Paranormal the Third

Heather Graham, Nalini Singh, and Rebecca Zanetti. Speaking at the 2016 RWA National Convention on Paranormal specifically and Romance in general. This is the last of three blogs sharing my notes from that wonderful chat session.

The audience asked about the rewards of writing, The best answer was the freedom to work from home, especially if you are raising children. We were advised to be dedicated, but don’t forget to live. Of course, that doesn’t apply to NaNoWriMo.


When people hear that you write Paranormal stories, they will tell you their ghost stories, and they will swear that no one else was around, it had to be a real ghost. As long as you change the names to protect the dead, you can use that information.

Don’t worry about work you submitted to an editor or agent. Work on your next book. If changes must be made, the time for that will come along. Remember, you get to do what you love for a living.


Paranormal and mystery seem to go hand in hand. I’m listening to one of Heather Graham’s Krewe series books, all about a mysterious killer on a cruise ship. Using paranormal gifts to solve crimes is a great trope.

Someone asked how, in a long-running series, do you keep the romance alive? Actually, a series is often about different people each book. When the same couple is in each book, it’s a serial. However, the answer to the question is, the same way you keep a marriage alive. Use humor and lots of connection between the pair. Maybe even a dialogue only sex scene.


These talented, best-selling authors admitted that there is no such thing as a typical work day. Most have a goal of word count due to working around kids and life events. Heather also schedules the time to go out and meet people. Balance and discipline contribute to her weekly word count goal. Nalini adds time for stuff to happen unexpectedly. Being prepared for the unexpected is so Paranormal. But every author is different. You have to set up your own discipline and goal.

There are no tropes that work in regular Romance that doesn’t work in Paranormal. Really. But because it’s a romance, you must have a Happily Ever After (HEA) otherwise, you are dead to me. Ha! A little paranormal humor there.


In closing, each author had advice on where to pick up ideas and get help for writing better stories. Nalini suggested reading the Pern books by Anne McCaffrey to learn how to build a world. Helen loves Tolkien for the same reason. Also Anne Rice and Anne McCaffrey, and the movies Warm Bodies. Rebecca agreed with all of the above and added Nora Roberts.

So that wraps up the notes on Paranormal. Let’s go down to the bar and have a few drinks. That should get us in the “spirit”. I crack myself up.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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