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 a post for favoritethingEVER.com about The Persuaders! and watched this British TV special about Roger Moore. There was a quote that stuck with me:
“Sean [Connery as Bond] 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.”
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…)
19 thoughts on “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die! (Also, some news.)”
My favorite Bond is probably Brosnan, which…has a lot to do with appearance, in all honesty. (Close runners up: Dalton and Connery.) Still, less shallowly, I think it’s that he’s both understated and evocative: the jokes are sort of offhand, the angst is a moment of intenseness or a crack in the surface, and nothing is a big giant deal.
I think the understatedness is a big thing for me. I’m not a giant fan of guys who are all over the place with either their angst or their good times ( joie de vivre is great, WOOO MY SPORTS TEAM WON WOOOOOO on public transportation is…less so, and I’ve seen enough of the latter to make me twitchy) and I like someone who can get a lot across with a few words or actions. Possibly because it keeps me guessing. 🙂
I’m also with you on the guy having some fun on occasion. A sense of humor is a big thing, and being able to see the funny side of *himself* is also really important. Angel’s occasional comments about lurking or brooding or whatever really won me over about him.
Yeah, I think I really like things to be over-the-top. I mean, I also like people to be polite and not make life difficult for other people on public transportation, but… Now that I think about it, I think I’m much more okay with overstated happiness than overstated unhappiness, which I get frustrated with for similar reasons that you’re talking about– it often just comes off as self-centered and inconsiderate and makes me twitchy, even though I sometimes feel like a jerk for feeling that way. Something I’m actually really fond of in heroes is a general appearance of happiness and enjoyment, combined with occasional understated moments of angst that may or may not suggest there’s actually a lot more angst going on below the surface, rather like an iceberg. Iceberg angst!
also, y’all are making me really wanna watch some Pierce Brosnan Bond…do you have a favorite movie?
I’m so very much a fan of the iceberg angst–and I like the metaphor! (It’s why I have a giant crush on Giles, actually, as you mention Buffy: the guy’s got Mystic Duty Angst, and Dark Past Angst, and Dead Girlfriend Angst after S2, and at no point does he emo about any of the above. Love it.)
Good times can go either way. On the one hand, when someone can be effusive and delighted without being Woo Guy, it completely wins me over. I’d say, bearing in mind that I haven’t had enough sleep, part of the problem for me is that there aren’t really a lot of examples of effusive guys in mainstream media that aren’t…Adam Sandler-esque. Moore is one of the few that come to mind, though I’d definitely like to see others.
Brosnan Bond movies: Hm. Goldeneye’s probably the best in terms of quality, though I like Tomorrow Never Dies for banter with the heroine. (And the heroine generally being awesome.) Die Another Day…starts out really interesting, and then goes into throes of WTF.
Okay! I will start with “Tomorrow Never Dies,” in that case. 🙂
I’d say, bearing in mind that I haven’t had enough sleep, part of the problem for me is that there aren’t really a lot of examples of effusive guys in mainstream media that aren’t…Adam Sandler-esque.
Oh man, I hear what you’re saying! (If what you’re saying is “a lot of expressive guys in mainstream media are vaguely douchy.”) And there’s a whole new crop of them now. I think TV is a bit better (Spike from Buffy, Shawn from Psych, and Jane from The Mentalist–talk about iceberg angst, wow–all come to mind, and a huge part of what I loved about Stephen Colbert when I used to watch his show religiously was that he had so much FUN) than the movies, but we’ve definitely got a ways to go. I can’t help feeling that sexism is somehow involved, but I can’t put my finger on why…maybe because being expressive is somehow “unmanly” so then expressive guys have to overcompensate with their dudeliness? I dunno, maybe that doesn’t make sense.
PS Also Giles is hot like the sun.
PS sorry your comment didn’t show up until now– for some reason my blog sometimes thinks you’re spam. 🙁 I’ll try to be better about checking the spam filter, but if you happen to notice your comment hasn’t shown up in future, feel free to e-mail and poke me!
No worries–the Internet is twitchy sometimes. Thanks for letting me know!
I grew up with Roger Moore as “my Bond”. I liked that he had a sense of humor. I like Daniel Craig’s bond a lot, but he’s a bit too tormented to love as much. Roger Moore is going to make your party, and Craig is going to punch it in the face.
I agree! That party thing is the perfect way to express it–man, Daniel Craig would somehow end up smashing everything in sight whereas Roger Moore would just flirt with all my friends and make us cocktails…
Will you hate me if I say I’m not a big Bond lover? In fact, the new ones with Daniel Craig were the first I was able to sit through, lol.
That being said, I completely agree on the premise of a hero (even a brooding one) being able to enjoy himself.
lol, I’m not a big Bond fan either! I think because of what I’m talking about–I’ve never been able to get into any of them except for Roger Moore. To be fair, I don’t think it’s entirely him, I think the shark tanks, gondola submarines, and guys with metal teeth help a lot. Not to mention young, pretty Christopher Walken in View to a Kill…
Like Gwen, I’m not a Bond fan.
But I’m totally with you on wanting a hero to enjoy himself. In fact, the harsh reality of real life I least like to see in fiction is depression. Put them through whatever kind of hell fits the story, but let them approach it with humor (the gallows kind works fine in bleak situations) and fight for a better life every step of the way.
That’s interesting…I think I might feel the same way, because my first response was “But I can think of a bunch of depressed hero(in)es I love”…and then realized they were all in TV. And I think it’s a lot easier to shift narrative focus on TV away from that, so that you can have an upbeat story about a depressed person, or at least I don’t have to think about it unless I’m in the mood. Whereas when you’re in the third person limited, that doesn’t work so well. I did LOVE Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan, though, which had a bipolar hero…
Come to think of it, Harry Potter is more or less depressed at various points in the later books, and I still enjoy them–but they’re the toughest parts of the series to read.
And my current attitude toward the Temeraire series is, “Will someone tell me if Laurence gets un-depressed so I can start reading again at that point?”
I think my dislike for reading depressed protagonists is partly that I’ve lived through it, both as the depressed person and as the close friend or family member, and while there are some pains that are cathartic to relive in fiction, that for me is not one of them. Also, IMHO the worst part of depression is that feeling that nothing will ever change, that there’s nothing you can do to make your life better, which is probably even MORE destructive to a narrative than it is to one’s actual life.
But, yeah, easier to work around onscreen than in text.
I hear you about Harry Potter– and I think a lot of my problems with Buffy season six and seven basically boil down to Buffy being depressed in those seasons.
which is probably even MORE destructive to a narrative than it is to one’s actual life.
Hmmm…. I’ve never been a huge Bond Girl. I’d say Roger Moore, I guess.
And very sad that I have to wait longer for your next book 🙁
I’ve never been a huge Bond girl either, honestly. I think for the reasons I talked about…most of them are too serious for me, and while I love alpha heros in romance I’m not as big a fan of them in more guy-centric genres.
I’m sorry! Hang in there…
Roger Moore is my favorite classic Bond — but my all-time favorite is Pierce Brosnan. I think he’s the ideal Bond: witty, charming, impossibly sexy, with a nice edge of warmth that you don’t get from many of the others (I’m looking at you, Connery). The only problem — and it’s a doozy — is that he’s the best Bond, but he’s in the WORST films.
That IS tough! I actually haven’t seen any of the Pierce Brosnan Bond films–do you have a recommendation for a good (or at least, not bad) place to start?