When I set out to write The Dead Romantics, I wanted to write a ghost story with a happy ending, a romance that makes you wonder if that’s a cold draft you’re feeling or a second-chance love. The Dead Romantics is an ode to all the ghost stories that came before it (and all the ones that will come after). Stories of hot hauntings and sexy spirits have permeated fiction since centuries past. In fact, the first known depiction of a ghost was recently discovered on a 3,500-year-old Babylonian tile! Now I won’t say it was a hot ghost or a spirit looking for a bit of passion, but I will say that history can be very sexy. (And why wouldn’t one want to be haunted by a millennia-old spirit?)
The Dead Romantics showed me that there are a lot of perks to writing a supernatural love interest, and these are my top five.
1. Ghosts don’t sleep.
This might sound arbitrary, but for a lot of supernaturals—ghosts, vampires, to name a few—sleep is that elusive siren song. Mortals need sleep, but having a partner that can stay up with you all night, holding your hair, while you regret that third glass of wine at the shrine of the toilet goddess? That is real, actual magic. And they won’t even be too tired to fix you breakfast the next morning! Writing romance is easy when you have that kind of cheat code.
2. A built-in roommate!
This is mostly only for our happy haunts who can’t quite leave the house after they met their first end. Finding a roommate—especially in a big city—is a particular nightmare for a lot of people. With a ghost, the main character already has a roommate! Sure, they might not pay rent or have corporeal forms, but you get a great ghost who you enjoy spending time with and watching Bachelor reruns, and never have to worry about finding their unmentionables on the bathroom floor. Which, as a writer, it makes my job writing a forced-proximity romance a heck of a lot easier.
3. Mortal spatial limitations.
If I need a hot ghost to show up in a scene across town? I can just snap my fingers and make it so. Ghosts aren’t bound by the natural world (unless, of course, they’re bound to a house to which see the above bullet point) so I can write scenes in the most romantic places and only have to worry about getting the human character there. The ghost can appear when the reader least expects it and turn the drama to 11.
4. Supernatural powers!
Ghosts have all manner of supernatural abilities, from levitating creepy portraits to drawing a chill into a room. Depending on the culture and the story in question, they can even possess a body, or harness powers of darkness. And if they can barely control their unchecked powers? All the better. I love writing supernatural love interests who are just as out of control of their own undead lives as their mortal, human counterparts. It gives them a solid ground to start from so they can meet in the middle with more in common than not—which is tough, seeing as how one is very much dead.
5. Their love is undying.
Truly, what is more romantic than that? It’s the most important part of any supernatural romance—the love! Not just any love, but true, undying love. An immortal picks you to be their forever home—that’s a big deal! And you know their love is undying because a whole host of supernaturals are, you know, already dead. And they pick you? You either have great-tasting blood, a fantastic body to possess, or they truly love you, body and soul. (That is, if you didn’t barter your soul in an exchange.)
There are clearly a lot of perks to writing a supernatural love interest, from reality-breaking hacks to grand romantic gestures, but the most unexpected benefit of writing a supernatural love interest is just how human and mortal love makes even the most paranormal of partners.