Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paranormal Romance and the Possible Ick Factor

I was thinking about historical romance and how certain time periods can turn off romance readers due to the stink factor. But then I started expanding on this thought into the realm of paranormal romance and the possible ick factor that could also turn off romance readers.

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Vampires: Let’s face it, they are undead and they drink blood. The lingering smell of death—crypts and coffins—clings to them. How great could they smell, especially their breath?

Werewolf

Werewolves: They turn into hairy wolves and feast on flesh, any kind of flesh—animal or human. I’m thinking of a wet dog smell right now. Mix wet dog smell with doggy breath and these paranormal creatures are mighty stinky. I would guess that any animal shape shifter would have a certain stink related to that particular animal.

Elves, Goblins and Trolls: Elves probably smell pretty good. They usually look clean at least, but goblins and trolls, not so much.

Ghosts: They probably don’t have any smell, but according to Ghostbusters they like to spray ectoplasma. That’s like being washed in ghost buggers. Messy creatures.

Demons/Angels: I’m not sure how these paranormal creatures smell, but I’ve never seen or read about a demon or angel bathing when wearing a meat suit.

Gods/Goddesses: Whether gods/goddesses stink probably depends on which culture the deities come from. Greek/Roman gods like to bathe a lot so they would probably smell okay. But would a war or death goddess that changes into scavenger birds like crows or ravens smell pleasant or would she smell like death? Something to ponder for my next book.

Faeries: These paranormal creatures fall under many categories. I always imagined these otherworldly creatures would smell like the forest, which could be a pleasant smell for some people as long as the faery in question doesn’t live in a swamp or other smelly area.

Zombies: Forget it. These are disgusting creatures. They slobber, have decaying flesh and they eat brains! There is no hope for zombies smelling even remotely pleasant.

I suppose if a vampire had an endless supply of breath mints and a werewolf bathed often, they wouldn’t smell so bad. Or, it’s best if a romance reader just forgets all about the possibility of unpleasant smelling creatures and gets lost in the fantasy of romance.

Kelley Heckart

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3 comments:

Sheri Fredricks said...

And that's the beauty of fiction! My non-human characters don't smell and morning breath never occurs. LOL I once wondered if werewolves ever got knots in their fur like my dog gets.

Celtic Chick said...

My dog always rubs his body on smelly things in the grass. That could be a humorous scene in a werewolf story.

Brenda said...

LOL @ Celtic Chick. That would be funny!!!! I use to be a huge historical romance reader until one day, my older sister reminded me that back then they didn't have tooth paste, anti-perspirant, nor did the woman shave their arm pits and legs. After that, I just couldn't get into them anymore.
I write paranormals, and in my world, my vamps aren't dead--they are as living as you and I.