Day 26

5.03: Browsing around condemned-and-strapped-to-the-chair flam merchant Borders yesterday I lost my bearings and found I’d stumbled blithely into a section marked “Paranormal Romance.” In fact, calling it a section seems to do it a disservice: there were shelves upon shelves of it, apparently stretching into empty infinitude like the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out this is Twilight-driven – stores drawing punters into their rotten alcoves and greasy sofas on the “more-where-that-came-from” promise of juvenile titillation. What I want to know, though, is where did they get all these raunchy spectral books from? There were scores of the little things, all pink-and-black-jacketed and smudged with lipstick, claiming to be dolloping out sauce with the same ghoulish erotic ladle.

They must have been crouched in their thousands, silently under some rock, like peasants biding their time before a revolt – except gaudy sultry peasants who plan to overpower their oppressors with their poppering sexual allure, and dark vampiric powers.

And so I got to thinking, maybe I’m approaching this all wrong. There’s a strong chance I’m writing a book that no-one will ever read. Even if it’s printed, distributed and generally made available so that people can at least thumb over a copy, a majority so overwhelming it could be broadly categorised as “The Entire Planet” won’t.

These are desperate times for the bookish, so perhaps I need to follow the money. There seems to be a substantial industry behind Paranormal Romance – it even has its own set of awards, the PEARLS (Paranormal Excellence Awards for Romantic Literature).

Last year there were 10 categories, with medals and commendations flying around like hormones from a teenager with the hots for some bloodsucking shirtless hellcat. An honourable mention in the Best Vampire category went to Michelle Bardsley for her novel Wait Til Your Vampire Gets Home. This is its premise:

When Libby Monroe, a dedicated paranormal investigator, sneaks into the strange town of Broken Heart looking for Bigfoot, she’s chased into the arms of hunky Ralph Genessa. Ralph’s not a hairy ape-like biped, but he is fanged and dead.

Seriously, this has to be where the smart money’s going.

5.58: It turns out a Swedish guy who everyone thought had bumped off his wife didn’t. She was murdered by an elk that’d been binging on cider.

6.53: The relentless march across the morning continues. The progress is good, but the feet are blistered and birched, and I’m so deep into the belly of this forest now, I’m not sure there’s a way out forward or back. Perhaps I’ll just go Colonel Kurtz and become the forest – a sort of malevolent radicalised guru of waking before dawn. It’ll need a special diet though: you gotta get some girth if you’re gonna go Kurtz.

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~ by David Thorley on November 30, 2009.

2 Responses to “Day 26”

  1. I’m sure you’d love knocking out paranormal romance genre fiction under a suitable pseudonym, but you’ve gotta stay ahead of the curve: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/10/12/

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