Sunday, September 17, 2006

Reader, I married him.

Article in today's News Review by Daisy Goodwin on her 'heroine addiction', tying in with her new series, Reader, I married him (BBC4, 9pm tomorrow if you're interested), about romantic fiction. A lot of romance writers I know are on tenterhooks waiting to see how cruel or kind she is in the series. If the article is anything to go by, I don't think they have anything to worry about.

There are, of course, always a few people who pick on a small point and wail about it until someone takes notice, mostly I think because they like the sound of their own voice. In this case, I expect it will be the line "romantic fiction is quite rightly written to a formula."** But I don't care about them, and I don't expect they give a damn about me either.

Like most women who read romantic fiction, I am only too painfully aware that fiction is precisely what it is, but I can carry my disbelief alongside my innermost conviction that living happily ever after is not just for fairytales...Women need the grown-up fairy stories of romantic fiction in order to make the random cruelty of everyday life bearable. And before men sneer at women who read romances, they should ask exactly why they need to read a book about the siege of Stalingrad or the SAS. Do they perhaps find facts less threatening than stories that deal with emotion?

Hah! Well said.

Some bits of the article are a little confusing--at the end she says if she had a son she'd make him read romance novels so he'd better understand women, and then in the same paragraph says she's glad men don't read those books, because now our secrets are safe. What? That doesn't really make sense.

On another note, today is my half-birthday. That is, exactly six months today it will be my actual birthday. Time was, I'd get presents and a card--yes yes, I know, spoilt much? I'd say I was canny. My brother got a half-birthday, so of course I made sure I did. Of course, he got his because his birthday is Christmas Day, and he often lost out on celebrations and presents (FYI, if you know anyone with a birthday on that day, don't give then a joint present. I don't care whether you're spending the same amount as you would on two. They want something to unwrap. However old they are).

Of course, now I's a grown-up, I don't get a half-birthday any more. But there is an apple-pie in the oven waiting for me. I had to make it, but whaddya gonna do?

**Well, come on. Man plus woman (or man plus man, whatever floats your boat) times conflict plus black moment divided by resolution equals happy ending. Whine all you like, it is a formula. You try writing a category romance without one, and see how many rejection letters you get.

1 comment:

  1. Half birthday!

    Really...register that somewhere---it's a kewl term