Saturday, January 5, 2008
By Kirsten Scott
My dear readers, I invite you to light some candles, pour a hot bubble bath, grab a spoon and a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and cuddle up with your favorite semi-automatic weapon. (Okay, that last bit was for p226.) Ready? Comfy? Now, I want you to tell me your fantasies.
No, not THOSE fantasies. Goodness, this is a family blog, you know! I mean, those fantasies are important, and they are a crucial part of our genre. But I'm looking for something a little...er...cleaner.
I want to know your favorite romance novel fantasy.
The way I see it, we romance writers are trying to do one thing, and do it well--create a fantasy world into which our readers are longing to dive. We have a few basic elements that stay pretty static. We've got goregous men, strong, independent heroines, and true love.
The rest is really up to you.
We know some of our readers' fantasies. There's the heroine who gets kidnapped by pirates fantasy, the ever-popular Cinderella fantasy, and the ugly duckling who turns into a swan fantasy. My favorite fantasies involve kick-ass heroines who are themselves pirates, bounty hunters, and spies. We write variations on these themes, but the fantasy is the same.
This isn't just true in romance. All genres have their fantasies. I write young adult novels as well as adult romance, and I think it's remarkable how many young adult books center around the same fantasy: the orphaned child who turns out to be the chosen one. Think about it. How many books have you read and loved with this basic theme?
I don't have much stomach for horror and mystery, but I'm sure there's a common fantasy there as well. How about the hard-on-his-luck detective who solves the crime that has eluded all others? I've been seeing a new fantasy lately emerge on tv shows where the nerdy guy becomes an action hero. That's a great one.
We all need fantasies. We need somewhere for our imagination to go when our mundane worlds of desk jobs, cubicles, baby food, diapers, and traffic get to us. We need to go back to our childhoods, when we really believed we might turn out to be the adopted child who was destined to save the world, or the princess in disguise, or the kid who solved the crime.
So tell me...what's your favorite fantasy? Is there a romance novel you can't pass up? The bluestocking who captures the rake's heart? The best friends who realize they've been in love all their lives? The kidnapped woman given to a madman who turns out not to be mad at all but a damn good lover? :-) Tell me your fantasies, gentle readers, and maybe they'll end up in my next book!