People have asked me since I won the Presents contest how on earth I got from writing military romantic suspense to writing about a Spanish magnate bent on revenge. What could my special forces guys possibly have in common with tycoons?
Lots, in fact. First, yes, switching from suspense mode to Presents mode requires some mental adjustment. In a suspense, there's an element of danger. In a Presents, the element of danger is typically that wonderful alpha male tycoon we love to read about. He's sexy, thrilling, and about as untamed as a tiger.
Military guys are sexy, thrilling, and daring. They eat danger for breakfast. They are alpha males accustomed to taking care of themselves. They are commanding, authoritative, somewhat arrogant from time to time…..sound familiar? 🙂
Basically, I write alpha males, those sexy, irritating, arrogant men that not one of us modern ladies would put up with for a second. But we love to read about them because they are larger than life, they would kill to protect what is theirs, and all that passion gets turned onto our heroine — and becomes hers forever when she tames the tiger. He is only tame for her, though. The rest of the world he will still chew up and spit out if it messes with him.
In that respect, I think I could write about a medieval knight or a duke (and I have done both) and, except for era and research, it wouldn't be a problem because my men are always warriors. Whether they wear silk and Armani, chain mail, a cravat, or BDUs and greasepaint, they are warriors. I love to write about warriors, men who are intense and extreme and who still have, somewhere inside, a core of vulnerability that only the heroine can find.
The lovely Jane Porter once gave a workshop where she talked about how we write to a myth, perhaps something that resonated with us as children. It could be Cinderella (ragamuffin woman becomes gorgeous woman who meets prince, leaves him, and he tears up the kingdom to find her again), or Snow White (virginal heroine, evil stepmother), etc. My myth is Beauty and the Beast. I think Presents novels are perfectly suited to B&B — nasty hero not quite what he seems, transforms into handsome prince with the heroine's love, happy every after.
Yeah, gets me every time. 🙂 Whether it's a military commando or an international tycoon, my beast is transformed by love. That's it in a nutshell. The lay of the story may be different — military guy helps heroine escape from and find killer versus tycoon getting revenge on heroine for leaving him and almost ruining his business — but the man is, at his core, the mythical Beast in pain. The heroine helps him peel away those layers and find his true self.
If you're a writer, what's your myth? Can you look back over your work and spot one particular myth at work? Do you perhaps have two myths or more? Look for the core elements and think about it. It's fascinating!
I was thinking about this same subject this week. 🙂 Great minds think alike. LOL
When you started talking about the Grimms fairytales, the one that popped in my mind was Hansel and Gretel. (children or adults caught, but save themselves and others from certain death). The other theme was control. Control-who is in control, who is out-of-control, who is controlling is one of the biggest themes of my childhood.
Remember Plato’s Academy? (My first published short story). But there is hope too. My heroines are thrown into the big bad world with something bad chasing them… And then through a series of actions, they becomes free to be able to live their own life. (Kinda reflects my own life, heh?)
So in my case, dark fantasy/supernatural components are extremely suited to my style of writing. —at least in my fiction.
Just a another note: as a teenage girl my myth was Snow White… I used to pray that my mother was my stepmother. LOL
But I grew out of that one. Thankfully.
Just a note Lynn,
I was in the Borders bookstore on Sunday, and counted about three new military romance books in the new book section. Can’t remember the names of the authors.
I think the military romance is really booming. 🙂
Hmm, I think my current WIP might be some kind of Cinderella hybrid.
Need to explore this idea more…
Sorry it’s taken me time to get back here! Writing, writing, writing!
Cyn, I guess maybe you’re doing Little Red Riding Hood? You definitely have a flavor of your heroines needing to overcome great odds. 🙂
I’m hoping military romance is still going strong!
PC: Cinderella hybrid? That’s interesting! I’d want to hear more about that… 🙂
You know I never thought of Little Red Riding Hood. I really like the twisted fairytale that came out a couple of years ago. LOL (missing recipes, etc.)
Anyway, sounds better than Hansel and Gretel. 😉