The Royal Wedding

I am watching with amusement the royal wedding with all of its craziness.  It is truly a romance novel in the making.  Poor mixed race girl makes her way to the top, on her own, meets Prince Charming, weds him and lives happily ever after.

Except she forgot about the ugly step sister, the brother and the absent father.  All of them viciously trying to get their share of the lime light (and any dollars that might come that way) . Meaghan should have remembered the Cinderella fairy tale along with dozens of other stories of romance and what people will go through out of jealousy and a desire for their own fame and fortune. Perhaps then the palace could have put some boundaries on the whole affair. Invite them but make them sit at the back. Let them come to the first lunch, but not the evening celebration. Threaten them with being uninvited if the come.

On the other hand, it is her and Harry’s day and I can well imagine not wanting those people at my wedding. You’ve cut them out of your life because you see them for who they are; you have nothing in common with them and just want them as far away as possible.

In my version I imagine the Queen inviting Meaghan to tea and telling her not to worry. I think the Queen is probably kind and also aware of errant family members and bad behaviour. Her own uncle was pro-nazi and probably spied for them against England. Fergie and her toes being sucked, Charle’s affair with Camilla and that stupid phone call. In no way could the royal family have any negative feelings toward Meaghan over her ugly relatives.

Then again, maybe the Queen cautioned her and said, ‘All well and good for your relatives but listen missy, don’t you start pulling stupid things and embarrassing me.”

Or perhaps Meaghan does a runner, realizing that all this fame is not worth the sacrifice.  She escapes, dyes her hair and hangs out on a tropical island, away from the press. But of course she meets another Prince Charming, wealthy, but not so much n the media.  Or lives in a wind blown house on a moor in Scotland.

But no, it is so clear that Meaghan wants the notoriety.  She wants fame, one way or another.  And money. And so she has it.

I don’t feel the least bit sorry for her. All families are dysfunctional and all of us have crazy relatives. As Tolstoy wrote, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” And after all, she gets the Prince, the castle, the money and a lifetime of fame.

Romance Novels

I sometimes feel that writing romance novels is ‘less’ than writing ‘real’ fiction. But I think that is a bias that I have inherited from literary world. Only uneducated housewives read romance novels, right?

Wrong. It turns out that stereotype is dead wrong. The average romance reader is a woman (15% and growing are men – what is that guy on the bus reading on his e-reader?) but well educated, a busy woman, often with children and a professional job. She isn’t a single woman yearning for a husband…well okay, there are some of those. And she isn’t a spinster sitting at home with her cats.

The romance reader is a well-rounded woman who also knows good writing vs bad. She reads romance to escape the mendacity of her life. She reads it for the same reason I read New York bestsellers on my vacation. I don’t want to think. I want to disappear in another world for awhile and forget my own. I want to take part in adventures vicariously while sitting in my lounger at the beach. It restores me to go somewhere else in my mind, away from family, work and other stresses.

So I’m proud to write romance.

The morning…

Having my office at home requires me to have great discipline.  This morning I have done the usual that I would do if I was off to commute to work – emptied the dishwasher, showered, ate breakfast, discovered I’m out of coffee etc.  Then the temptations come in; I could do laundry, or weed the garden, or sweep the floor or go for a nice long walk.

And then I have to stop myself and sit down at the desk and get to work. My commitment is four hours a day of writing or a minimum of 2,000 words a day. Which is all I can handle. After that my eyes get blurry, my thoughts wander and I can no longer focus on the screen or paper. (I switch to writing out in long hand when I get ‘stuck’ which seems to cure my writer’s block).

Having just published 2 new novels I am now beginning the next one. Plotting out, finding characters, letting characters evolve. All part of the writer’s work and it is exciting to see what will come but also hard work. I like it best when I have the concept clear in my head and I sit down to just write.

Okay, I MUST have coffee so I am going to walk over the nearest coffee shop. Then I will write.