The paranormal romance genre has exploded since 2005. During the past three years practically every mass-market publisher has started one or more annual series with titles like Undead and Unwed; Tall, Dark & Dead; Bitten & Smitten; Love Bites; Sex and the Single Vampire; and How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire.
However, as you may guess from these titles, 90% of the paranormal romance series feature sexy vampire chicks. Others are about young witches or hunters of (handsome) demons. One of the few about werewolves and other shapeshifters is Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series. This is also one of the earliest, going back to Vaughn’s first short story, “Dr. Kitty Solves All Your Love Problems”, in Weird Tales #324, Summer 2001 (integrated into Chapter 5 of Kitty and The Midnight Hour).
Kitty Norville starts out as a mid-twenties, blonde late-night DJ at radio station KNOB in Denver. (Vaughn lives in Boulder.) One night she starts chatting about a tabloid’s improbable stories about Bat Boy, and invites her listeners to call in if they have ever seen him. For the next few hours she gets callers who talk about vampires and werewolves; enough callers that the station manager reassigns her as a talk show hostess of a new weekly program, “The Midnight Hour”, offering frank advice to those who have problems because of their hidden vampire or werewolf lifestyles.
“Kitty and The Midnight Hour”, November 2005, paperback $7.99 (ix + 272 pages); Kindle $7.99.
“Kitty Goes to Washington”, July 2006, paperback $6.99 (x + 342 pages); Kindle $6.99.
“Kitty Takes a Holiday”, April 2007, paperback $6.99 (318 pages); Kindle $6.99.
“Kitty and the Silver Bullet”, January 2008, paperback $6.99 (approx. 352 pages); Kindle $6.99.
All by Carrie Vaughn, published by Warner Books of NYC.
How wonderful this modern world is! Up to ten years ago, British books were generally unobtainable by North American readers. Thanks to Amazon.com’s startup of Amazon.co.uk in late 1998, British books are now available by just a click of the computer mouse.
The five volumes of The Shapeshifter series are a smooth blend of Harry Potter, X-Men, and Animorphs themes. Eleven-year-old Dax (Daxesh Robert) Jones is a schoolboy in Dorset, near the New Forest in Southern England. His father works on an oil rig in the North Sea and is gone for months at a time. His stepmother hates him, ignoring Dax except to make him do hard chores. One hot summer weekend Dax is ordered to weed the garden while she is shopping. Dax becomes accidentally locked inside the small, airless garden shed, and when a strong solvent spills he is in danger of being asphyxiated.
“The Shapeshifter: Finding the Fox” – May 2006, paperback £5.99 (328 [+ 1] pages).
“The Shapeshifter: Running the Risk” – January 2007, paperback £5.99 (363 [+ 1] pages).
“The Shapeshifter: Going to Ground” – May 2007, paperback £5.99 (346 [+ 1] pages).
“The Shapeshifter: Dowsing the Dead” – August 2007, paperback £5.99 (355 [+ 1] pages).
“The Shapeshifter: Stirring the Storm” – January 2008, paperback £5.99 (401 [+ 1] pages).
Published by Oxford University Press.
Tristan Black Wolf, a resident of Syracuse, NY, is a member of the Furry Writers’ Guild and of North American Fur, and has stories in both volumes to date of Allasso, the “publication dedicated to finding new experiences within anthropomorphic writing and art.” The Man With Two Shadows is his first novel.
Jeremiah Pym is a modern private investigator, not the stereotypical hard-boiled, trench-coated PI of fiction. He has a modern office and undertakes typical p.i. tasks, such as getting evidence on unfaithful spouses.
There are days when being a private investigator can feel a little awkward. When a woman comes to you, convinced that her husband is throwing away money on some other woman, you expect her to refer to the other woman as a ‘bitch.’ What would make this interview particularly interesting is that the bitch in question happened to be a greyhound. (p. 1)
Mrs. Lindenbaum is so happy that her husband has been spending his money on dog-racing gambling instead of a floozy that she pays Pym’s bill cheerfully. Pym’s next client is another matter, and where things start to become a little strange.
Isiah Jacobs: Good evening, Kyell Gold! Thank you so much for joining me tonight. It's nice to have you on the show, at last!
Kyell Gold: Thanks! Glad to be here.
Isiah Jacobs: So, you've recently come out with your latest book, The Silver Circle. I assume that's a term for some sort of gay cult?
Kyell Gold: Actually, you are correct. It's an underground society of homosexual activists that was formed in northern Germany in the late 1800s to attempt to bring back the Holy Roman Empire. But that's not what this book is about. In this case, it's an allusion to the moon, and the metal silver, because the book is about werewolves.
Isiah Jacobs: But having read it, it has more than just werewolves, doesn't it Kyell?
Kyell Gold: It does. It also includes female characters. It even stars a female character.
Isiah Jacobs: And a straight relationship.
Kyell Gold: Potentially two, in fact.
Isiah Jacobs: Who are you and what have you done to the real Kyell Gold?