Monthly Archives: January 2011

A couple oflinks

1. My The Persuaders! post is up at favoritethingEVER.com! How can you resist a show with this promo shot:

How? I ask you.

2. Cecilia Grant just made a fantastic post about the importance of the reader’s input in genre fiction:

They played this one number – a quieter love song that had been a radio hit – and the audience, most of whom seemed to be young women and all of whom seemed to know the words, sang along. And when the chorus came around for the second time, the singer stepped back from the mike and the audience kept on singing by themselves.

I suppose this isn’t uncommon in rock concerts, but in that moment, it just seemed like such a clear and lovely illustration of the audience’s role in realizing – completing – a piece of popular art. The artist writes the song, records it, sends it out into the world, and it’s not really complete until it’s received by someone to whom it means something. The audience gives it that last little spark; makes it real, like the Velveteen Rabbit.

Readers and my imagined audience and my experience as the audience of other people’s stories and my connection with other writers/readers are a HUGE part of my creative process so this post really resonated with me.

No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die! (Also, some news.)

So first, some news: the release date of A Lily among Thorns has been pushed back to September.

I know it sucks to have to wait longer, and I’m sorry to tell you this so late in the game. But this means that the e-book and the paperback will come out at the same time, which I think in the end is good for the book. And I really want this book to have the best chance that it can, so I’m actually pretty happy, but I do apologize to folks who were excited about getting the book in the next couple of months. I really appreciate your patience through all of the changes that have happened with this book! I can only hope that you’ll find it worth the wait.

And now for something completely different! Yesterday I was working on this post for favoritethingEVER.com about The Persuaders!. In it, I quoted something Roger Moore said in a British TV special about him. There was another quote that stuck with me:

“Sean played the throwaway line not quite as deliberately as I do. I sort of tip the audience off and say ‘here comes a joke.’ It was a surprise coming from Sean. That was the difference between us.”

This one took me a while to work out. At first I was dubious. Their Bonds are so different! How could this one tiny thing be the key? But I shouldn’t have doubted Roger Moore.

Because this one tiny thing turns Bond from a guy who laughs in the face of danger into a guy who laughs at his own dumb jokes in the face of danger. Which to me is exactly what’s so great about Moore’s Bond and (of course this is purely a personal preference) ratchets him up from “moderately sexy” to “someone please fetch my fainting couch.”

Roger Moore smirking behind a martini glass

I’ve realized over the past few years how important it is to me that a hero enjoy himself. Because for me, a huge part of the romantic fantasy is feeling like I would enjoy myself with him.

Which doesn’t mean he has to be happy. I love angst as much as the next girl, I just prefer that my hero take some time out to have fun in between his moments of self-doubt/ennui/crushing remorse/whatever (e.g. Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

(If you want me to love a hero who doesn’t have fun, the easiest way to do it is to make him so broody/serious that I enjoy affectionately laughing at him, e.g. Angel from Buffy. Or Batman.)

Who is your favorite Bond? Why? Does that correspond to your favorite type of hero in a romance? (Just please, don’t insult Roger Moore’s acting skills in your comment! There seems to be a lot of that going around and I’m starting to feel a wee bit protective…)

Now I want a hat with a veil

Happy new year, everyone!

On New Year’s Day, Gwen Mitchell and I went to see “The King’s Speech.” I’m a sucker for:

1) Helena Bonham-Carter
2) historical costume
3) World War II
4) cross-class friendships
5) heroes who are underappreciated by their families
6) stories about disabilities.

Therefore, this movie was perfect for me. I loved it. Also, I was concerned they were going to ignore the future Duke of Windsor’s Nazi sympathies (which were the real reason he was forced to abdicate), and while they certainly focused on the Wallis Simpson stuff, they did bring it up several times so I was pleased.

Plus I saw a preview for the new Jane Eyre movie and it looked AWESOME. The actress is the gymnast girl from In Treatment and I thought she was very talented.

I also spent the last week or so reading Fingersmith by Sarah Waters which I ADORED. It’s a sort of Dickensian-thieves’-kitchen gritty historical novel with a lesbian love story. I was recently reading a conversation on historical accuracy on Courtney Milan’s blog and keep coming back to this comment by Robin:

When I think of some authors whose historical world-building seems most successful to me, it’s not as much the “correctness” of specific details (although dates, places, and well-known historical events are easy to get right and less tolerable to me when they are not), as much as feeling of transportation to a fictional world characterized by a cogent but still translatable “otherness” (i.e. verisimilitude). In that place, I feel as if I am placed into an entire universe that extends far beyond what the author shows me, one that remains consistent no matter which direction the narrative turns.

This is a perfect description of the amazing historical world created in Fingersmith, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction, especially Victorian historicals.

And finally, if you want to know more about my favorite band the Headstones and their musical genius, I did a post about them for favoritethingEVER.com.

I hope the new year brings all of you lots of amazing stuff to read. Tell me a book (besides mine of course) that you are looking forward to in 2011!