Tuesday, February 21, 2012
This is draft 3 of today’s blog. In draft 1, I wrote an entirely too personal account of my sex life with my husband. My husband asked that I not post it. I’ll respect his request.
Draft 2 discussed birth control and my thoughts on having more kids or being permanaently sterilized. My possible future children asked me not to post it. I’ll go with it.
And here we are at iteration number 3 in which I have nothing of significance to talk about. But it’s Tuesday, and Jane always writes on Tuesdays.
(A nickel to whoever gets that reference, and since you’re romance readers, I’m guessing all of you will)
So consider this my Seinfeld blog post. A post about nothing! Um, how did Larry David and Jerry pull off a half-hour sitcom? I can’t even fill a few measly paragraphs. Maybe my brain is too full of annoyance at the joke of a senate hearing last week on birth control. I mean really, it’s a women’s issue, but it’s also a mans. Consider that families would have to budget a possible additional thousand dollars per year if the Pill stopped getting covered. Don’t even get me started.
Or maybe my head is too full of my current manuscript in which something isn’t quite right. I’d fix it, but heck if I know what’s the matter.
So I’m going to bed. Thanks for showing up today. I obviously didn’t.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
My husband’s best friend came to stay with us last week. He is single, good looking and smart. He is actively looking for love and wants to be a dad. So when he was scrolling through his Match.Com profile, I couldn’t resist butting in. After all I am a professional romance writer. I saw it as my job to help out. Things I learned:
1. Men look at the photos first! I think we all knew this, but it’s really really true. Ladies, if you’re serious about snagging a man via online dating, invest in good photos. Don’t use the camera phone upload. No Glamour Shots- that would be too obvious, but you want to look your best. Have a good head shot that shows your face and another body shot that shows an honest depiction of your body type. MEN ARE LOOKING.
I was surprised at how many women had lousy photos that showed nothing of their personality. In fact many women only had 4 photos, and two of those were of their dog! Dog photos are great- just be in the photo with your pet.
2. Don’t write a manuscript. Keep your paragraph about you to exactly that. ONE PARAGRAPH! The men skim it looking for bullet points. (Family, hiking, yoga, zest for life etc…) So many women had pages of unparagraphed text. We stopped reading.
3. I hestitate to write this last thing, because it probably does depend on the man. Let the men contact you. Let them be the hunter. There are probably men who appreciate getting contacted, but I’m thinking a lot of them prefer to do the contacting. I could be WAAAAAY off base about this. WOuld love to hear more opinions.
So on this Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for love, let love come find you. But you can help it along by presenting a great marketing package of yourself. Make yourself look fun and engaging, someone people will want to meet.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Have you seen Stealing Beauty? The movie with Liv Tyler spending the summer at an Italian artist villa. I watched it today while I was supposed to be writing. So as to lessen my guilt, I’ll blog about the movie. There is so much fodder for a romance writer or reader in the movie.
There is Lucy, (Liz T) a 19 year old virgin in love with love, her summer hosts, a long married couple, another highly sexed couple, in which he’s married and she’s the other woman, the town playboy, and his cousin, Lucy’s eventual love interest. The movie mostly follows Lucy while zooming in on occasion for glimpses into the other couple’s lives. Lucy is everything a 19 year old should be. Gorgeous, awkward, hesitatingly sexy, brave, and naive.
My love interest during the movie is the setting. The home at which the movie is filmed is eye candy. That’s the only way to describe it. Absolute visual stunning. You can feel the warmth of the ceramic scuplture dotting the landscape and almost taste the water in the pale blue pool. I can only hope to write a scene someday as sensory as the movie.
Have you ever seen a movie that you want to move into? Stealing Beauty is that for me.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Did anyone see that newspaper article last week? This one? If you didn’t I’ll summarize real quick. It’s about a husband who has a heart attack and loses oxygen to his brain long enough to suffer permamnent damage to both his intellect and personality. Basically, he reverts back to a six year old in cognitive abilities. And the wife sticks by him and cares for him with dignity and love. Yes, she eventually remarries, but her ex husband remains an integral part of their life. She never abandons him, despite him having family willing to take over.
And that’s marriage.
Rarely do romance writers delve into the gritty often ugly world of “Til death do us part.” We start at the cute meet, go through the courtship and end at love and marriage. Every so often, an author will write a novella giving a glimpse into the future of a married couple, and it’s almost always showing them with kids and still madly in love.
There’s never illness, or infertility, or financial troubles. And we all know why. Readers read romance as escapist, for a vision of a perfect beautiful world. And I’m okay with that. It’s why I read it and why I write it. If I wanted the reality I’d close my book look around. Not to say there isn’t love. There is. In fact, I’d argue there’s a heck of a lot of love to stick around through the bad times. Through 3 AM feedings and job layoffs and countless menstrual cycles. The love loses the glossiness and fades to something grittier. Something real.
What do you think? Could romance novels delve deeper into marriage and keep the readers? THere are some authors doing it. JR Ward comes to mind. In her Black Dagger Brotherhood, she portrays, head vampire Wrath lying and betraying his wife. Their sex life has basically stopped and they can’t seem to communicate. I loved reading it, and I especially loved the make-up sex. She doesn’t pull punches and it’s raw and real.
Are there any other examples. Share, share!
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
I just returned from a long beach vacay. I’ll pause to give you a minute to be jealous.
Okay we’re all back? No? Would it make you feel better to know the apartment we rented had roaches? Good.
I digress. My point is that my favorite thing to do on the beach or at the poolside is check out what everyone else is reading. I’ll admit, eReaders have made my snooping more difficult. I’m at the point that I want to start taking poolside surveys.
But loads of people didn’t have eReaders and there was a clear trend in books. Two years ago it was all Twilight and Three Cups of Tea. Last year it was The Help. It seems like movies make a difference for book sales because this year’s hands down winner was…The Hunger Games. The first book in Suzanne Collins amazing trilogy.
Everyone from teen girls to middle aged men was reading the first book in the series. I was psyched to see it. Not only is it a great book, it delivers a powerful message about our values as a society, our distance from our food supply and a host of other hot button topics. Did you notice any reading trends during your holiday break? What would you like to see as the next reading trend?
PS I also want to share that my hotel had one of those Leave a Book, Take a Book exchanges, and the selection was 95% romance. We read the sales stats for the popularity of the romance genre all the time, but it’s fun to see it as a living organism.