Genre Specialty Spotlight: Paranormal Romance
Updated: Nov 24
Now that Courtney Diles Writing & Editing Services has moved from freelance marketplaces and word-of-mouth clientele to an independent website, let me tell you more about the kind of work I've done over the years.
After spending years in critique groups, I have experience editing in every genre out there, but I professionally specialize in YA fantasy, paranormal romance, and comics. My last post was about YA fantasy. Today, let's explore paranormal romance.
I have been writing and editing paranormal romance since 2015. This genre captures me in a unique way. Different people are drawn to this genre for different reasons and there are many beautiful things about it. Let's explore some of those.
In the past, I've been enchanted by the idea of being loving enough to tame and fall in love with a monster — but I've also tried to see beauty in people who displayed monstrous behaviors, and I ended up in dangerous situations because of it. I've found that many women resonate with that.
For this reason, the paranormal romances genre needs more representation of healthy communication, enthusiastic consent, and women who are empowered outside of the relationship itself.
I've found that the reverse harem genre, and series that feature multiple love interests, explore these themes well. Think the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris or even A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.
On the flip side, dehumanization is a horrific part of the human experience and usually results from some form of abuse or the fallout. Everyone has times when they, themself, might feel like a monster, and we want to be able to earn a partner who will love us through those times. This is one of the beautiful things this genre explores.
I'm excited for the increasing representation in the genre. I love LGBTQ+ spins on old tropes and anything that breaks formula in a way that also blows my mind.
Unfortunately, much of my writing in the paranormal romance genre is under a ghostwriting contract and my real name cannot be associated with them. My book The Pain Eater came out with The Wild Rose Press in 2018.
Roxie Maeda is a college senior who hears voices in her head. When she first sees the demonic creature haunting her crush, she blows it off as a hallucination, but then it shows up in her Psych class, visible to everyone. Its appearance triggers a police search of the campus, which reveals a bag of guns right outside the classroom. Someone was planning to shoot up the school. Over time, the creature discloses that he is a pain eaterâ€”a cursed, undead human who eats pain demons that arise from injuries, taking the pain into himself. His selflessness sways her, and she befriends him only to fall in love. Together, they resolve to break his curse and save Prometheus University from its unknown attacker.
There are things I feel I did well with the Pain Eater in hindsight and things I wish I had done differently, but that's a discussion for another time.
This slider features some of the paranormal romance books I have proofread.