Today I’m happy to welcome Veronica Scott to Paranormal Unbound!
Veronica is an author of science fiction and fantasy romance, and she’s recently started covering the genre for USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog. I was thrilled when I heard about this new column (more speculative romance! hooray!), so I invited Veronica to talk about her new column and give us some working definitions of these two less-publicized branches of the romance tree. Welcome, Veronica!
Thanks for inviting me to drop by Paranormal Unbound today to talk about the new column and my plans for what types of romances I’m going to feature.
When I was offered the opportunity to write a column about science fiction and fantasy romance, I jumped at the chance. Giving a signal boost to terrific books that don’t always get as much attention as other romance genres was irresistible. (Full disclosure: I write paranormal and science fiction romances too.) It’s pretty much up to me what the boundaries of my column’s universe will be so I’m careful not to fence myself in by over-defining SF&F romance up front. Subject of course to the final word by Joyce Lamb, Curator of the USA Today/HEA blog, who is wonderful to work with!
I think the RWA’s definition is a good start. From their webpage: “The love story is the main focus of the novel, a futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal element is blended with the love story, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.” Personally, I always go for the HEA endings. Happy For Now works for me sometimes. Not a big fan of cliffhangers. Although my favorite science fiction movie of all time is “Aliens”, with no overt romance, you can bet I’m shipping Ripley and Hicks, based on every tiny meaningful glance between them. I do read straightforward adventure, military fiction, mysteries, etc. but if a book is labeled as “romance”, I want my heart strings strummed.
I also quoted Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone in my debut column on his opinion that science fiction was “the improbable made possible” while fantasy was “the impossible made probable”.
Although I entitled the column “Sci-Fi Encounters” because we needed something short, scifi and catchy, I’m planning to talk about all kinds of books in the SF&F arena, plus paranormal here and there. One thing that happens in today’s world of hybrid publishing which I find extremely exciting, is the blending of elements to make a good story. Vampires in outer space, fantasy elements in a Regency romance, time travel in a story about the sinking of Titanic…so many possibilities.
To assemble a column, I start with my guest interview and build a theme from there, featuring not only the guest’s book obviously, but also a shortlist of other, fairly recent novels that I think a Reader might enjoy. Sort of a mini “if you like my guest’s books, you might also like…” I’m a voracious reader myself and I follow a number of blogs, including this one. In a future column I hope to do a segment on some of the sites such as The Galaxy Express that have been “boosting the signal” on science fiction romance for a long time.
As you can imagine, I get tons of recommendations for books from everywhere, which is extremely helpful. Readers also tell me which authors they’d love to see featured. Can I just say right here – please send any inputs or suggestions for the column to my firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox? I might not answer every email due to the volume but I read all of them. I love the feedback! I’ll do my best to interview the authors whose names come up, whenever possible. At two columns per month, on the second and fourth Thursdays, it might take me awhile to get to your special favorites though!
I also do a lot of list surfing in Goodreads for possibilities that I might not have seen and the recommendations in Amazon can be helpful.
I hope to do some themed columns on steampunk, cyborgs, GLBQT SFR, postapocalyptic stories and more as I go along. The theme of some columns may be “no theme” – just a sampling of everything! Featuring small press and self published authors is a goal of mine too, in addition to supporting more established authors.
So, to sum it up after two published columns, I’m having a blast and I hope the Readers are too!
Veronica’s column, SciFi Encounters, runs on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month on USA Today’s HEA blog. Her most recent paranormal novel is MAGIC OF THE NILE:
1535 BCE Egypt
Scorned as a child and ignored by her family because of a crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed by Sobek the Crocodile God. He installed her as the High Priestess of his temple when she grew up. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…
Until the handsome, noble Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.
Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt? Will the love between a proud warrior and a shy priestess lead them to a future together?
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You can find Veronica:
Thank you so much for having me as your guest today! Hoping for some new recommendations of books and/or authors to feature in the column going forward…
Thanks for joining us! I know there is no shortage of SFR lovers here 🙂
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A bit late, but not too late I hope. I actually do love sci fi and fantasy romance. I would be happy to recommend some gems to you. Robin D. Owens, Jayne Castle, Jean Johnson, and Lisa Shearin.
Its never to late, Aurian! Those are great recs. I really hope Veronica’s column helps the genre continue to grow.
Hi AJ and Veronica. My rec = Pippa Jay. 🙂