Things that Go Bump in the Night:
Why do we love things that should terrify us?
by Becca Dale
It seems the literary world, especially the romance genre, is full of things that go bump in the night. However, these creatures are no longer the big, bad scary beasts that I grew up with, and the things bumping are extremely hot.
Suddenly, werewolves are sexy young men with dark eyes and brooding natures, and vampires are nearly effeminate in their understanding of the female mind. They are also huge—get your mind out of the gutter boys and girls—in the world of gay literature.
So how did this come about? Do we have a fascination with things that have long generated fear because we no longer believe in them? Have they become the controllable bad guys? If vampires have souls and shifters are just the cute guy next door then they lose their power to frighten us. In a world of terrorists, war that isn’t called war, economic decline, job loss, and often worldwide political confusion, a bad guy we can identify, control, and even love becomes the ultimate sex symbol.
Human beings adore being frightened, but when fear enters every aspect of our lives to some extent, we seek a break from it in the form of pure entertainment. What this means is even the dark and scary types—the true undead or nonhuman—can still be sexy. Whether we run to the movies for blood and gore, or curl up with our e-readers for romantic, erotic vampires, we seek distraction from the things we have no power over. Thus the fascination with things we tell ourselves we can handle because they are not real.
For me the paranormal and science fiction worlds have long been a source of interest. Maybe because the first guy I ever crushed on (after elementary school anyway) was an avid reader of both. Or maybe because I find the strength of the female characters in modern paranormals empowering.
The second piece I ever published wandered into the world of the fantastic. Through Adarkan’s Salvation I gained an understanding of what I am capable of and a sense of power through the strong heroine. Although I write primarily contemporary romance these days, my fascination with the paranormal continues.
The latest example of this is Kya’s King. Kya discovers a sense of herself as an individual but also a deeper understanding of the power of family and love-both modern and traditional. For me, the scariest character in the entire story is the enemy in human form. Perhaps this stems from the fact that he could really exist. He represents those who live for power and control no matter the cost. He is the rapist in the dark, the corrupt politician, and the gorgeous man who lies and hides his evil behind a smile. Those things, my friends, scare the crap out of me.
So what draws you to the world of the paranormal? Is it lovers with superhuman capabilities? Yeah, that’s a plus. Or do you adore the idea that the one you love is a bad guy by nature and controls all that evil power just for you? Mmm, that’s a nice thought. I would love to know what you think. While you’re thinking, here is a peek at Kya’s King. I hope you adore Ja and Kya as much as I do. Thanks for stopping by.
Blurb for Kya’s King
Tender-hearted and lonely, Kya yearns for heritage and home. The staff and animals at the sanctuary where she works have become almost family, but it is not enough. She craves the stability and acceptance she hears in the voice of her dream lover and sees in the eyes of a wounded wildcat.
Chosen to guard the royal heir, Ja claims his lost charge in a desperate attempt to save her from enemies she can not imagine or comprehend. At every turn desire and obligation clash as Kya tests his loyalty to the clan and his will to walk away. Touching her breaks the rules that he has pledged his life to uphold, but fulfilling his duty might destroy everything worth fighting for.
Both must face the roles they were born to play. Hers to lead. His to protect. Can Hannah blindly accept her responsibility as queen or will she turn her back on the extended family she longs for in order to keep the one who destroys her loneliness? Does she even have a choice?