A few years ago, after putting down my third book in one of those stay-up-all-night reading binges that lasted far too long to be good for my sense of reality, I wondered aloud several things, somewhat concurrently:
- Is anyone else sick of this plot: “Petite, white virgin meets sexy, barely characterized jackass; she resists, he overcomes, and they screw in predictable vignettes until the fact of marriage is begrudgingly attained. The End.”
- They can't all have been virgins! How did the Jackass get to be so good in bed? Honestly, there wouldn’t have been such a fuss bout virginity had it been broadly available to the prospective husband.
- So, what of the girls that didn’t have it? What about the girls who had been taken advantage of, or those who had simply been “taken”? Did they not get a second chance at first love, even if only with a literary license?
- Why is it that only short, ivory-bosomed women get the hero in ages past? Where are the historical romances about other-bosomed women? Sure, there are exotic heroes, but they seem to always get the “exotic” prize of a lady with golden hair and blue eyes (no offense, Mom).
- Why is she even screwing this guy? He's a jackass! Why would the reader of an escapist fantasy even vicariously want to “ride the wings of love” with a guy who lacks character? No matter how throbbing his euphemism, character counts!
- The same could be said of the heroine: who wants to imagine themselves as being, or being in love with, a critical, emasculating woman?
Well, just look at my situation: I am almost six feet tall, golden-skinned, and I have never in my life felt like or thought thoughts like an archetypal virgin. I found increasingly less connection with these supposed heroines of old, and yet I love, love, love historical romance.
So, I settled upon this manifesto:
- To create heroes who are neither jackasses nor completely out of their place in the time stream, who are desirable in every way, and who yet fit into a multidimensional view of an historic period.
- To create heroes of such a caliber that, were my own (adult) daughter to run off and fornicate with said hero, I would be okay with that, because this guy would have my faith and would have shown himself to be admirable to women and men alike.
- To create heroines who are neither pristine nor prissy, and with whom real women who have undergone real life experiences can relate.
- To create heroines who apply their intelligence in a way that gets us all what we want, but in a manner that neither degrades the value and intelligence of men, nor the breaks with the credibility of the time period.
- To create stories that one can read fluidly and easily, and in which one finds one's intellect and all one's senses fully stimulated and very much aroused, regardless of one’s gender.
This is my aspiration: to write historical romance for and about Really Cool People.
I hope you enjoy what you read here, and that you will feel free to contact me or visit my blog with your thoughts and questions about my current and upcoming projects.