“Why be normal when you can be paranormal?”

– Paul Goat Allen



My mother-in-law, a staunch nonfiction reader, has even gone so far as to insinuate that reading so much paranormal fantasy (ie: that “oversexed vampire stuff”) rots the brain and makes people crazy!


When the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night recently (it turned out to be a low battery) and I jumped out of bed and immediately began pulling my cherished autographed copies from the shelves – Stacia Kane’s Downside saga (Unholy GhostsUnholy Magic, et. al.); Skyler White’s and Falling, Fly; Richardson’s Downpour; etc. – I realized that I just might have a problem.


So, as a kind of public service announcement for all of you fellow paranormal fantasy fanatics out there, I’ve compiled a list of warning signs that may indicate that you are reading too much paranormal fantasy…


• You think that framed cover art from Nicole Peeler’s Jane True (Tempest Rising, Tracking the Tempest, et. al.) and Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane (Red-Headed Stepchild, The Mage in Black, et. al.) sagas constitute suitable living room wall art.


• Every year, you ask your dentist how feasible it would be to create pointed dental crowns for your canine teeth.


• On the night of every full moon, you walk outside to see if lycanthropism can cure male pattern baldness.


• You have actually consumed Tru Blood.  (http://trubeverage.com)


• When your wife purchases knee-high black leather boots, you say, “They’re so Rachel Morgan – I love them!”



• When your wife purchases Converse sneakers, you say, “They’re so Jane True – I love them!”


• Your wife thinks you have a serious foot fetish.


• You remember cities not by their historical importance or relevance but by their significance in regards to your favorite paranormal fantasy series.  Cincinnati is where Kim Harrison’s Hollows saga takes place, LKH’s Anita Blake lives in St. Louis, Atlanta is where Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels saga is set, etc.


• You have more friends on Facebook who are published paranormal fantasy authors than you do actual friends and family members.



• Your young kids know more about Kat Richardson than they do the Cat in the Hat.


• When practicing the alphabet with your preschool-aged children, they suggest Z is for Zombie and point knowingly to the special “zombie fiction” bookshelf.


• You know how to correctly pronounce Algaliarept.


• Whenever you take the car in to get serviced, you always look for a tattooed mechanic named Mercy…



• While maneuvering through holiday crowds at the mall, you wonder how much easier shopping would be if you were armed with the monster-killing weapons that Cole Warnecki wields in Marcus Pelegrimas’s Skinners (Blood Blade, Howling Legion, et. al.) saga.


If you identified with any of the above statements, you just might be reading too much paranormal fantasy. As for me, I’ve decided that I don’t have a problem after all – and I have the ultimate excuse: it’s my job!   :smileyhappy:



Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for the last two decades and has written thousands of reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and BarnesandNoble.com. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. 


 Keep up with all of my blogs – as well as all of Barnes & Noble’s exclusive reviews, authors interviews, videos, promotions, and more – by following @BNBuzz on Twitter!

by Author KatRichardson on ‎11-29-2011 08:00 PM

I continue to think you're totally devine, Mr. Allen. Thank you.

by kimba88 on ‎11-29-2011 09:00 PM

Love it Paul...

by on ‎11-29-2011 09:57 PM

I Loved this one and a long time ago I decided that I was not going to make any excuses. I read what I enjoy. Thanks again Paul.



by on ‎11-29-2011 10:27 PM

Funny stuff Paul! Actually, I think most of your list is the undiluted truth, (except the full moon stuff-which is funny but not really credible:smileyvery-happy:). Luckily you do have have a good excuse, but what about the rest of us!!! We got nada other than a desire to read supernatural fiction that pushes literary boundaries. It takes reading the genre to understand the merits of it. It can't be explained but must be experienced.     

by 3monstersmom on ‎11-29-2011 11:21 PM

I don't see the addiction here.   It sounds perfectly sane and normal to me. :smileywink:


Great blog Paul!

by Chomp on ‎11-29-2011 11:51 PM

Ah, Paul, you hit the nail on the head. :smileyhappy: Nope, no problem here. After reading this, I now realize that rather than just having them more within reach, the real reason the majority of my paranormal fantasy is on shelves downstairs is so I can more easily grab them in case of fire. :smileyhappy:



by Lizzy_Funk on ‎11-30-2011 10:58 AM

I read this on my phone last night instead of on the PC because I would have responded sooner....


You're my hero!  *hugs*


I read that and found myself nodding as I went through the list. 


I think you have to add one in there about looking at people you know and thinking - yep werepanther, werewolf, witch, vamp, demon...LOL

by I_Solitaire on ‎11-30-2011 01:20 PM
OMG!!! They're all me except the 'wife' things. I OWN the boots and stilettos--lol! Thnx loved the article; all 700+ books are paranormal, fantasy, scifi, or combination plots.
by Author Zkullis on ‎12-01-2011 07:08 PM

I love it Paul, I love it!!!


(way too much of it applies)




by MADIS on ‎12-02-2011 01:13 PM

This is AWESOME!  Leave it to you guys to make me feel better going into the holiday season.  I needed this to get through.  I also get the comments from the inlaws about my taste in books...in art...in having opinions...yada yada yada.  My mantra this year will be, "Being like Paul is better than normal.  Being like Paul is better than normal.  Being like Paul is better than normal..."

by Pym on ‎12-02-2011 03:09 PM

LMAO! :smileyvery-happy:


Personally I'd like to be able to just dump the holiday hordes into an alternate dimension. At least until I finish my assault on the mall...

by PArdis_BoyfriendMerlin on ‎12-02-2011 04:57 PM

Red-Headed Stepchild rocks. By the title you can tell it's going to be a snappy fun book. Awesome story by Jaye Wells!

by Gail_S on ‎12-05-2011 11:45 AM

I resemble that article!  :smileyvery-happy:


OMG, another worry, I'll be up nights trying to figure out how to fireproof my book room and have an escape route for my books. :smileywink:



by Vampyre111 on ‎12-05-2011 05:23 PM

While I've not read all of the authors, mentioned above, I still can identify with what you've said.  Since I got hooked on UF, about 4 years ago, I rarely read anything else. 


As for what other people think about what we read, I say screw 'em.  At the end of the day there is only one person that needs to be happy and that is you(me).  Once we're happy, we can see about happiness of others. 


If the Turn or the Zombie Apocalypse happens, we'll be ready.



by Cali_Ali on ‎02-20-2012 08:39 PM

I'm not ashamed to say that I fully identify with a few of those points mentioned. ^_^


Particularly the one about book covers as art. Especially anything by Daniel Dos Santos. The man is legend, and his stuff should be not just on a wall but framed, too! ^___^

by kruzer6156 on ‎05-21-2013 11:20 AM

Glad to know there are more intelligent people who love these books:} I do agree with Lizzy_Funk it is interesting to imagine who my friends might be :} I sometimes think my Siamese is not just an ordinary feline!! Enjoy one and all and keep reading.  M


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