I like to call The Herxheim Chronicle my “vampire bromance,” even though the Vorator are technically not vampires. I just like to say “bromance.” I don’t think it’s a secret that I don’t enjoy the paranormal romances that are very popular today, and it’s not even for the reason you think!
Maybe. Well, we’ll see.
I’m writing Book Two in the series now, Venator. In it, we really get into what exactly makes the Vorator monsters, and also what makes Augs special. The reader is also introduced to a third side in this triangle: the humans who, if infected, would turn into Vorator rather than just dying.
Let’s take a break from my own work at the moment and explore already-published works of paranormal romances. Since everyone and their dog are at least passingly familiar with Twilight, I’ll use that as an example. Let’s skip right past all the overt creepy stuff that Edward does and dive straight into the heart of why I don’t like paranormal romances.
“Taylor,” you’re saying to yourself, “what on Earth does paranormal romance have to do with chicken love?”
I’m glad you asked, intrepid reader.
Consider Edward. Look at him, standing there with all his bouffant hair and twinkling skin and intense eyes.
Now, let’s make a list of the things that Edward wants to do to Bella.
1. Kill her.
2. Hurt her.
3. Consume her blood.
4. Kill her some more.
5. More blood, om nom nom.
6. Make monster babies.
Plenty of times in the book, he says he can’t be around her because it’s too dangerous. He’s going to hurt her or kill her. She’s just too yummy. There’s too much temptation. He just wants to grrrrr chew on the side of her head and lick the blood off.
I get it. This is titillating and dangerous. “Oooh what a bad boy. Will he kiss her or bite her? My heart is tripping over itself right now. I need a cold shower.”
Of course, there was never actually any risk that Edward was going to bite Bella, because he’s a vegan. Gross.
This kind of relationship is what makes paranormal romances “hotter” than normal romances. Sure, a regular hot dude is good, but what if he also has to battle dark urges within himself? What if he’s got this bloodthirsty craving for human flesh that he has to overcome? That’s even better.
Except it’s not. It’s gross.
Vampires eat people. Did you read that? Vampires eat people.
If you, as a human, are not a vegetarian, you eat things like cows and pigs and… chickens.
So what if you were on a farm one day and you saw the most beautiful, innocent, perfect chicken you’ve ever laid eyes on. This chicken is just exquisite. You have the most intense feelings for this chicken. In fact… you love this chicken. There. I said it. You are in LOVE with this chicken. Sure, it’s only 8 months old, but it’s got a soul much older. Its family doesn’t approve of your attentions, but you’re way older and more experienced than her stupid regular-chicken family. You know what’s best.
This chicken is your soul mate.
So you romance the chicken. You try to be nonthreatening. You do chicken things to gain her trust. You peck around and try to get near to her. Sometimes you have second thoughts—she’s a chicken, for crying out loud!—but just when you think you’re out, her sweet chicken face pulls you right back in.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Taylor, that’s gross. Vampires being romantically attracted to humans is NOT the same as a human making love to a chicken. Vampires used to be human!”
Yeah, they did. Used to. But they’re not anymore. They’re vampires. Just because they physically resemble humans doesn’t make a difference. And if I say, “You’re right, vampires are totally human,” then that makes them cannibals.
(I tried to find a picture that was marginally PC that had something to do with sexy cannibals, but I failed miserably. For the love of all that is holy, do NOT Google “sexy cannibals.”)
Same thing. They still have sex with something they want to eat. And I’m not for that.
Back to Venator. Connor has never been romantically interested in a human because, well, he’s not a chicken lover. When he meets the would-be-Vorator-who-is-still-a-human, the most surprising thing about her is the fact that he actually doesn’t want to eat her. It disturbs him, a lot, and is yet one more thing he has to deal with in this book. I’m not gonna lie, I’m being kind of mean to him in this book. Isn’t the second book/movie in a trilogy supposed to be the dark one? Well buckle up, sweet cheeks. I hope you have night-vision goggles.
But at least I’m not turning him into a chicken lover. I hope he appreciates that.