Romance book week was hosted/created by Cindy S. Here are some questions that she put together for romance readers to answer. Some of them were difficult to answer but I answered them. Some are thought-provoking, too. Anyway, here are my answers.
1. Name your all-time favorite male character.
This is a tough question as I read and relate more to the hero and I’ve read plenty of great heroes moreso in your non-traditional romances. The first hero who comes to mind is Christian Langland from Laura Kinsale’s brilliant historical romance – Flowers From the Storm. Mind you there are other wonderful heroes out there but this hero comes to mind first. Honorable mention goes to Alexander “Shura” Barrington from the Paullina Simons Trilogy.
2. What is your favorite setting? Historical / Contemporary or otherwise. Why? What draws you in?
My favorite setting is a well written historical setting. I think the setting should be just as well drawn as your characters as setting is just as significant as characterization, dialogue and plot. What attracts me to historical fiction in the various subgenre’s available is my ever growing curiosity of history. I love history and probably could have minored in history while getting my pharmacy degree. There’s just something very interesting about knowing the past and how people lived and behaved that continues to fascinate me. I love books that recreate the time period so well as to transport you there. Diana Norman does that very well with her novels and she is one of the best historical novelists I’ve had the pleasure to read because she never insults your intelligence and you’re never made to feel as if it’s a history lesson. And I just did a Amazon.com search and I am thrilled that Diana Norman has another book due out Sept. 06 titled The Sparks Fly Upward. Yay!
3. What trait in a hero can you not abide? Think more in line with personality or even speech.
I really can’t stand dominate heroes and if they’re paired with a mousy heroine, it’s even more of a struggle to read. You have to wonder what attracts readers to dominate men who are assholes. I know I’ve had some readers tell me that what attracts them is when the hero grovels in the end. Hmmm. I just know it’s not for me. However, I’ve enjoyed my share of asshole heroes and can’t tell you why that story worked with that type of hero in it but trust me, the heroine wasn’t weak. I think that’s the one and only time I care anything about the heroine is when she’s paired with an alpha. Usually I can deal with an assinine hero if the heroine can kick his ass and take care of herself, too.
4. Who’s your favorite heroine of all time? Same rules apply as above. What makes them special or a stand out to you.
As an avid reader of fiction – I’ve never really related to the heroine until I read J.D. Robb’s In Death series, notably the first book, Naked in Death. I liked Eve Dallas – a lot. I like her hard as nails, take no prisoners, fuck you attitude until she fell in love with Roarke and the rest is history. What makes Eve special as a heroine or stand out for me is J.D. Robb did a role reversal for her in that Eve was the one who didn’t or wasn’t interested in a relationship, that she was the one who was the last to fall/commit. I think Eve is an ever-evolving character who many readers can identify with in some way. She’s one of the best characters I’ve enjoyed reading about along with her husband, Roarke.
5. What is your favorite genre? Have you analyzed why it is your favorite? Do you care?
My favorite genre is historical romance/fiction/mystery and part of the appeal you can read in question #2. I love authors who use historical markers and use real historical characters.
6. What genre do you dislike the most? What is it that grates?
Some parts of the romance genre really is to my dislike due to the lack of characterization and growth and the recent focus on sex,sex,sex,sex. I’m not too keen on long, drawn out pages of love making. I’m more interested in other aspects of the relationship like flirting, talking, watching two people fall in love that eventually leads us up to the physical aspect of the relationship but as far as I’m concerned, sometimes the door can be closed on a lot of it. I prefer the chemistry to be very well developed to where the sparks fly off the page. It really depends on my mood when it comes to romance novels today. I like more going on in the story besides two people miscommunicating with each other between their boinking sessions. Not interested in that. Prefer external conflicts vs. internal conflicts. As difficult as it is to write a novel, it’s even more difficult I imagine to write one where we see character growth. Some authors can do it, some not. Romance is fantasy and a lot of it that’s out there now I can do without, honestly which is why I’ve expanded beyond romance. Romances that work for me these day can be found in your non-traditional romance novels.
7. If you have ever read books from the genre you don’t like is there at least one book from that genre that you could recommend?
8. List some examples of books that represent the best of the romance genre.
This is my added question that many are welcome to use as I have one or two books I’d recommend to the newbie and/or the romance snob and they would be historical wise The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale (as it has great atmosphere, great characterization with great chemistry). Contemporary wise, I’d have to go back to 1997 to Olga Bicos Risky Games as it is smartly written with great characterization, great chemistry and great story. I’m sure other readers would pick their best representations of the romance genre that would be equally as well written and memorable that represents the romance genre well.
So, Cindy, without the aide of spreadsheets, I’ve relied heavily on memory and answered as truthfully as possible and I hope I did your questions proud Loved your idea for this, really. Good job.