsider. I’m easily persuaded. I thought I didn’t like angels until I wrote one. Go figure.

  11. Yup…zombies are my thing. However, I am on a no vampires kick right now. It’s not that I don’t love them, but I just can’t read them right now. I need a vampire break. 😀 As for werewolves, I’m more of a shifter fan. However, Patricia Briggs is a goddess. Her Mercy Thompson series is wonderful, and while the werewolves are territorial they are also not AS bad as some series. Plus the mythology she builds is fantastic.

  12. I’d have to say werewolves are pretty much my least favorite. To be fair, I’m not a big fan of shifters in general, but there is something I fundamentally dislike about the whole “pack mentality.” Furthermore, with the really feral, wild ones, I start to wonder if they are even housebroken. And I can’t help wondering if they smell like wet dog.

    That being said there are still series that I read and love that have werewolves in them, but I’m not likely to start reading a new series.

  13. Lol, great post Erica, thank you. I do like my shifters, and I don’t really mind the destined mates thing, but he will still have to work for it to make her fall in love. Those are two separate things in my mind: the mate part and the love part. If you want a really different spin on your shifters, try the books by Jennifer Ashley. I really love her work.

    I love original and not often used paranormals in books, but the one thing I will not read is zombies. And I agree with a previous poster on werewolf sex: no sex with the human while changed or changing please.

  14. I wrote a zombie in my last book, but he was a secondary character. And he HATED being a zombie, not least of all because he was a vegetarian. The poor guy ate tofu and beans until I could get him back in the ground. Can’t see a zombie as a romantic love interest, though.

  15. I love werewolves!!! 🙂 And the mate imprinting doesn’t bug me because they still have to fall in love. The destined mate can make that even tougher sometimes… 🙂

    Raging Alphaness gets old for me too… There is a line between protective and jerk-wad and when they cross it I have a hard time ever forgiving them…

    Full disclosure – I have a shifter series starting in July with Moonlight, and I hope you’ll give it a shot. I think it’s got a little different twist to it… Very West Side Storyish… 🙂

    Great blog!

    And what paranormal creature turns me off? Mer-people. Mermaids and Mermen I can’t get past wondering about their parts below the belt… Are they fish-y? LOL


    • Ha. I recently finished writing a merman paranormal romance. Of course, my hero is half-human, half-merman and he doesn’t have a tail. He has gills, though and a bunch of other handy Water Fae characteristics. Plus, he’s tattooed and pierced and… 🙂

  16. LOL! What a fun discussion! I don’t read a lot of “pure” werewolf stories, but I love the way Gail Carriger plays with the pack mentality. I’d never thought I would like a ghost, and then Kresley Cole did that well, so I think I am “open” to anything. I’ve read some zombies that aren’t as mindless and rotting as the one’s we’ve joked about here–I think it really comes down to the world building and the way an author writes the parameters of the paranormal creature–if its done well, I’ll go with it. I’m not one of those people that gets mad when someone deviates from conventions (my vampires aren’t cursed, for example), and I actually kind of appreciate the creativity.

  17. Good post, thanks, Erica. Sex with a zombie – gross. As has been mentioned, it would be hard to ignore the stink, the slime, and the loose body parts. Werewolves? Not sure I’d be keen on all that BO and misogynistic behaviour. A gay male werewolf could be an interesting premise. I favour vampires (but not sparkly ones), and unpleasant fairies, myself.

  18. What a fun post, Erica. Yeah, zombies, soooooo not my thing. I do like shifters and werewolves, however. I second Amber’s appreciation of Kresley Cole’s werewolves in KC’s Immortals After Dark series. I also liked LKH’s shifters in her Anita Blake vampire series. And also also, the vampires/werewolves in Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson Guardian series.

  19. Ghouls and zombies both give me the creeps, especially when they’re sympathetic characters and not being chased and killed. I like pretty much every other supernatural creature that I’ve run across so far. 😀

  20. Zombies need brains, not love.

    I had a hard time getting into shifter romances at first. It’s hard to find any done really, really well. The “true mate” concept is what usually breaks it for me. Any book with a concept of fated true love is going to find itself in my recycle bin.

    I’d love to see you write your Me-No-Like post on the mate thing 🙂

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