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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Is It Time for the Apocalypse?

...fictionally speaking that is.

Do movies like World War Z and Hunger Games, along with television favorites such as The Walking Dead and Revolution portray a new hunger for apocalyptic and/or dystopian type fiction? Are readers ready to embrace the dark side of apocalyptic stories? Can the end of the world be romantic?

Heck if I know. Except of course for the last question, to which I'll respond with a resounding HELL YES!

When I wrote my first post-apocalyptic romance I was fully convinced romance readership was ready to embrace zombies and such post-apocalyptic horrors as irradiated hell hounds. I reasoned that, because I personally was fascinated by the dark eloquence of disarray and seat-of-the-pants survival, surely there were tons of other people who were too. The movies and television shows I mentioned above are/were rabidly popular. So it seemed logical to me that books along the same lines should be too, right?

Maybe not so much. Although I met face to face with tons of zombie lovers at the recent Lori Foster Reader and Author Get Together, and have taken part in many animated discussions of The Walking Dead on Facebook, I seem to be having trouble finding and engaging fans of this type of fiction online. I even created a Facebook group for apocalyptic romance: Apocalyptic Romance Clubhouse

Maybe it's just me? It's possible I'm not looking in the right places... But my outreach on this particular sub-genre has had only limited success.

I do believe there is a growing affection for this type of fiction. It could be that the visual arts are just a step ahead of the digital and print arts in this area. It takes a certain type of skill to portray the rich hopelessness and decay of an apocalyptic world in a book. It's so much easier to be pulled into pictures and visual presentation. Maybe that's all it is. I don't believe it's the darkness of the subject matter. It's hard to go darker than the premise behind The Hunger Games. And, yes, before the movie the books did very well on their own. I can't help thinking that, aside from the skill of their author in portraying a world that was shocking in both its outlandishness and its possibilities, it was that very shock value that drew people in...particularly when you consider the books were written for a young adult audience.

I believe the apocalyptic-type dark paranormal genre is on the cusp of gaining great popularity. I don't know why I believe that, other than the fact that it is larger than life...rife with possibilities for terror and brief but invigorating opportunities for wonder and good.  Here's how I put it in a recent blog post:

There's more to it than just the zombies. I love the idea of starting the world all over again. Hit a switch and, overnight, everything is different. The world is raw, dangerous, and all the rules are gone. There's an emotional zing you get from an apocalyptic situation. Nothing is as powerful as living each day, hour, or moment as if it's your last. Because it really might be. Relationships are deeper, good times seem brighter, and you learn to cherish every small good that crosses your path. Yeah, you deal with a LOT of ugly. But the beautiful in life shines just that much brighter by contrast. I think that's really what I love about end of the world entertainment. It boils us down to our most basic needs and behaviors and reminds us what is truly important in well as what's just noise and fluff.

Whether apocalyptic romance will teeter on the cusp of popularity for endless months and years, a.k.a science fiction romance, or eventually plunge into widespread acceptance remains to be seen. In the meantime I'll keep writing apocalyptic fiction because I LOVE it. And maybe, someday, someone will even buy the books. LOL

Apart they are pain and death...apocalyptic. Together they are fire and magic...destiny. 

He’s a warrior, a bounty hunter in a world turned upside down. She’s his latest bounty...a creature of dark power. As everything in their world implodes, they must work together to set it right, while the fire burning between them threatens to consume everything in its path.

5 Shooting Stars! Redz World Reviews:  "...reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet with a post world war feel. Even the secondary characters were unforgettable... Tall, Dark and Apocalyptic by Sam Cheever will engage you on multiple levels; many you won't even realize until long after you finish the tale."

BUY LINKS ( in case, you know, you want to jump ahead of the crowd teehee):

USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.


Rose Anderson said...

"...reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet with a post world war feel." Now that gets the imagination going! Best luck, Sam.

Judy Baker said...

Interesting post. I think you helped me decided on actually writing the story that's been swimming in my head.

Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Sam. I can see The Hunger Games and The Handmaid's Tale happening here. Scary stuff.

Paris said...

You do make an apocalypse sound intriguing. Seat of the pants survival and the whole world having to start over has such great possibilities, especially when you throw in a romance. Tall, Dark and Apocalyptic sounds like a great read!

Melissa Keir said...

My husband loves the apocalyptic books, although his aren't romances. I also know that Decadent has a line of prepper romances which take place with people who are determined to survive the end of the world.

I see the interest in the genre growing. We have reality staring us in the face, solar flares, diseases, war...we know what could happen...why not write about what might happen after the fall of civilization. :)

I love your cover and the book sounds amazing. All the best!

Cara Marsi said...

Your post is interesting. However, I'm not a lover of anything apocalyptic. It's too disturbing to think of a dystopian world. However, I seem to be in the minority as zombies and such are very popular now. Maybe it has something to do with the state of the real world.

I love your cover, and congratulations on your success.

Sam Cheever said...

Thanks so much Rose!

Judy, I really hope you do write that book!

Thanks, Tina. I absolutely love, Hunger Games. Can't wait for the next movie to come out!

Thank you Paris! Everything's better with romance! LOL

Thanks, Melissa! I love my cover too. And I think men are a much easier sell on the whole apocalypse thing. They get to step into the hero role in a world that's turned upside down. I'm sure that's very appealing at a time when many of them have to fight their natural protective instincts because society looks down on that kind of thing.

Hey Cara! I've had others tell me they didn't favor this type of fiction. You're not alone by any stretch. That's what's so cool about books, no matter what you write there's always somebody out there who loves that type of story. #:0)

Tymber Dalton said...

I love, LOVE post-apocalyptic fiction, love reading it and writing it. Not just zombies, either.

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