Today we welcome Anna Kyle, and her new release, Omega Rising.
Anna Kyle wrote her first story at age 12 on an old manual typewriter, and though the technology has changed, she hasn’t stopped since. She lives in the Midwest surrounded by family and friends and dogs and horses. They’ve forgiven her (mostly) when they appear in her stories. She reads everything she can get her hands on, but romances, especially paranormals, are her favorite. Vampires, humans, Fae, shapeshifters, or demons, it doesn’t matter—Anna’s heart goes pitter-pat for the Happily Ever After. Hot heroes + strong, funny heroines = awesome.
Thanks for giving me an opportunity to rant a bit.
When I was close to finishing my first draft of Omega Rising, my paranormal romance, back in late 2013/early 2014, the world (meaning a lot of agents, editors, bloggers I respected) declared the paranormal romance dead. “Can't sell PNRs anymore.” The articles came fast and furious. “Glut.” “Market oversaturation.” “Twilight was the beginning of the end.” On and on they went. But I love reading PNRs. How come suddenly no one else did?
Let me back up a second. I’m an avid reader of romances. Well, I’m an avid reader of everything but romances have been my favorite ever since I picked up one of my mom’s Harlequin Presents as a teenager. I looked forward to sneaking away with those white covers with bright pops of color when she was done reading. Those stories took me to far off places like the deserts of Arabia, the mountains in Switzerland with handsome heroes and beautiful heroines. They solved mysteries, wrestled with accidents and amnesia and their feelings, they took down the bad guy, confessed their lies (it seemed there was always a big lie being told) then eventually confessed their love for each other. The Happy Ever After. Hooked.
Then about ten years ago I picked up my first paranormal romance (by Christina Dodd, who I’d never heard of before) and read it one sitting. Amazing. Fantastic. Delicious. I bought the whole series and gobbled them up, too, and hunted for more books. The stakes were higher in paranormals, the heroes hotter and heroines sexier, the romances steamier. Yes yes yes. More, please.
Paranormal writers used words real men and women used every day, like cock and wet (no more manhood or gods forbid manroot, and petals opening - hooray). The heroines were strong, flawed, their orgasms important, like in real life. Even with the fantasy element of vampires or shapeshifters or witches, the stories, the romances, were more authentic. I was so IN.
Okay, back to when PNRs were declared dead. On an online open chat with one of the publishers where I planned to submit the manuscript once polished, their reps confirmed what I’d been reading. I was blindsided, heartbroken, sick to my stomach. I had just spent a considerable amount of time and tears on my first novel that would never sell. Might as well flush this thing I created and loved down the toilet. I stumbled through the rest of that day, berating myself one minute then the next wondering if I could change my novel and eliminate the paranormal element.
That made me feel even worse because paranormal added a level of complexity and tension and steaminess that, in my view anyway, not just couldn’t but shouldn’t be cut out like an unwanted defect. An unsalable defect. I wrote what I loved but no one wanted to read PNRs anymore? Because I sure did.
The next morning I woke up and looked at my TBR stack and some books I just finished reading. A healthy number of those books were paranormals. I checked the pub dates – all new. Huh. Wtf. They weren’t dead after all. After filing that bit of news under “dammit, don’t believe everything you read’ I went right back to my manuscript to revise, rewrite, edit and revise some more. Less than a year later I had two books under contract and my editor helped make my books even stronger.
My theory is that for a while there was a glut of paranormal romances and some books that slipped through were…less than good (you know what I’m talking about). The market listened to annoyed readers, including myself, who plunked down hard earned cash only to find a story that didn’t live up to the high expectations the genre demands. Because of this, I believe, publishers big and small (and indie writers) tightened their standards and better stories resulted.
Good for the genre, good for the reader.
Long live the delicious paranormal romance!
Omega Rising is available in trade paperback and ebook via Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Books-a-Million, Kobo, World Weaver Press, iBookstore, IndieBound and OmniLit, and for wholesale through Ingram.
Twitter: Anna Kyle @SandsOfTime5050
“I like him, Tabs.”
“You know nothing about him.”
Cass was unprepared for the jagged lick of jealousy as the old boyfriend possibility became suddenly real. She clenched her hands into fists into her lap and bowed her head as she imagined Tabitha running her fingers through Nathan’s hair.
“You know him then,” she said, steeling herself.
“No. But I know men like him,” Tabitha responded, her voice flat, angry. Cass sighed in relief, relaxed her hands and looked up at her friend who was staring off into the distance, frowning. “Dangerous, selfish, arrogant, cold.” She turned to look at her. “You have nothing in common. Zero. He would destroy you.”
“Destroy me,” Cass scoffed. “Listen, drama queen. Guy was shaking when he bandaged me. So he’s sensitive. He helped us out today on no notice. So he’s nice. And we both don’t like blood, so there. That’s one thing in common.”
Tabitha barked a loud humorless laugh.
“Guys like him bathe in blood.” Cass stared at Tabitha, mouth open. Tabitha blinked then smiled ruefully. “Okay, that was a little drama-queenie.”
“And super disgusting.”
Tabitha grinned now. “Yeah, that too.” She held out her index finger toward Cass. “Agree to disagree?”
Cass nodded and stretched her own finger to Tabitha’s for a second.
“Just . . . be careful. I’m worried about you. You need to eat. You need to sleep. You need to take care of yourself. This whole thing,” she gestured widely, her voice catching, “falls apart without you.”
Cass’s eyes burned at her friend’s concern for her. She nodded. “You're right. I know. The nightmares will go away.” Who will die this time? “They did before.” Only because I ran. Cass looked out over her grounds of her tiny kingdom spread before them, not believing her own words and unable to look at Tabitha.
Cass knew the truth; death was coming.