I published my first novel, Echo, in 2014, and have since published three more books. My books deal with events that could happen in real life–falling into a forbidden love, attempted sexual assault, pregnancy loss, death–except the characters have paranormal gifts. Tara, the lead protagonist, is clairvoyant as is her friend, Dori. Derek, Tara’s lover and student, is empathic. Hannah, Tara’s sister, can read minds. And there are other characters with latent paranormal talents that have yet to manifest.
My issue with publishing these books is that they don’t seem to fit into the genres already established. If you type Paranormal New Adult Romance into an Amazon search, you get page after page of vampires, werewolves, shifters, and aliens. Then thrown in there are Fifty Shades wannabes and other borderline erotica that don’t really fit into the PNR category at all.
Now some may argue that my books have an element of the supernatural and, therefore, fit neatly into that PNR category. And I wouldn’t argue strongly against that, but what about the readers who want to find characters they can feel a connection with? They want to read about a woman who could be their best friend or next door neighbor. Or they can relate to the mistakes a character has made and sympathize with their losses. And there are readers, like me, who believe in everyday magic and ordinary people with psychic abilities. Maybe, like me, they’ve experienced something extrasensory.
So, where does that leave books like mine, that aren’t too far out there, that have regular people in normal situations who just happen to have a little extra, supernatural talent? It leaves us without a category in Amazon’s ever-changing list of genre choices.
That’s why I propose a new one.
Like Magical Realism, the genre suggests average people accepting the likelihood of paranormalcy in everyday life. Unlike Magical Realism, it isn’t heavy on the fantastic or mythical elements. The events described in Paranormal Realism could really happen, especially the psychic parts. Just look at the crop of TV reality shows centered around the lives of psychic mediums–Monica the Medium, Hollywood Teen Medium, Long Island Medium.
And even the idea of an empathic gift isn’t too unrealistic. Every person has the ability to sense another’s mood and adjust their own response to heighten or deflate the perceived emotional energy. So it’s not a leap to suggest that certain people can feel what others are feeling and change the mood with a touch or a few words.
So, while I continue to try to fit my writing into Amazon’s categories and reach new readers, I’m labeling my first series as Paranormal Realism. And when Amazon finally catches up with me, you can say you heard it here first.