A friend of mine and I were talking yesterday about what she calls the Twilight Effect. The Twilight Effect as defined here means the sudden resurgence of paranormal romances. As many of you know, paranormal romance started making huge inlets into the romance genre around 2001/2002. Their popularity grew rapidly over the next five years, then started to drop off due in part to a shift in readership and lack of originality (ie the bandwagon effect). Many paranormal romance readers began to look for material in the fantasy/sci-fi section. Suddenly, urban fantasies took off. Readers devoured the female-centric stories thanks to Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, Patricia Briggs, Karen Chance, and Ilona Andrews to name a few. Thankfully, those authors still do well. For the longest time, it seemed like paranormal romance was waning. Everyone knew it wouldn’t go away completely, but it began to look like it was on its way out. Here’s where the Twilight Effect comes into play. When Twilight was released on DVD followed quickly by New Moon’s theatrical release, a new wave of readers hit the bookshelves. They wanted more of what they were seeing onscreen. It’s safe to say they seemed to be seeking an adult version of what they liked about Twilight. This brought about the ‘Twilight Effect’ (ie the sudden resurgence of paranormal romance sales).
What’s truly interesting about this phenomena is that the resurgence is big enough to last a few more years. That’s quite unusual. Most of the time when a genre starts to fade it’s replaced by something else, not more of the same. I do like the fact that editors seem to be asking for darker, edgier paranormals. I think that goes back to the popularity of urban fantasy. What does this all ultimately mean? Nothing, if you aren’t interested in writing supernatural stories. *g* For those of us who are enamored by the genre, it means a few more years of possible sales. 🙂
Do you believe there is a Twilight Effect? If so, does it differ from my definition? Do you believe paranormals are over? If so, why?