When Lori mentioned the topic of humorous paranormals, I immediately thought of Mary Janice Davidson. I absolutely love her books, from a reluctant vamp with a shoe fetish to a "retooled" cyborg who'd rather not work for the government. This author has a quirky way of expressing herself, so it's her voice that has me on the floor laughing as much as what's going on in the books. And that's why I love Janet Evanovich, too. No, she doesn't write paranormal, just mystery, but it's her voice that brings her books to life as much as her characters. (Joe or Ranger? Tough choice!)
Then there's Katie MacAllister--cool web site, by the way, and I love that she writes cross-genre: straight contemporaries, paranormals, and YA, all with the humor running strong throughout. Her latest anthology boasts Viking ghosts and Irish gods. And I never would have thought of a shape shifting dragon, though they seem to be the rage now. Katie is an inspiration to me personally, because I tend to alternate between suspenseful contemporaries to humorous paranormals to angsty futuristics. I know, I know. I should settle down and brand myself, but I love exploring all the different sub-genres of romance.
Now some paranormal authors don't seem comic for the most part, but they know when to sprinkle in some laughter. That’s why I enjoy Angela Knight, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Charlaine Harris. Too much downbeat tension makes for a dull book, wouldn’t you say? And this reminds me—Harry Potter! My son loves Ron’s expressions in the films and as we’ve been reading the first book together, I was reminded of all the wonderful humor JK Rowling puts in names and contrasts in the books, like Hagrid being too big for a broom so he rides a motorcycle and poor Uncle Vernon trying to figure out why people are dressed so oddly on a city street while whispering about the Potters.
I personally have been researching ghost hunting for a few months. The obsession started with watching Most Haunted, which I find quite funny, particularly after watching Hugh Laurie's SNL skit on YouTube. I also enjoy Ghost Hunters, because they tend to approach their search with a healthy dose of skepticism. So then I discovered Lisa Cach, who wrote A Babe in Ghostland. This book was romantic, fun, and full of atmosphere. I also enjoyed Ghost, Interrupted by Sonia Singh, which had a similar story line. However, the best book I've read by Sonia was about a reincarnated Kali: Goddess for Hire. It's like Chick Lit crossed with Bollywood and starts out with "I never believed in dharma, karma, reincarnation, or any of that spiritual crap..."
My current release Secrets and Spies brings in the fun ala Romancing the Stone and hijinks like Remington Steele with a dash of James Bond. Parker thinks his babysitting-Casey-Summers assignment is bogus, his boss’s way of sending him on vacation so he can lower his blood pressure, while Casey wishes she could control her telekinesis and get it to stop screwing up her life. I was definitely inspired by Mary Janice Davidson and Katie MacAllister while working on this book. I wanted it to be escapist and humorous, everything I love in a great romance. You can find an excerpt at www.sharalanel.com. And I’m going to give away a free e-copy to a lucky commenter today. Just post a comment on something I’ve mentioned in this blog and I’ll pick a winner at the end of the day!