Monday, February 1, 2010

Modern . . . Romances

Don't forget to enter Friday's giveaway for Margaret Brownley's A Lady Like Sarah!

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In casting around for what in the world I might be able to write about today, I turned my mind toward a manuscript oh-so-patiently waiting for a contract it was promised. We'll refer to it as Peculiar, since the whole title is a bit long, and that's what I always call it. =) In Peculiar, my heroine Davina is trying desperately to scare off Keaton, the love of her life, before he can break her heart again. And she goes about it in some . . . well, peculiar ways.

One of the most laugh-inducing--and the one that earned praise and a shake of the head from the editor when I spoke to her at conference in September--is Davina's use of some over-the-top romance novels she's reading.

Now, I'm allowed to poke fun at romances because I adore them. Most of what I read are lovely Christian romances that deal with the juxtaposition of passion and conviction--but I confess. Sometimes I just need a good dose of Nora Roberts or whatever Harlequin book I've recently gotten in the mail. I consider these books vacation from my "real" reading, the books I read for review and endorsement.

But I digress. One of the things that I had a lot of fun with in Peculiar is coming up with some of the most ludicrous romances imaginable. The idea is that the aunt in the story keeps starting manuscripts and never finishing them; Davina is undeterred by the lack of endings and keeps reading these partial manuscripts she finds around the house. In typical Davina-fashion she takes to talking about the stories as if they're real, which is what leads Keaton to ask who in the world these people are. Impish Davina decides to let him think these larger-than-life romantic heroes are her new love interests.

But I mean, what romance-lover wouldn't swoon at the thought of injured-soul Admiral Apollo Radcliff?? Or his good friend the spy, Roland Garheart?? And need I even mention the allure of the Italian heartthrob, Machiavelli Barbagelata? (For that one I looked up "weird Italian surnames" and found this, which means "frozen beard." Oh yeah. That's what I'm talking about!)

Now, I fully realize that, as in anything, there are some truly awesome romances--and some truly silly ones. I'll roll my eyes at the silly ones, but (when I have the time) I'll still read them. So in Peculiar I'm essentially rolling my eyes at myself through my characters. And I had a ton of fun poking fun. =)

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