Who Is Your Romantic Hero?

Who is your idea of a romantic hero? Mr D’Arcy? Captain Jack Sparrow? Christian Grey? I have an alternative to suggest to you, and I’ll explain why. First, let’s look at what makes a romantic hero. According to Wikipedia, “The Romantic hero is a literary archetype referring to a character that rejects established norms and conventions, has been rejected by society, and has the self as the center of his or her own existence.” Using this definition we can see how D’Arcy fits the bill: he rejects the expectations of his position in society to follow his heart and pledge his love to Elizabeth Bennett.  And, judging from his letters, he seems extremely introspective and at war with his emotions much of the time. But what would your definitions of a romantic hero be?...

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The Cover

My short story collection is a whole mix of genres: it may even shock you to know that there’s a couple of romance stories in there too. I know! But most of what I write tends towards the dark and humorous and I felt the cover should reflect this. I didn’t want to have an image that parodied itself by trying to show too many things at once, so I chose my favourite story from the collection, a tale of horror called ‘And The Angels Cried’, and tried to convey the mood of it. Thanks to Doctor Who in general and the Blink episode in particular, angel statuary has become very scary and seemed the obvious choice as the central image. Yes, I designed the cover myself. Would I like to have hired a designer? You betcha! But that will be for future...

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Reading a Book: it’s a journey, innit?

Are you a corner folder, an enveloper or a proper bookmarker? I want to know how you keep your place when you are reading. For years and years I would place whatever I had to hand between the most recently read pages of my book, reluctant to do anything to damage it. I love my books; I define myself by my books and have bookcases in almost every room of the house, each one full to brimming, as well as a Kindle stuffed with titles yet to read. Why would I want to vandalise something which means so much to me? Then I started to share books with my daughter. While she was always respectful of my books, when I borrowed one of hers it was dog-eared, spine-concertinaed and the pages annotated by her thoughts on the text. The book was totally and irrevocably Claire’s...

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Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

[tweetmeme source=”nettiewriter” http://www.URL.com] Where do I begin with this review? To say I loved the book doesn’t do justice to the amazing job David Mitchell has done within its pages. I enjoyed this so much it has knocked my previous favourite, John Irving’s A Prayer For Owen Meaney, into a cocked hat. Mitchell starts – and ends – his epic tale with The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing, a notary who upon completing some business for his employer in Sydney, is on his way back to his wife and child in SanFrancisco. “Beyond the Indian hamlet, upon a forlorn strand, I happened on a trail of recent footprints.” From this opening line Mitchell follows these footprints not only through the sand to introduce the character of Dr Goose, but through...

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One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

[tweetmeme source=”nettiewriter” http://www.URL.com] I left writing a review of this book for a week or so to decide what I really thought about it. I enjoyed it well enough when I was reading it, but it didn’t really grab me. And now a week later, I have no idea why that should be as it’s a damn fine read. I can only suppose it’s because I was feeling under the weather when I read it. Set in Edinburgh during the festival, the book tells the story of a group of seemingly unrelated people who witness an incident of road rage. Throwing convention to the wind, Ms. Atkinson starts off the book with a viewpoint character that isn’t the main character of the story. This threw me a bit: as writers we are told to introduce your main/viewpoint character as...

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