Two For Tuesday

Romance novelists, that is.

First we have Sylvie Fox and oopsy babies (please note that the article writer  mentions that she drew us in with a misleading title, a sneaky tactic I applaud). Sylvie says she used to avoid reading romances that had babies on the covers because the whole unplanned pregnancy motif did not seem romantic to her ~ as opposed to say getting kidnapped by a rogue who mistakes you for the earl’s daughter (not that the two things are necessarily mutually exclusive, of course) ~ but changed her mind after discovering that half the country exists due to oops. I’m still not sure how that follows. If half of Americans do X, then it’s romantic? Whatever.

In any event, Sylvie decided to write her own oopsy baby romance, calling it In The Nick of Time, which reminds me of The Great Gatsby. (You had to be there.) Anyway, whatever inspires you to write a novel to completion is a Good Thing, so yay for research.

If anyone cares, none of my romances have any oopsy babies. Yet. I never rule out a device for the future. I don’t find the OB theme particularly compelling either, but there are always exceptions. Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and the Flower was an OB and one of the hottest romances I ever read (also one of the first, so I have a special fondness for it). I see that people reviewing it now are judging it against current standards, which is unfair. Ms. Woodiwiss should be applauded for paving the way for future romance novelists, not criticized for having a “rape scene.” What is wrong with people, argh!

Second is an interesting interview with writer Desiree Holt. I found the whole article very personally inspiring. I may submit something to Ellora’s Cave, even though they require the dreaded story synopsis. I love that Ms. Holt is writing erotica at age 76!

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7 responses to “Two For Tuesday

  1. I don’t know, TFATF is a lot like Sixteen Candles for me. I first encountered both as a teenager and loved them. Now I look at them and go, hm, why exactly did I find this rape story appealing?* That doesn’t mean I think TFATF should be burned or anything like that though. It’s not like reading it as a girl made me think rape was cool and go looking for a rapist of my very own. The scene in question is actually really, really uncomfortable to read and not romantic at all. Also I remember someone using it as an example of the horrible patriarchy in a feminism class in college, but her report got all the facts wrong, and I was all, DUDE, her name is HEATHER and it’s SOUTH CAROLINA.

    *Not that there’s an actual rape scene in Sixteen Candles, but Jake Ryan? Total date rapist. Gives his drunk girlfriend to a stranger and tells him to do whatever he wants with her.

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  2. My mom read The Fountainhead when it was The Hot New Book (she was a teenager) because she heard it had a rape scene. Does it? I read it a while back and I still don’t know what happened.

    So in a OB romance, is it like these two people cute meet and fuck and later when she’s all knocked up they get together again and somehow realize they’re in love? Just wondering.

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  3. Teacake: maybe I would find the scene uncomfortable now, idk. I read a bunch of Woodiwiss novels in a row and then moved on. Years later she had a new one and I hated it, for the writing, and couldn’t read it. But that’s a different thing. Or maybe it isn’t. But I love TFATF in my mind the way I love something from childhood, pure and untouched by time. I don’t want to go back and reread now, lol.

    Don: yes. I’ve never read any Rand, so idk. But I consider romance novels a fantasy genre so I don’t get all freaked out by rape scenes, or scenes that are almost-rape, but turn into mad hot sex, just the same as I don’t get all freaked out by the fact that the heroines never seem to have any human bodily functions whatsoever. Or headaches.

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  4. I read The Fountainhead. I do not recall a rape scene. I do not recall much that was in that book. I may have actually slept through it.

    And I got hot thrills, as a teen, when Rhett raped Scarlett in GWtW. Does that make me a bottom?

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  5. Some fragments: you decide on whether it’s rape or not. It’s the kind of sex Rand is generally known to have preferred. (I find it kind of ooogy, myself)

    “She fought like an animal. But she made no sound. She did not call for help.” . . .”He did it as an act of scorn. Not as love, but as defilement. And this made her lie still and submit. One gesture of tenderness from him – and she would have remained cold, untouched by the things done to her body. But the act of a master taking shameful, contemptuous possession of her was the kind of rapture she had wanted.”

    “She turned the light on in the bathroom. She saw herself in a tall mirror. She saw the purple bruises left on her body by his mouth. She heard a moan muffled in her throat, not very loud. It was not the sight, but the sudden flash of knowledge. She knew she would not take a bath. She knew that she wanted to keep the feeling of his body, the traces of his body on hers, knowing also what such a desire implied.”

    “She could accept, thought Dominique, and come to forget in time everything that had happened to her, save one memory: that she had found pleasure in the thing which had happened, that he had known it, and more: that he had known it before he came to her and that he would not have come but for that knowledge. She had not given him the one answer that would have saved her: an answer of simple revulsion – she had found joy in her revulsion, in her terror and in his strength. That was the degradation she had wanted and she hated him for it.”

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  6. Wow, I’d forgotten all that. It makes sense to me. I understand that scene, that sort of interaction. What I don’t understand is why she chose to design those two characters that way. I mean, as a very sophomoric expression of individualism as completely unsentimental and devoid of interpersonal connection, they make sense, but that seriously undermines her message, in my opinion. If on the other hand that was her preferred sort of sex and she simply lacked the wit to write about any other, okay then, whateverrr.

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