Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Romancing the Romance

When did the romance novel begin? Wiki says:

One of the earliest romance novels was Samuel Richardson's popular 1740 novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, which was revolutionary on two counts: it focused almost entirely on courtship and did so entirely from the perspective of a female protagonist. In the next century, Jane Austen expanded the genre, and her Pride and Prejudice is often considered the epitome of the genre. Austen inspired Georgette Heyer, who introduced historical romances in 1921. A decade later, British company Mills and Boon began releasing the first category romance novels. Their books were resold in North America by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd, which began direct marketing to readers and allowing mass-market merchandisers to carry the books.

Have any of you ever read Pamela? I have heard of it, but never read it.

Wiki also says:

Novels in this genre place their primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending."

I have occasionally read a romance type novel without a happy ending. Somehow, it just isn't nearly as satisfying. Maybe it is too much like 'real life'. I feel the same about movies. There are some movies that just wouldn't be worth watching if it wasn't for the ending~where everything finally worked out for everyone involved.

What about you~do you have a favorite book that doesn't have a happy ending, but you love it so much it doesn't matter?

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Writing romance. . .

We all want to fall in love. Why? Because that experience makes us feel completely alive. Where every sense is heightened, every emotion is magnified, our everyday reality is shattered and we are flying into the heavens. It may only last a moment, an hour, an afternoon. But that doesn't diminish its value, because we are left with memories that we treasure to the rest of our lives. (Author unknown)

Friday, August 15, 2008


How many of you enter writing contests? I've only been on the Internet for a couple of years, so I'm just discovering how many of them there are. I've been considering this one:

The Tony Hillerman Mystery Short Story Contest

Writing a western novel has always intrigued me, and adding a mystery to it seems perfect!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Writing Influences

What do you write and who do you read? Do your favorite authors influence how you write? Do you try to emulate their style?

As a fairly new novelist, I strive to improve my writing on an almost daily basis. Some days I think I succeed, some days not. I find that writing mysteries adds another element of thought to my work. They make me 'use my brain' more and I enjoy reading how other authors do that sort of 'brain work' themselves. Some days my plots seem impossible and other days, just plain boring! Some days I scrap the whole thing and just work on an in progress romance, a genre that I enjoy writing as well.

I grew up reading mysteries non-stop. I was a teenager when I first discovered the writings of Mary Roberts Rinehart. Already a devoted fan of Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart's style captured me at once. I've yet to read all of her writing, but it is a goal I plan to accomplish someday.

Mary Roberts Rinehart (August 12, 1876-September 22, 1958) was a prolific author often called the American Agatha Christie. "Dorothy B. Hughes, crime critic and novelist, says she 'has been and continues to be' the most important American woman mystery writer." She is considered the source of the phrase "The butler did it", although she did not actually use the phrase herself, and also considered to have invented the "Had-I-But-Known" school of mystery writing. (Wikipedia)

Happy writing,