Foreword: Please excuse the big-a$$ length of this post.
Is the Holloway Pack paranormal romance or urban fantasy?
Okay, I see a lot of comments regarding this since Caged released last year—about how the preceding Holloway Pack titles are defo paranormal romance (PNR), whereas Caged seems to swing much closer to urban fantasy )UF).
It’s being brought up again with the release of Unnatural, because I think folk were possibly expecting Kyle’s story to be more UF than PNR, too, with it being another male POV. However, Unnatural actually makes a definite step back toward the realm of PNR.
Some might say this is confusing within a series. And some might think this is a strategic move to broaden my reader base.
There’s actually a little more to my motives than that, and the answer is really a whole lot simpler.
You see, when I first realised I would be writing stories about more than just Jem and Sean, I also realised how many possibilities that opened up. I was no longer limited to dealing with only Jem-targeted conflicts, but could create conflicts for all of the other younger generation pack members, besides my regular duo.
I was about halfway through writing Caged when I understood whose book would come next, and with that understanding came a grasp on what the conflict would be. And then by the time I’d reached the end of Caged, I knew who would control the fifth book, and who would control the sixth. Which leads me to …
Time to spill some kept-close-to-my-chest Holloway Pack secrets
Okay, if I’m to fully explain what I’ve said above, I’m going to have to open up a vein here and bleed a little for you all.
You see, by understanding all of the characters, I could then understand all of the stories, and I could understand the level of romance in each tale I plan to tell (or have told). And each tale that has come to me for each Holloway Pack member is pretty clear in my mind. They have also each arrived as COMPLETELY different to the other stories in the book—which, by the end, will make for a string of totally fresh stories all related by characters, setting, timeline, and leading toward the end result.
And I’m a big believer of telling the story exactly how it needs to be told. I refuse to ramp up the romance just to make it fit into the PNR mould. I refuse to add in extra sex scenes, just because I know readers love sex scenes. If the sex scene(s) has a purpose—for character/story development, or to help show a character trait/personality, etc—then I will include it. If, however, it holds no purpose whatsoever and adds nothing to the story other than a few pages of titillation, then it’s not going in. Whatever you find in my stories is there because my muse gave it the green light. As a result, not every Holloway Pack (HP) title will contain the same amount of sex scenes, the same level of heat, or the same level of romance—because each individual story will be told as it needs to be told, no more, no less.
So, to hopefully help everyone understand exactly what my muse has planned and how it will all play out, I will—right here, right now—do a rundown of all muse-planned Holloway Pack stories, including titles, MC, number of planned sex scenes, and whether or not they fall into PNR or UF plus why.
*gulp* Here goes …
Instinct AND Eternal (HP 0 & 0.5)
MC: Sean (Instinct) and Jem (Eternal).
Sex scenes: Both stories include only ONE complete sex scene each (hey, they’re only novellas …).
Genre: DEFINITELY PNR.
Why: The story between these two has been romance from the beginning. It had to—has to—remain that way, for me.
Darkness & Light (HP 1)
Sex scenes: Hmmm, can’t fully remember—ha! Three, I think.
Why: This is Jem and Sean’s ultimate story. The reunion of a relationship begun in the prequels, making their relationship the main plot point.
Blue Moon (HP 2)
Sex scenes: Three. I think. It’s been a while since I read it, lol.
Why: Actually, this answer wasn’t quite as cut and dried as for the other ‘Jem’ titles; however, even though there appears to be a main plot point concerning outside forces that must be overcome, her motivations are still ultimately driven by her love for Sean. So I’m calling PNR on this one.
Sex scenes: Only one (novella only).
Why: Because, whilst we do see some developments between Jem and Sean in this story—hence the intimate scene—their relationship is not the main conflict/plot point of this story.
Caged (HP 3)
MC: Ethan (grrrrrowl).
Sex scenes: One (for relationship development).
Why: Whilst there is certainly some conflict to be overcome in the romantic aspects of this book, those most certainly aren’t the main conflict/plot point of this story. The romance is an arc, not the main focus. And so this one, as has been noted by reviewers, falls under UF.
Unnatural (HP 4)
MC: Kyle (and Brook).
Sex scenes: One <<how to explain this low number without giving spoilers …. Hmmm: okay, due to ‘limitations’, finding places to slot in more intimate scenes than the one featured would have been contrite and forced. The singular scene included was important to show some character developments and to lead into a new conflict. In short: it only needed one, so only one went in.
Why: Because the relationship, and the difficulties that brought with it, was the main conflict/driving force of this entire story, from start to finish.
And moving onto some of the secrets …
Cornered (Holloway Pack 5)
MC: Dan—though if you’ve read Unnatural, chances are, you’ve already guessed whose story will be coming next.
Planned sex scenes: One. This one, though, will be for story development.
Why: Because any romantic aspects will not be the main conflict but a side arc. The main plot point in this tale definitely falls into the UF realm.
Burned (Holloway Pack 6)
Planned sex scenes: Two <<for all kinds of developments. Obscure, much? 😉
Why: Again, because the relationship and difficulties that arise alongside that will be the main plot line of the story.
So, as you can see, more switches back and forth between UF and PNR will be made, but you just have to trust that I have my reasons.
Oh, and I almost forgot:
Endless (Holloway Pack 7)
Planned sex scenes: Currently undetermined
Why: Because the bigger picture is a whole lot more than a singular relationship.
Okay, so I guess you’re probably going Whoah, hold on a second, when did that 7th Holloway Pack title sneak in there?
Truth is, I discussed a 7th book a while back with my editor. In case anybody’s wondering if I’m just trying to last the series out as long as possible, please back up.
My true reasons for adding on this extra multi-pov finale are these:
1. Burned is by no means a wrap up for the entire series. It’s merely Josh’s story. And I didn’t want to leave everyone just hanging with a non-ending.
2. I had an epiphany about exactly how the series needed to ultimately end. And if I try slipping that into Josh’s book, there’s a pretty good chance his limelight will be stolen and the (hopefully) awesomeness of his story will get squashed.
3. By the end of Burned, there will possibly still be some loose ends that need wrapping up, and this will be my chance to tie those and hopefully leave my readers satisfied and not shouting WTF at the pages/screens, as happens too often with series’ endings. I don’t want that. I want to walk away feeling as though my work here is done.
4. There is a character, who nobody has met yet but whom I mentally know quite well, that I want to bring in. My muse is telling me that he’s a part of this overall story. That he’s trouble. And that I should use those two pieces of knowledge to the series’ advantage. I also have a grasp on just how much chaos this character can potentially cause, and this is not an opportunity I want to waste.
Okay, over to you: feel free to speak your minds about genre veering within a series; feel free to guess at who the troublesome character might be in the finale of the Holloway Pack; heck, feel free to guess at the ultimate outcome for the pack, if you want. I’m all ears.
P.S. Yes, in case you’re unsure, I am on a small Holloway Pack break to write something different. I shall, however, be adding to Dan’s story, hopefully, come late autumn of this year.
As always, thanks for reading.