My first novels were science fiction with romantic elements. The romance was central to the story but it wasn’t the entire story. If I’d removed the relationship between the hero and heroine, there would still have been a story.
After that I wrote two paranormal romance novellas about lion shifters. The love story was the point of that series, and of course there was a HEA in both books.
That brings me to my fantasy novellas in the Worlds of Fire series. Though I knew all the books would have relationships between the hero and heroine, would they be romances or romantic?
The way things seem to be defined right now, romantic fantasy has romantic elements but isn’t necessarily about the romance. That doesn’t mean the romance isn’t important to the story. But if the romance were removed, the story would still work.
In Metamorphosis, the romance is key to the story. Jaydon and Asira don’t start out necessarily wanting to fall in love. They are on separate paths up until they meet at the university. But once they get together, they work together to resolve the dangerous magic that the antagonist unleashes.
Would the story really be different if I called it a romance? Probably not much different. However, for a reader who is looking strictly for romance, I wanted to be sure to categorize the story properly. In the end, that’s the most important thing. Readers know what they want to read, and it doesn’t help to categorize a story as something it isn’t.
My Worlds of Fire series is romantic fantasy where the romance is the heart of the story. There’s fantasy worldbuilding and adventure, but there’s also a HEA at the end.
Though every reader isn’t going to be as concerned about whether a fantasy novel is romance or romantic (with elements), I’m happy that there are choices for readers and writers. With the expansion of fantasy, we’re free to tell different types of stories with relationships at the center.
Originally posted on Westveil Publishing