This is a re-post of a guest post I wrote for Tribute Books. Hope you like it :)
As readers turned bookstore clerks turned authors, Lindsey and I have been in the somewhat unique position of being able to watch genre trends develop…and then use those observations to choose what genre(s) to focus on when writing. Okay, no, we didn’t meticulously check sales numbers, make spreadsheets comparing genre trends, and then decide which genre(s) to write in. But our choice to write After The Ending, an adult post-apocalyptic tale with a hearty sprinkling of romance, was definitely influenced by conversations we had with customers on what they liked to read and by our own gravitation toward YA dystopian and post-apocalyptic books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, Shatter Me, and Across the Universe mixed with our love of the adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance genres.
Really, we love romance, but not just the standard, girl meets boy, girl and boy are drawn to each other, girl and boy lose each other, girl and boy find a way to be together, HEA. We adore romance when it shares the plot with another, equally dominant storyline, or even when it’s secondary to a main, non-romance storyline. Beyond that, we tend to shy away from books that openly proclaim a lack of romance…to us, they just feel like they’re missing something essential. Our preference for such an element in books is what first sparked our friendship back in our bookstore days, and we’re determined to stay true to ourselves and include it in our own books…without fading to black ;)
Like many other UF/PR readers, we’ve noticed the shift in the Urban Fantasy genre toward including steamy bits along with the magical and sometimes gruesome bits. The lines between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance have blurred, with many UF books containing some delicious romantic scenes, like Kim Harrison’s Hollows series and Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. While some UF readers are irked about the trend of including a smattering of hanky-panky, we two Lindseys are tickled pink. And, based on the extreme love being showered upon YA books that mix Science Fiction with Romance, we thought readers might be interested in an adult version of the same thing—a little bit of steamy, sexy frosting on their post-apocalyptic cupcake. Because, really, who prefers a frostingless cupcake? Oh…that guy does? And her? Well…er…I guess frosting’s not for everyone.
There are definitely some great books that fit into the Science Fiction avec romance category, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s The League series being one of the most notable, but the Romance/Science Fiction mash-up isn’t nearly as popular or prevalent in adult fiction as it is in YA fiction…yet. We think readers of books like Veronica Roth’s Divergent and Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, will be eager to jump into the adult version of the Science Fiction/Romance cross genre in the same way that many Twilight fans made the leap to adult Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy.
So how does this romance come about in our post-apocalyptic series, The Ending? In After The Ending, Dani and Zoe, young but grown women, have to deal with the unthinkable—a viral apocalypse. They’re young, only in their mid-twenties, and they’re used to problems like juggling multiple jobs, dealing with the pressures of grad school, and trying to find someone worth dating. When their world comes crashing down around them and most of their loved ones are gone…and they start developing unbelievable abilities, they cling to what good they can, one of those good things being squishy feelings for studly men. Sometimes we need a little love to keep the end of the world from breaking our spirits…
We sincerely hope readers enjoy our take on the Science Fiction and Romance combo as much as we enjoy writing it. Happy reading everyone!