Monday, September 1, 2008

Hugh Jackman Tour 2008!

The little pink dancing guy is TWO YEARS OLD today and if you think the medicine is still getting to me then you can find out what I mean HERE.

And that naturally means that today is Hugh Jackman appreciation day! So to add to the fun I naturally am FORCED to place a picture of this lovely man on my blog... Oh the stress of it all ;) Rather appropriate for me this year though cos as of today The Millionaire's Proposal IS OUT and the inspiration behind Ronan is... you've guessed it... Mister Hugh Jackman! He proved too tricky for me as a previous hero and I had to re-cast but for this book he was PERFECT and Ronan really came to life for me! So THANK YOU HUGH!!!

Next up I'm gonna take a step back in the Modern Heat Q&A and talk a bit about some of the things I touched on in the last Blog regarding differing perceptions when reading a book. The tongue in cheek TSTL example I used has touched a chord with a few people and I just wanna try and clear it up a bit before I answer any more questions. To do that I'm gonna throw an example of one of my own heroines basically considered TSTL out there into the public eye. Yes - I do have them apparently. Do I think they're TSTL? Well no, obviously I don't. But then what I consider TSTL is not gonna be the same as the next persons idea of what's TSTL. And in the very same book the hero is considered a - and I quote - ' lying, domineering asshole'...

That book? Is The Millionaire's Proposal...

Sorry Hugh!!!

Now knowing me I'm probably gonna dig myself an even deeper hole than I already have - that's the beauty of a conversation like this not being held face to face. And I will say from the get go that no ten readers, or authors, or reviewers will ever come away with the exact same opinion on a book as everyone else - they'll even take different things away from it. It's actually one of the things I LOVE most about books in general. You put a group of series/category authors in the one room and ask them to debate it and many of them will leave that room vowing never to speak to several of the others again. It's not bitchiness. It's because we invest so much of ourselves into what we do that we tend to be passionate about our work and our lines. It's also our varying opinions and voices that make each and every line so confusingly diverse for anyone targeting that line and some readers will love one voice, some will hate it. It's the EDITORS decision at the end of the day whether a book does or doesn't fit in a specific line and that's why Guidelines are called Guidelines and not RULES.

A lot of our paranoia and the need to fight our corner for the books we love so much is that we've been so heavily criticized in the past that we now feel the need to fight back. Figuratively speaking the pink worm has turned. (ooohhhh I'm COPYRIGHTING THAT!) I could stand here and say not all Modern/Presents heroines are passive, not all Romance heroines are old fashioned, not all Modern Heat heroines are so defensive they come across as pricky - does that mean the vast majority of them are? No. Does it mean NONE of the are? No. In-MY-opinion. Will I debate this one till the cows come home over bottles of wine with author friends - hell yeah. Will others agree with me? Will you? Quite possibly not. I may even have lost friends in the last two paragraphs. But if there's one thing I've always done on this blog whether people agreed with it or not it's be what and who I am. I always thought that was the whole point of blogging. It's a personal thing. And I could jump in here every day with a smiling face and pretend like I live this perfect little life and everything I write is gold and being a romance writer is like living in an idyllic world full of bright shiny happily ever afters that keep me looking younger than my years. But I'd be lying so badly it would eventually poison my soul and turn me into that witch from The Wizard of Oz who gets squooshed by the house at the beginning of the movie. I've even tried smiling from the wrists down during the tough times here and if you're a regular blog visitor you'll KNOW how well THAT ONE worked out!!!

So to all I have offended with this blog I apologize. I really, really do. It's not aimed specifically at anyone anywhere. It's just me. I am what I am. And I'm pretty sure the warranty is up on making any major changes or replacing worn parts...

And in my defense, if I DIDN'T have this edge to my personality there wouldn't be a little pink dancing guy having a birthday today...

I'll be back with more about that example of perceptions taken from The Millionaire's Proposal next time. If you've read it feel free to say if you liked or didn't or what you took away from it and I'll even tell you what I was aiming for when I was writing it. And feel free to ask more questions on Modern Heat if you have them. I'll work through them as I try to finish this damn book that walked me into a brick wall of blankness over a dark pit of despair at the weekend. And if you completely disagree with everything I've said in this loooonnnggggg explanation of another part of my insanity then I'm as open to the scathing comment and the debate as I am to a nice comment or a cyber hug.

I'll just eat more cake with the former than the latter.


Donna Alward said...

I think you're right that we feel passionately about what we write because we are so invested in it. That's really true! I feel the same way when someone has a go at Romance simply because they don't have sex...well, yes, they do, or can, but it's handled differently...and it's hardly the point. The same as Romance isn't only determined by sensuality content, all the lines are characterized by several different things which is why a lot of time answering questions is how long is a piece of string!

I'll join you with the cake, by the way. ;-)

Melissa Blue said...

I think that's why the next book is always harder. You're not creating the same characters even though you might be following a "guideline". And I think where the lines are drawn in the sand is that "guidelines" can be construed as formulas. And from that people take from it what they will. Like Presents have domineering men and TSTL heroines for loving them. Or the same could be said for the Desire line. Now die-hard readers of these lines or even writers for these lines may not see it the same way. *hence the line is drawn*

But what it all comes down to is personal view and taste. My definition of a TSTL heroine is one that has no backbone. The hero growls and she jumps up to do his bidding. Or she's patted on the head by any member/friend and she does what they want to not cause waves.

Grrr. Show me some gonads.

Anyway, I had a point and now I can't remember it. Go forth with the controversy, because truly I love debates.

Janet said...

I have the Millionaire's Proposal right here in front of me. I'll go off and read it now, so I can join in the discussions. Page 1 has definitely hooked me in. Looks like I'll be staying up later than usual to finish the book.

Barbara said...


No need to apologize. If there was a formula to writing books, it wouldn't be such a trying process, would it?

I don't think I have encountered a heroine in HQN books as TSTL. But, I see the story as following that particular person and how they would respond in that particular situation. Everyone is different.

Ok, not to make you scream . . . I am reading The Millionaire's Proposal. I'm just not picturing Hugh as Ronan. But, I'm not finished yet. Or maybe I've just been watching too much Stargate: Atlantis.

Thanks for all of the input you have provided. It has been extremely helpful to me.

Back to writing . . .


Aideen said...


Lets face it, sometimes life sucks and when that happens what do we do? I know what I do, I turn to romance. Be it in book form, a good old fashioned movie or just quietly recalling memories of past years it always lifts my spirits.
And your blog is quite simply one of the best to get lost in.
For me it's because what you see is exactly what you get.
You take the good things in life with a smile, you take the bad with a pinch of salt...a wedge of lime and a shot of tequilla!!
Keep feeling the passion and keep writing, both your fab stories and witty posts here.
I certainly look forward to both.


Trish Wylie said...

Donna - you so get me. But then we've known that from the get go haven't we? So I totally agree with everything you've just said babe. Have some cake...

Melissa - I HEAR YA! What we do ISN'T EASY no matter what ANYONE thinks! Some people will spend YEARS writing ONE BOOK for mainstream and if that same person were asked to produce that book again and again and again to the level we are as series romance writers their heads would probably explode. You could argue they have more freedom than we do, yes. But that just adds to the difficulty of what we do. It's our job to make EVERY book slightly different from the last with characters as diverse as the number of people we meet every day. NO EASY TASK. And then we have to deal with constant criticism from the mainstream for what we do. It's a tad irritating... And if you like debates you're soooooooo gonna love it here honey!!! Pull up a comfy chair and have some cake...

Oooohhh JANET! I look forward to seeing what you agree with in the next post ;) THANKS for buying the book hun!!!

EXACTLY Barbara!!!!!! And you're ABSOLUTELY RIGHT about the HQN heroines too imo! Each and every one of them is different and wach and every author is different so there's a vast diversity but I really do think that's why the books appeal to such a broad readership as they do and why they've lasted so long. LOL to Ronan and Hugh - see now you've peaked my need to know... who do you have him as????? GLAD TO BE OF ANY HELP BTW!!! I'm always here ;)

Aideen. HELL YES! One of the readers on eharlequin describes romances as the emotional vitamins of the soul and I think that's sooooooo true. We NEED happily ever afters and little guy overcomes the odds stories don't we? It's all about HOPE at the end of the day. We can never lose that. EVER. Otherwise the &****£? will drag ya down...AND THANK YOU!!! You guys do me the WORLD of good!!! And it's why I've loved doing this blog from the get-go! Life's too short I think... but then maybe that's an age thing?! ;)