Go to any bookstore and you'll find tomes shelved under general categories, first by fiction and nonfiction, then by genre within those categories. It rather resembles the whole taxonomic ranks: kingdom, phylum/division, class, order, family, genus, species. The sub-categorization of genres isn't as orderly.
The discussion of sub-genres does, however, tie into this week's blog challenge prompt: favorite romance category to read and write.
I'll head off on another segue before answering that. Many years ago, I read an interview with Robert Vavra in Equus Magazine. In that interview, he related a story about his friend, author Robert Michener. Michener used to take long walks on a beach. One day, a woman fell into step with him. She said nothing; he said nothing. She joined him day after day and they walked in companionable silence. One morning, she asked him, "Are you Robert Michener?" "Yes," he replied. Silence. "Do you know Robert Vavra?" "Yes, he replied." A longer silence. "Do unicorns really exist?" Silence. "Yes," he replied.
She referred to Vavra's famous photography book Unicorns I Have Known. (If you haven't seen his photography, take a moment to do so. It's absolutely stunning.)
While that anecdote--which I'm sure is not entirely accurate here--might not seem to pertain to the topic of this blog, I can assure you it does. In speaking of it (the anecdote, not the blog) to my husband, I commented, "A world with out a bit of magic is dull. We need magic."
Thus had we world enough and time, to paraphrase poet Andrew Marvell, I'd gush on about the mystical, magical, and miraculous and how the world is a much poorer, more prosaic place without that awe-inducing mystery. Such mystery inspires us, even if scientists would dismiss it. That mystery inspires them to find real explanations. Really, is it so awful to accept the possibility that ghosts, supernatural powers, and the Loch Ness monster exist?
Who says magic can't be real?
Anyway, I'll bring this all together now. If you haven't managed to figure this out yet, my favorite sub-genres within the overarching romance genre are paranormal and fantasy. Give me shape shifters and magic; prophesies, curses and spells; gods and otherworldly beings. Suspend my disbelief and I'll happily dwell in your imagination.
I hope you can dwell in mine.
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