Monday, October 16, 2006

Teresa Medeiros GuestBlog: Lions And Tigers And Guys With Hairy Backs And Pointy Teeth

Once you've met her or exchanged a couple of hilarious emails with her, you start to understand that Teresa Medeiros is one of those chicks who deserves every bit of success that comes her way.

And once you've read one of her novels, you know why she's deserving of every loyal fan, every NT Times list position, and every award and nomination that mark her brilliant career in romance. Plus, she's a Nathan Kamp fan, so that makes her better than okey-dokey in my book. Please give Teresa a warm Bella welcome as she ponders the questions on many a romance reader's mind...

Okay, is it just me or are you getting afraid to leave the house for fear some sexy vampire or panting werewolf will leap out of the bushes and try to have his way with you? Instead of lions and tigers and bears, it's those other pesky creatures of the night who are overrunning the woods and the bookstores these days.

After flipping through the most recent issue of "Romantic Times Book Reviews," even I—the author of THE VAMPIRE WHO LOVED ME—had to ask myself (a la Carrie Bradshaw in SEX AND THE CITY),

"Just when did paranormal become normal?"

My theory is that the current paranormal boom represents a reader's rebellion of sorts. I adore contemporary comedies and lighthearted Regency romances as much as the next girl. I've written a few of those lighthearted Regencies myself and may very well turn around and write another one tomorrow. But I can't live on a steady diet of them.

No matter how delicious the pudding, sometimes I just have to have a little meat with it.

By sneaking through the back door in the dead of night, paranormal has brought back to the romance genre the very qualities that made it so wildly popular in the late 70's, 80's and early 90's. Dark passions and the thrill of danger. Heroes and heroines who may very well die without one another. And the gripping sense that something eternal is at stake. (In THE VAMPIRE WHO LOVED ME, that something is the hero's soul.)

So what are YOUR theories about the current popularity of paranormal romance? Are paranormal heroes the ultimate Alpha males or do you prefer that your men don't require up-to-date shots and a flea collar?

Visit TeresaMedeiros.com, and hang with Teresa and her fine-feathered girlfriends at SquawkRadio.com.

55 comments:

Jennifer Y. said...

Welcome Teresa! I just love Hugh...and your books!

I am not sure why paranormals are so popular right now. Maybe it is the fantasy/unknown aspect of them...or just the thrill. I like them because they are something different (but I haven't read that many to be honest).

I must say that I am not picky when it comes to my Alpha males...they can be a human, a were, a vampire, or an alien...it does not really matter to me...it all depends on how they are written or portrayed. However, I think because I have read so many of them human Alphas will always have a special place in my heart.

Playground Monitor said...

Anything Hugh can do, he's more than welcome to do. *g*

I'm not a big paranormal reader either, but I helped plot a paranormal book at my RWA retreat this weekend and I am more understanding of the appeal. It represents something unknown, something mysterious, something that may bring out the wild side of us.

Marilyn

dd03 said...

Hi, Theresa, Michelle, and all the Bellas!!

I've loved a good *shiver* factor in my stories since I was a kid. Having the added element of this in a good, well written romance novel just makes it all the better for me!

As for the new "mainstream" popularity, I'm not sure. I've noticed that the paranormal themes seems to be infitrating culture today. Just look at tv programming...tv shows like Medium, A Haunting series on cable, and a variety of investigative shows that use the paranormal on A & E and Court TV. Perhaps it's just becoming more accepted as a part of life.

Stacy~ said...

Teresa, welcome! It is so great to have you here. I have TVWLM in my TBR pile, just waiting for the perfect spooky night to read it. The story shoulds wickedly delicious.

I also don't read a huge amount of paranormals, but I do agree with Marilyn in that they do bring out the wild, adventurous side in readers. Your inhibitions lessen, and you feel more inclined to give into your passions instead of repressing them. There is more the sense of the forbidden - usually two souls coming from different backgrounds, species, etc. - which ramps up the heat.

Not that stories about non-paranormals aren't hot and sexy, but they are overall a bit more tame, traditional. And you pretty much know where to expect, whereas in paranormals, new worlds and laws and abilities are created so it gives you the excitement of the unknown.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the discussion.

Stacy~ said...

That should read "sounds" wickedly delicious - geez!

ev said...

Welcome Theresa!!

Being a Sci-fi/fantasy reader from childhood, and Dracula being one of my favorite teen reads, I love paranormals. They are probably my favorite type of romance reads.

I think, as someone said, the amount of TV shows on, is making it more mainstream and accepting. OK, ghostbusters started it all. LOL

I also believe that people are more willing to accept that there are things that we can't explain and may actually exist- ie. mediums, telepaths, etc. Who is to say there really isn't other life forms out there?? NOone has proved to me that there ISN'T. I actually have no problem with some of the strange things that go on, and try to keep an open mind.

Yes, I know, I sound nuts, but then, oh, well.

krissyinva said...

Teresa I loved the Vampire Who Loved Me. I have always liked "paranormal" aspects when it comes to witches, faires and the such. I have never really wanted to read vampires stories until recently and I have now read some excellent ones.I personally thought vampire stories would be disgusting. I guess I was quite wrong!!

amy*skf said...

Teresa, welcome. I loved After Midnight, and can't wait to start The Vampire Who Loved Me.

What a great question--I've always loved strange things. But the love of Vampires happened with the remake of Dracula--was it Frank L-something--(that is so not his name--but I know someone will tell me his name)I actually wanted him to win. He filled the screen and was so damn sexy.

There are so many reasons why I like para-anything. Escapism at it's peak, especially if it's a paranormal set in a different time period--right Teresa? Danger and true animal magnetism.

But of course, sometimes publishers see something work for someone and then publish more of the same--popularity drives the publishers which in turn drive the popularity.

amy*skf said...

I just thought of something else--imagine that? Paras can be wonderfully empowering stories as well, either because the Heroine has or discovers her powers or her love saves the Hero--which is also a power.

I think when things are hard to control in our own lives or when people feel powerless, it feels good to read about someone who can control things or change into a fearless beast.

MaryKate said...

Hi Terri! Welcome to RBTB! I haven't read TVWLM, but that's cause I'm hopping on a plane on Thursday, and I'm hording it for then!

I've always been a sucker for the paranormal. Still my favorite show on TV is Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which I know you're a huge fan of too!). Angel really was yummy and he and Spike both really were wonderful examples of vampires as romantic heroes. I remember saying to a friend, "Angel's just so...broody."

I know as a reader, that's what appeals to me about the genre. I love my heroes dark, broody and tortured. Plus, in a lot of cases, they've had centuries to amass great wealth, so they live "Lifestyles of the Pale and Mysterious." LOL! I also really enjoy an alpha male, and I think because paranormal heroes are generally something other, they are lethal. And watching them gentle towards a heroine is a fantasy for many women. You know, "tame the savage beast?"

I just know this is why paranormal romance appeals to me.

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Teresa!!! I am thrilled that you are here today. I absolutely loved TVWLM. YOURS TIL DAWN is my reining favorite. Although, Portia is my most favorite heroine ever. I just loved her. Well, Julian was so bad himself. :P

I love a good paranormal. I wish I could dissect it and say why I love it but it's just because I do. I enjoy to fantasy of it. I've always enjoyed vampires and werewolves as villains. I find them as heroes thrilling. The fact that they are usually Alphas, a bonus. :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

OK, typing this early without coffee should not be allowed.

I meant to say that Julian WASN'T so bad himself.

In other words, he was delicious.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno Teresa and you early-rising Bellas! I didn't open my eyes til 7 today cause I'm very naughty.

We're thrilled to have you here, Teresa; have been waiting ages.


Like krissyinva, I couldn't figure out the whole appeal of the vampire thing, cause I was a Stoker kid. Couldn't imagine anything sexy about a guy sleeping in dirt and sucking my blood til I died.

Then, silly, OCD me, I realized new mythology could be written. I also read a scene in which the hero's canines elongating was, like, so ungodly arousing I couldn't believe it. I ate my I-will-SO-never-enjoy-a-vampire-romance words with some favas and a nice Chianti, as it were.

Amyskf's point is a good one: in para's a heroine's saving the day seems very OK, even in historicals. I'd love to hear more on that.

Wickedly delicious, magically delicious -- it's all yummy stuff no matter how you call it, Stace!

Ev, I'm kinda with you on the none has proved the stuff doesn't exist. That's the total faith in the unseen, and SOD premis, right?

dd03, I know you love the *shiver* factor, I just thought it always came from the heroes...

jennY, you're right about the lure of something different. Teresa's TVWLM is a good vampire to start with if you'd like to read more para.

Hey, Play: I wonder how plotting para differs from regular ol romance...

diane_r said...

I love a good paranormal because the heroes are unapologetically alphas and the heroines are strong women who save the hero in some way. She balances him.

Di

Playground Monitor said...

I wonder how plotting para differs from regular ol romance...

Not much different. Still all about GMC and inciting incidents and black moments and HEA. You've just thrown a paranormal element into the mix. And you get to create new "stuff" be it a new world, new equipment, new way to do it. ;-)

Marilyn

Teresa Medeiros said...

Good morning Michelle and the Bellas! What a thrill to be here :)

My number one favorite TV show is BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. My second favorite all-time TV show is THE WALTONS. So I'm not sure what that says about me and maybe I don't want to know!

And yes, Jennifer Y, when Michelle asked me to pick an illustration for the blog, I thought Hugh in his "Wolverine" guise would be perfect ;)

And yes, Amyskf, it was Frank Langella's portray of DRACULA in 1979 that really captured the romantic potential of the character. (I know some found Gary Oldham wildly sexy in BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA but I just couldn't get into him.)

I think there will always be readers who can't get past the "But he's dead!" factor in a vampire novel but Spike and Angel in "Buffy" totally rid me of that particular "ick" factor--especially Spike! I deliberately didn't make Julian's flesh cold in THE VAMPIRE WHO LOVED ME. Instead I had him burning with some sort of supernatural fever whenever Portia was in the room ;)

And yes, Michelle, it's always amusing when a vampire's teeth elongate when he's aroused. So much for subtlety! ;)

MaryKate said...

Terri - Well, who couldn't love Spike? He went on quite a journey and eventually risked it all to get his soul back for Buffy. That's love, baby! Terri - What's your favorite episode of Buffy?

We're big Hugh fans around here! Any man who's comfortable enough in his masculinity to tell a magazine that he loves to draw baths for his wife, and keep her company reading poetry to her while she bathes is my kind of guy! And also, look how pretty!

Teresa Medeiros said...

marykate,
I think my favorite Buffy episode would have to be the one where they went back and revealed Spike's history--where we learned he was a sensitive poet type who wrote bad poetry for the girl he adored. I also thought BECOMING PART II was exquisitely done, although agonizing at the end when Buffy had to "slay" Angel. And ONCE MORE WITH FEELING, the musical episode is also at the pinnacle of my list. That soundtrack rarely leaves my CD player. So many choices!

Hmmm...wonder if Hugh would draw a bath for me?

amy*skf said...

Teresa, I found Gary Oldham sooo icky...I never finished watching the movie. And thanks for the name--Langella. The 'he's dead' thing never was an issue for me. I'm like Julie in this case--don't know why.

Diane_r--unapologetically alpha--yes!

And Ev, I actually do believe in lots of stuff deemed paranormal, don't even need it proven.

And Marykate any man who can sing on broadway in Oklahoma AND be Wolverine has got to be comfortable in his own manly skin.

Michelle, do you think it's the "they save each other" kind of thing?

amy*skf said...

It's weird, but I rearely watched Buffy--and it was ridiculously up my alley. I'm gonna have to do the dvds. Maybe because I loved the movie that started it all so much--I was afraid the tv show wouldn't live up to it.

MaryKate said...

Oooh! Ames, Buffy is BRILLIANT television! Really. Joss Whedon just really, really gets it. You should definitely watch it! I wish you were near me, I'd lend you my DVDs!

Julie in Ohio said...

Amy- The movie and TV show are completely different. The movie was alot more slapstick. The TV has some great one-liners but don't go into the show trying to compare the two.
The TV show is much better, IMO.



"I'm like Julie in this case--don't know why."

Amy- You know, you could do worse... :P

Teresa Medeiros said...

Would you believe I've never seen the BUFFY movie?

Actually, DVD is a great way to catch up on a show like BUFFY because you can watch straight through and catch so many nuances. I got hooked on 24 and LOST that way. And I love not having to wait a week to get some satisfaction from the cliffhangers! (And I do agree that Joss Whedon is one of the best writers to ever write for television.)

MaryKate said...

You know how some people have "conversion kits" for romance? I have one for Buffy. If someone will give me 10 episodes of Buffy, I can get them hooked and also, pretty much guarantee that they'll end up thinking it's one of the best TV shows ever. LOL! I had more fun coming up with the episodes I thought needed to be included.

Julie in Ohio said...

Teresa, what's up next for you? Another para or historical or are you going to do a contemp? Any tibbits you wish to share? :o)

BTW, I loved the "what happened in the cript, stays in the cript" motto in TVWLM. It drove me crazy that Julian and Portia weren't sharing. :o)

dd03 said...

Teresa,OMG...SPIKE!!!!!!! Even my auntie, who does NOT watch scary things will watch Spike with me...and sometimes Charmed for Cole!!! Now, ya gotta love a vamp who can turn my auntie into a fangirl!! ^o~

Michelle Buonfiglio said... dd03, I know you love the *shiver* factor, I just thought it always came from the heroes...
Actually, the para stuff can make me *shiver*, but the alpha male heros...they make me *shudder* & *thud* or *foof*...depending on where I'm at...*big goofy grin*

amy*skf said...It's weird, but I rarely watched Buffy...
I'm with you on this...I'd didn't watch it that often, mostly because of my schedule at the time. Now I try to watch the reruns with Spike or Angel in them (and also, Angel's series). As for BTVS the movie....so love the cheesiness of it!! One of my faves to rewatch...

Teresa Medeiros said...

Julie in Ohio, I am pondering the fate of my next book even as I speak. I do know it's going to be a historical. I'm toying with another paranormal historical (no vampires) but it could go either way at this point. I promise you guys will be the first to know when I figure it out!

And I think the shiver factor in the paranormals for me is easily translated over from those Gothics I loved to read as a girl. I mean--who could be more dangerous and sexy than a Victoria Holt or Mary Stewart hero?

Playground Monitor said...

You know... Hugh played in an Aussie movie called PAPERBACK HERO where he wrote a romance novel and had to get a friend to pose as the author because a man would NEVER write a romance novel. I have it on my Tivo wishlist but I'm doubtful it will ever come on. I've tried to buy it on eBay but it's not in a format that will work on US DVD players. :-( They showed clips at RWA and it looked so cute.

scratching my head How did RWA get a copy that would work with their equipment???

Marilyn -- who would be more than happy to have Hugh draw her bath water and even share the jacuzzi with him

Teresa Medeiros said...

I've never seen that movie, Marilyn, and I'd love to get my hands on a copy of it! (Among other things ;))

Maureen said...

I enjoy paranormals just because they say that you never know what's going to happen.

Kat said...

I just have to say first how much I loved AM and TVWLM. :) Now on to the question:

For me it's that the guys in the paranormals are predators. They're the baddest of the bad, and yet they're complete mush when it comes to their heroine.

Take Julian and the way he is with Portia. Or Zsadist from JR Ward's Lover Awakened. Or Zarek from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dance with the Devil.

It's the bad boy with the heart of gold to the nth degree and I love it :)

amy*skf said...

Kat never actually made my brain go there--but yes, you are so right on the predator thing.

dd03--my fave thing about the movie was the cheesiness factor/fish out of water--she was a popular cheerleader for goodness sakes, she didn't have time for vampires. And *foof*? Whatever it is, I like it.

Marykate and Teresa, okayokayokay, I'll rent the dvds.

Hey, Marilyn, I've seen snippets of Paperback Hero...or ads...something. I should do some digging today at work.

We've talked alot about vamps, but I especially love me some alpha werewolf--or were...whatever.

dd03 said...

Oh, Kat, way to put it!!! I so agree with ya on that!

amy*skf said...

My response should have been: Kat--and then a comma, for goodness sakes.

dd03 said...

Oh, *foof* is something a cellie came up with so she wouldn't *thud* on the concrete Cell floor...apparently, someone finally thought of tossing some pillows down on the floor before passing out!! LOL

Oh, the Cell is JR Ward's BDB board...

Maybe you could help me...
what's SOD??

amy*skf said...

dd03--thanks for the *foof* explanation--LOL. SOD--suspension of disbelief.

Manda said...

Yay! Teresa M is in the house!!! Hi, Terri! Great question--especially since I can't go to the bookstore these days without tripping over a vampire a werewolf or some other "other."

My guess about the popularity of paranormals is that as men and women become less mysterious to one another (okay on a limb now, here me out) the paranormal hero/heroine becomes a sort of uber "other." As femininity and masculinity become more fluid in our culture, we look for entertainment that feeds our desire to be with those who are more blatantly different from us in other ways that just sex differences. So while the old virginal librarian/slutty businessman plot is still popular, the virginal librarian/slutty vampire plot becomes even MORE enticing because the differences between H/H become even more pronounced...

This is pure conjecture of course, but I'm pretty sure I could dig out some examples if I were writing a paper--which I am SOOOO not.

*Waves at the Bellas* Hey guys!

dd03 said...

amy*skf...LOL! SOD...so that's where I live...I was just trusting someone would find me...

mandacoll...the virginal librarian/slutty vampire plot *gapes at you*...you had to got THERE! That's just smokin'!!

Eve Silver said...

First of all...mmmm...gotta love Hugh.

Second of all....mmmm...gotta love The Vampire Who Loved Me. I just finished this book yesterday (took off just enough time from deadline hell to read it because it was sitting at the top of my TBR pile whispering to me quite loudly).

I loved this story. Julian is to-die-for hot.

I won't say anything specific because I absolutely refuse to be a spoiler, but man, what a great, unique, twist ending. Not what I expected and it worked perfectly!

dd03 said...

Y'all are making these sound so good!!!

*big sigh*Yes, everyone, Michelle, Teresa, it looks like my pile of TBR is about to get even bigger...such a hardship! lol

Manda said...

Oh yeah, totally forgot to comment on the reason we're all here--TVWLM was HOT!!! Julian was the perfect blend of Regency Rake and Vampire I've read. Mmmmm. Love me some Rakepires...

Teresa Medeiros said...

Very interesting theory, mandacoll. So you're saying the alien nature/the unknown can make a man into a Sexy Beast? And my poor Julian--his very survival depended on his being a slut! Sniff...sniff...

And thanks Mandacoll and Eve Silver! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed both Julian and the book :)

Manda said...

So you're saying the alien nature/the unknown can make a man into a Sexy Beast?

Exactly, Teresa. Sort of like the Clark Kent/Superman thing. Only with long pointy teeth instead of that faster than a speeding bullet thing. Which, let's face it, isn't something we want to encourage in the male populace.

Teresa Medeiros said...

Yeah, but my only problem is I'm in love with big bad baldie Lex Luthor. (Well, at least as played by Michael Rosenbaum in SMALLVILLE.)

amy*skf said...

*virginal librarian/slutty vampire plot* I'm with dd03--yes please, Mandacoll.

Hi Eve!

Teresa, I'm always attracted to the evil one. Not sure what that says about me--but maybe it's just the evil ones played by hot guys. Hmmm.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

OK. I'm back. Two words. Frank Langella. Yes, when you mentioned him before, Teresa, my heart went pittapat. He was so sexy as Drac, even though he was still Old School.

Now, I have to confess, I've never seen Buffy. Not one minute of it. I barely watch TV anymore, and frankly, I'm thinkin my friends may need to do an intervention. I mean, I seem to be missing so much. Is it healthy that all I do is take care of my kids, read romance, and write a couple sentences every week?

Now, Julien Kane, Julien Kane. He's so so dreamy. Totally debauched, but so disgusted by the fact. And the scene when he meets Portia again? Ai. And, as Teresa says, the warmth of the guy, it just rises from the page. Teresa has a lot of fun with Julien's attitude about being an immortal vampire, but, yikers, it's got some fringed bennies, and he makes good use of them.

Stacy~ said...

"Buffy" rules. No question. One of my favorite shows of all time, and I miss it so much. I wish I had that kind of creativity. I never get tired of watching it.

Manda, I think you've got it, girl. I agree. When the mystery is gone, we look for other things to re-create that feeling. I think that's why I can't exist on a steady diet of erotic romance.

Teresa, I'm excited to keep reading how different you made this story. That's probably one of the biggest issues I have with the popularity of vamps - how unoriginal some of the stories are. Why bother writing something without adding your own twist to the story? See I'm a reader and I can be that demanding LOL

Well I didn't find Gary Oldman wildly sexy, but I was reluctantly drawn to his character in Dracula, but only when he was the young man, all dressed up. There was something kinda erotically compelling about his presence. However it reminded me a bit too much of the cold, undead vamp that does not appeal to me. I want an alpha v-hottie with a tan and lots of sexy muscles.

Haven Rich said...

I so loved The Vampire Who Loved Me, and After Midnight. I've always been a fan of gothic type romances. Heros who have the world on their shoulders, only to have life both eased and complicated by the woman they love..sigh. But vampires have always held a place in my heart, every since Dracula with ole' Frank.

And why shouldn't we fall in love with vampires? I mean they can offer forever, in every sense of the word. Plus you get the added bonus of sleeping all day, parties all night. Never aging, who needs surgery when your youth will always be there lol. Plus, they tend to be so darn sexy (Buffy vampires sorta excluded..with the exception of Spike and Angel...yummy).

I can only hope that you keep writing about vampires (even if it isn't your NEXT book...but perhaps somewhere down the line). As always, I've enjoyed your books, both dark, darker and a few on the lighter side. Besides, we all need a little goth in our lives hehe. Or at least I do.

Teresa Medeiros said...

Yeah, as I said in my interview, I think the vampire is the ultimate Alpha hero. He can either kiss you or kill you and it only makes him hotter when he decides to kiss you ;)

Ali said...

Oh, I definitely think paranormal heroes are the ultimate Alpha males ;-)

Julie in Ohio said...

Thank you, Teresa, for coming to play. Please come back soon. :o)

I can't wait to see what your next project is.

Teresa Medeiros said...

It was my pleasure, Julie! I LOVE Michelle's blog! :)

Julie in Ohio said...

Yeah, we think of RBTB as home... :o)

marcantonia said...

first off, i loved TVWLM. for me, though, i think that it is the fact that the vampires and their world are so unreal that they make it desireable. the world can't be achieved, thus anything that happens there is purely fantasy. with that in mind, as i read TVWLM, i couldn't help bu think that it would be so great to be a vamp. not the souless kind in that book, but in the others, like my lord immortality, who just live forever. to have a love that could never die, between two people who could never die? its the ultimate escapist fiction, at least for me....

Teresa Medeiros said...

Good point, marcantonia! The paranormal provides a complete escape from reality--something we all desperately need on some days!