What is Paranormal?
The word “paranormal” covers a huge variety of areas. I have heard the term applied to everything from ghosts and zombies to vampires and sprites. I have also heard “paranormal” used to describe any kind of spooky, unexplained phenomena.
My question is this: What does “paranormal” actually mean?
Well, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary gives this definition: not scientifically explainable: supernatural
Interesting. This broad term covers everything I mentioned above and so much more, including angels, demons, and visions. Since those last three fall under the paranormal umbrella, one has to wonder why many Christians are against paranormal romance.
To find the answer, one only has to look at the content of much paranormal fiction, particularly paranormal romance.
In many paranormal romances, vampires, demons, and other equally evil creatures are glorified and revered. A lot of paranormal romances seem to be in competition to see which has the hottest sex scene. Some I’ve come across also seem determined to use the crudest language possible to describe what should be a beautiful act between a man and a woman. Descriptions like that tend to be offensive to a wide spectrum of readers, not just Christians.
I don’t believe an “ick factor” or glorification of evil is a prerequisite for paranormal romance. Yes, I write vampire romance, but my vampires aren’t thrilled at being vampires. I try to focus more on the emotions they experience, the loneliness and the sense of being an outcast in society. I want readers to come away with the sense that had my vampires been given a choice, they would have remained human. I also don’t write detailed love scenes. Not because my characters don’t believe in sex as part of a romantic relationship, but because I believe some things should be kept private, even if the people involved are only fictional. Also, I want my writing to be safe for any teen who may come across my books.
Does this mean Christians will read and approve of my work? No. I am sure many of them will think I am writing “evil” stories and working to corrupt society. Others might read and enjoy what I write. There is no way to predict any individual’s reaction, but I don’t expect people to change their minds about an entire genre based on one or two books.
So I’ll keep writing paranormal romance for those who enjoy it. And for those who prefer other genres, there are dozens of excellent authors producing great books.