I happen to be very particular about my genres. In my head, there is a definitive line between paranormal and fantasy. To me, the only* fantasy worthwhile is the straight, epic, high, king, queens, dragons, different realm, no world jumping type. Lord of the Rings instead of Chronicles of Narnia. And paranormal is set in our world with supernatural beings (and the sort I love best is with hot naked vampires--this doesn't apply to Twlight because we only see half naked werewolves, not vampires... not that I'm complaining Taylor!).
I was asked:
My WIP is technically paranormal but instead of creatures it has reincarnating soldiers from the crusades. To keep agents from rolling their eyes when they read my query, should I label it paranormal or fantasy?For me**, it depends. YA or Adult? I'm much more receptive to Adult Paranormal--if there are naked vampires (werewolves, harpies, Frankensteins, reincarnated badasses in history--I have one of those!--as long as they're naked). In YA I'm a little burnt out on the paranormal, not that someone somewhere won't buy it if it's good.
Honestly, label it what it is. Don't try to cheat, we will call you out on it (I do it by glaring at the wall then rejecting the query). To me, it sounds paranormal. Call it paranormal. This is where comparables help, they tell us so much more than a simple label.
*There are exceptions to every rule.
**Everything is subjective.