November 21, 2010

When Urban Becomes Sub-Urban by Seleste deLaney

I've loved urban fantasy since I first stumbled on the genre. The idea of monsters and the undead lurking in our cities and preying on the people who live there is alternately thrilling and terrifying (considering most big cities already have their fair share of human-monsters). Pretty soon a thought hit me: why focus on cities?
First, for the obvious reasons- a lot of people live in cities, and generally crime rates are higher so extra incidences aren't going to snag immediate interest. But if all the vampires and all the werewolves live in big cities it's no longer a couple extra deaths or attacks, it's a lot of them. The opposite problem presents itself in paranormals set in really small towns. Quite frankly, there aren't enough people for supernaturals to hide effectively and a marked increase in violent crimes won't go unnoticed.
It's one of the reasons I prefer to write my paranormal stories in the suburbs-there are a ton of people there. People might know everyone on their street, but they're equally likely not to know anyone but those who live right next door. With lives as busy as theirs, a lot of people don't really notice their neighbors too much unless they're a nuisance. Plus the crime from the city tends to spread to the burbs to some degree.
The contrast of nice suburban living with the grittiness of the city gives me writer and my readers the best of both worlds. Plus, the suburb area around Detroit has such great variety that the possibilities are endless.
I like to buck conventions. It's part of who I am, and I hope it shows through in my work.
A huge thank you to Annette for having me here today. And another one to all of you who took the time to read and comment.
Seleste deLaney believes in writing romance with a healthy shot of something other: paranormal, steampunk, sci-fi. Her debut erotic paranormal short, Of Course I Try, is currently available from Decadent Publishing  and a holiday sequel, The Ghost of Vampire Present, is coming soon. In addition, her steampunk/alt-history romance, Badlands, is coming from Carina Press in February 2011. You can find her at her website and on Facebook and Twitter. 


  1. Oh yeah. He kept his lawn nice.We never suspected he eats people when the moon's full. And Mrs. Lundgren's shih tzu too! Ha Ha!

  2. LOL! I like you! Though to be fair, I've thought about eating the annoying shih tzu down the street too :P

    (Just kidding, shih tzu lovers, I wouldn't do that.)

  3. Best wishes for success with the new book.

  4. I actually tend to write some of my UF in the suburbs too. My YA UF is actually set in a small suburban town.

    Gotta watch out for those crazy suburban sprawl dwellers. :)


  5. Thanks!

    Firewolf, I mean really? Have you SEEN the people who live in the burbs? I could populate an entire UF series with the people I see at local festivals. (I LOVE where I live :) )

  6. Oh, the suburbs are a great place to hide! My family is full of lunatics, and yet none of the neighbors seem to suspect anything. Everyone's so busy pretending to be normal, they won't look too hard at anyone else. :)

  7. "Everyone's so busy pretending to be normal, they won't look too hard at anyone else." OMG I LOVE this line! If you aren't using it, I really want your permission to steal it.


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