Books, Fiction, Writing

Contemporary vs. Paranormal

I read YA. I write YA. That’s pretty straightforward. What’s less clear cut is whether I read or read contemporary vs. paranormal. I have indeed read and written both.

Contemporary is set in the here and now, a realistic look at teen life. Could be dark and edgy or funny and romantic. They can deal with tough issues and transport you back to what it was like for you growing up.

Paranormal can be set now or in the past, in the real world or create a new fantasy world as long as there are supernatural creatures or beings inside. Yep, this is vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts and so many other things that go bump in the night. They can have action or romance or both.

At the moment I’m submitting a contemporary YA and have a WIP as well but you never know what the future might hold. I have a vampire and werewolf story hidden on my computer just waiting for the trend to come back around again in the future. I guess it’s about following your heart and writing the story you feel you have to tell regardless of genre.

Here’s a piece of flash fiction that gives a taste of both contemporary and paranormal.


“Do you bite your nails?”

I looked over the top of the book I’d just picked up from the shelf into a pair of warm brown eyes. He was standing so close to me I should have noticed, especially since the buzzer must have acknowledged his entrance. I really needed to stop getting quite so lost in books. I saw my chipped blue nail varnish and smiled. “I suppose you’re going to say it’s a really bad habit?”

He leaned back against the shelf, letting me see he was tall, dark and handsome. I gripped the book in my hands and tried not to swoon. “I was actually wondering what it says about you,” he replied. He gave me the once over. “That you’re really neurotic?”

I rolled my eyes. “Or that I play the piano.”

He grinned. “That would work too.  Vampire lover?”

I looked at the cover of the book I had picked up. It was black. Most of the covers I read were black. I shrugged. “They’re pussycats compared to the boys I’ve had to deal with in real life.”

He waved the book he held in front of my eyes. “Right back at ya,” he said.

I looked at the demon slayer on the cover and burst out laughing. “You had me at vampire lover,” I quipped.

He met my gaze and  smiled and I was hooked. “Coffee?”

I nodded and shoved the book back onto the shelf alongside his.

I had a real-life chapter to start instead.

Do you prefer contemporary or paranormal?



30 thoughts on “Contemporary vs. Paranormal”

  1. I accidentally stumbled across some YA…prose was so superb I looked up the author and read the second book was was even better than the first. Author is Anne Spollen. The first book I think was The Shape of Water and the second was Light Beneath the Ferns…or something similar to those titles. It was the first time (as an adult) I’ve read YA and was quite impressed.

  2. I like to read and write both. Paranormal is a lot of fun to write, just as long as you establish the rules of your fantasy world well.

  3. I really enjoyed your flash fiction, Vix! I tend to prefer contemporary – though I love the combo contemporary/paranormal. I hope you’ll share more works of fiction with us.

  4. I’m extremely picky about what contemporary I read and seriously biased when it comes to paranormal (love paranormal). I know I should be reading more out of my comfort zone so every year I try to read more contemporary than the previous year.

  5. I’m normally into the contemporary stuff, but it really just depends on the writing. The whole vampire/werewolf/ghosts thing kinda freaks me out, but if the writing is good enough then I’m willing to forgive the weirdness. For example, I love the Harry Potter books. I also enjoyed the Twilight series (I know, I know, everyone hates it, but I’m not ashamed to say I enjoyed it, haha). And currently I’m digging Vampire Academy (only on the second book, though). So I guess I like a mix of both. 🙂

  6. Hey don’t be leaving that Vampire and Werewolf story
    hidden inside your computer, it needs to be added here
    so that we, well so that I can read it… I like a nice and
    extremely ghoulish read you know? 🙂

    There is nothing like a night in with a Vampire 🙂 😉

    Androgoth Xx

  7. I’ve missed your blog! WordPress is actually blocked in China, and my little un-blocker program on my computer has been down for awhile, so I haven’t been able to read your posts. And for some reason, I’m not getting your new posts in my email inbox like I am with the other blogs I’m following…weird. Anyways, I’m so glad to see 20+ comments from people who all love YA fiction, because I love it too! My mother tends to scoff at my reading choices; I think she keeps waiting for me to “grow out of” reading YA, though I know she’s finally given up waiting for me to “grow out of” reading sci-fi/fantasy genre. I read all kinds (except I rarely read non-fiction….funny that’s all I write, though!), but I tend to gravitate towards books that have stories/characters that could never EVER exist in real life, because why would I want to read about normal life when I’m out there living it every day?

  8. I like both, but paranormal definitely edges out contemporary (especially when it goes outside of the usual witches/vampires/werewolves). Great piece of flash fiction — I love reading snippets of other people’s work! So, does chipped nail polish mean you’re neurotic? A is Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome a vampire himself? Hmm? That’s why I love FF — I get sucked in every time.

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