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REALISM IN ROMANCE FICTION? WHO NEEDS IT?

Another lucky day for me with two guests! And - coincidentally - with connected themes. The author Cat Grant joins us to talk about what we really expect from our fiction as readers - and is that realism? :)

Her Blurb: I've been writing off and on ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I still remember my very first 'published' story, a Jonny Quest adventure I penned in sixth grade. My teacher liked it so much, she had one of the other students illustrate it. That other student went on to become a Hollywood horror-film director.

I've poked around in many different genres. I've written fan fiction for a number of different TV shows, tried my hand at horror and fantasy, but in the end I came back to what I enjoy most - writing about the intimate relationships between men and women, and how love doesn't always happen the way we expect.

Back in 2004, when I became unable to work outside my home, my incredibly supportive husband suggested that I turn this setback into an opportunity, and pursue my dream of becoming a published author. Several years - and untold buckets of sweat later - that dream's finally coming to fruition.




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Realism in Romance Fiction? Who Needs It?

This past weekend I had the privilege of hearing New York agent Donald Maass give a workshop based on his new book, "The Fire in Fiction." One of the topics discussed was the use of realism and/or real-life situations in today's media.

For instance, we all know that cloning dinosaurs—or Jesus—is impossible, yet Michael Crichton and Dan Brown made us believe it. Suitcase-size nuclear bombs don't exist, but there would be no reason for TV shows such as 24 to exist if we weren't convinced otherwise.



I'll go out on a limb and say there aren't thousands upon thousands of people in the world involved in polyamorous relationships, but you'd never know it from looking at the All Romance e-books' best-seller lists. That's because, I believe, people don't want too big of a dose of reality in their fiction. In fact, sometimes the more outlandish it is, the more readers like it.

I've just finished a five-book series that follows a M/M/F menage a trois over a period of twenty years. Eric, my bisexual alpha hero and the focal point of my menage, is also a fabulously wealthy, high-powered CEO, with homes in New York City and Tuscany.

Triad is available now at All Romance ebooks

Realistic? Hardly. First off, even people who are involved in polyamorous relationships (and yes, I did do my research here!) have a pretty tough row to hoe making the relationship work over a long period of time. Moreover, most bisexual people practice serial monogamy. They may have partners of either the same sex or the opposite sex, but usually not at the same time. But in fiction, this reality gets stretched a bit, because… well, it's more entertaining!

So, how do we, as writers, make readers believe in the improbable, or even downright impossible? For me, it begins with the characters. Make their world vivid and immediate, give them universal emotions and experiences that everyone can identify with. Most of us know what it's like to lose a loved one, or nurse them through a serious illness, or else we know someone who has. Many of us have survived rough childhoods with dysfunctional families. I'd venture to say that even some of us have had the devastating experience of discovering a partner's infidelity, and the wrenching aftermath of deciding how to go on from there.

Romance authors are in the business of spinning fantasies. Times are tough right now. Readers want an escape from the multiple stresses of their daily lives, whether it's sitting down for an hour of American Idol or burying their noses in a book. They want a wild, exciting ride, and it's up to us as entertainers—and yes, I consider authors of commercial fiction to be entertainers, first and foremost—to deliver that for them. Make your readers walk a mile or two in your characters' shoes, and chances are they'll follow wherever you want to lead them.



If you're interested in reading more about my books, here's some links:

My Website.
My Blog.
My Facebook page.

Buy links for my Courtland Chronicles series at All Romance ebooks
and Fictionwise.

~~Cat Grant~~


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AND JUST FOR FUN...!!

Today's Quote:
"People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas."

Today's Daft Google Searches for 'Clare London':
"2-piece Bassinet Bedding Set In White Batiste Standard Size" god knows how I got connected with this... :)



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Follow this month with Clare (look at the goodies so far...):

Jan 28 : Author Dusk Peterson talks about the highlights and challenges of historical fantasy.‏
Jan 28 : FREE FICTION from me - just a shortie, Give and Take.
Jan 29 : Author Elle Parker talks about the fun of bouncing ideas off the ones she loves.‏
Jan 29 : Author G. S. Wiley asks if we like reality in our historical romance?‏



Jan 22 : Author Jordan Castillo Price wonders "what if" she hadn't been a writer?
Jan 23 : Author Syd McGinley asks Is Dr. Fell a Gary Sue?‏
Jan 24 : Author Angela S. Stone tells us about her 'Bunnies' and offers Free Fiction.‏
Jan 24 : Author Lori Toland tells us about the rock 'n' roll of her new release.‏
Jan 25 : Author Rowena Sudbury talks about inspiration and its spark in her fiction.‏
Jan 26 : Author Anne Brooke shares her new release "A Stranger's Touch".‏
Jan 27 : Author Chrissy Munder suggests we examine our assumptions.‏




Jan 15 : Jen of Well Read savours the memory of food, and seeks it in her fiction!
Jan 16 : Author Mel Keegan tells us why we should all be visiting the GLBT Bookshelf.
Jan 17 : Author Cassandra Gold discusses the wonderful world of the romance sub-genre.
Jan 18 : Author Wren Boudreau asks "Who am I...and am I okay with it?"
Jan 19 : Author Jenna Hilary Sinclair confesses her addiction...to writing!
Jan 20 : Author Dakota Flint discusses the fascination of the Epilogue.
Jan 21 : Author Janey Chapel treats us to pictures of her favourite kink!




Jan 08 : Jessewave wonders - tongue in cheek - where the less shiny guys are!
Jan 09 : Anne Cain shares her art and encourages a show and tell!
Jan 10 : My latest release Upwardly Mobile is out at Amber Quill today.
Jan 11 : Author Lee Rowan discusses why love should not be a garotte.
Jan 12 : Author Jaime Samms asks if readers prefer short or long stories.
Jan 13 : Author Erastes explains why her submissions keep aiming for the stars!
Jan 14 : Author Daimeryan Rei describes the rewards of writing both fan and original fiction.




Jan 01 : The New Year brings the release of the Immortal Fire anthology IN PRINT.
Jan 02 : author Chrissy Munder asks if current affairs in fiction is delightful or just dates us.
Jan 03 : author Madeleine Urban describes how her characters hijacked her brain.
Jan 04 : author Theda Black's inspiration reaches from a bionic penis to the power of Pan.
Jan 05 : author Josh Lanyon shares some exceedingly good books with us.
Jan 06 : author K. Z. Snow questions what all the fuss is about authors 'making shit up'.
Jan 07 : Josie aka 1more_sickpuppy compares her life and friends online and off.


Want to grab a day to pimp, pose or pontificate? Email me at clarelondon11 @ hotmail.com and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.

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Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
loritoland
Jan. 30th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
I have books one and two. I bought them recently and I have to go read them now :D
(Anonymous)
Jan. 30th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
polyamorous relationships
I think I must live a very sheltered life. I've heard of such relationships but don't remember reading any stories with this topic as central. Now I am quite interested in reading Triad.

Excellent article!
rtianna
Jan. 30th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
Cat Grant
I read the second book now that I know there are 5 I will get all of them. Interesting chat. My first erotica book was Beauty Lost (which was Anne Rice's nome de plume Richeleau). I was surprised I enjoyed it so much. Imagine Sleeping Beauty being awaken by being intimate instead of a kiss. She wrote 3. After that beside my other books Regency's & the like, I went looking for erotica. Looking forward to reading more from you.

Tianna
(Anonymous)
Jan. 30th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
I agree
Everything in today's blog is true. As a reader, I know that the reason why I follow a certain series or pick up a book is because it deals with subjects that are close to home, no matter what the setting.

I've not had the pleasure to read any of your books but I'm adding them to my list of books to take a peek at.

--Lakisha Spletzer
author@kishazworld.com
chrissymunder
Jan. 30th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
Times are tough right now. Readers want an escape from the multiple stresses of their daily lives, whether it's sitting down for an hour of American Idol or burying their noses in a book..

Well said.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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