“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 Ghosts, Unholy 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!
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.
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