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Interested in Paranormal Romance books? Here is a brief history of the genre.
1764 – Horace Walpole wrote The Castle of Otranto in 1764. This started the genre Gothic Novels, which combines elements of both horror and romance.
Gothic Novels were so popular that even today, these novels generally include an isolated, vulnerable heroine; a dark, sardonic hero whose actions make him suspicious; and paranormal elements such as a family curse, omens, and vampires.
Although the movement began with a man, the novels and their readers have been primarily women, and provided a vehicle for some of the first women to earn their living by writing.
1789 – Ann Radcliff was regarded as one of the most influential writers of her time. Her novel The Mysteries of Udolpho is a whopping 624 pages!
1897 – Bram Stoker published Dracula, creating the modern Vampire.
The Age of The Bodice Rippers
A slew of fru-fru novels emerged in the mid-Twentieth century, depleting respectability of the romance genre and nearly killing it.
1973 – Anne Rice publishes Interview with the Vampire.
1977 – Alice Norton (a.k.a. Andre Norton) became the first female writer to produce a sci-fi fantasy that included a smidge of romance. Alice is also the first woman to receive the Gandalf Award from the World Science Fiction Society. All her pen names were male.
1987 – The first supernatural creature as a romantic partner appeared in The Ivory Key by Rita Clay Estrada.
Modern gothic novelists have taken the genre further, adding vampires and werewolves to the mix, and empowering the heroine.
1992 – First futuristic romance appeared. Moondust and Madness by Janelle Taylor.
1997 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer hits TV, thoroughly reviving the supernatural and romance genres.