Sandra Brown

Of course I’m blogging today, it’s Valentine’s Day… the most romantic day of the year and what kind of a romance writer would I be if I didn’t acknowledge this day for lovers?

When I decided to start a writing career I could have chosen a different direction… children’s books, science books, text books… any number of genres were open to me as long as I had the drive to write about them.

But I chose romance. Why? Because I’m a sucker for love and the happy ending. I enjoy nothing more than getting swept away as the hero and heroine find their way through a sticky maze of conflict to end up in each others’ arms and find that fate meant all along for them to end up together. *sigh*
 
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This week I’m jumping into the fourth book in the Darynda Jones “Grave” series, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet. I love this series. Why? One word … characters. Ms. Jones has created a cast of characters that I have completely fallen in love with and can’t wait to see what happens next in their lives. Of course creating memorable characters that readers fall in love with is the goal of every writer who puts fingers to keyboard. Anyway, this got me thinking about characters over the years that were so strong/handsome/kick-ass that I still think about them. In no particular order …

1. Meggie Cleary (The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough) This feisty redhead knew what she wanted and went after it even when it wasn’t proper. When she couldn’t have the man she loved, she tried her darnedest to love the man she was with.

2. Burke Basile (Fat Tuesday by Sandra Brown) – This gruff detective is sure he just wants revenge. In typical Brown storytelling of course he finds love is much sweeter.

3. Ayla (The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel) – Wow, what can be said about this heroine. She just keeps on keeping on. Surviving in the wild, she learns to communicate with animals. She names her horse “Whinnie”, not the name … the sound.

4. Nell Channing (Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts) – She is from the first in the “Three Sister’s Island” trilogy. I love these witches, but this first sister doesn’t know she’s a witch and that’s why I think I love her all the more.

5. Charles Wallace (A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle) – A boy who travels through time and space… what’s not to love?

6. Charlie Gordon (Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes) – This character just breaks my heart. A mentally disabled man that is given a cure and becomes a genius. But when it begins to slip away it’s heartbreaking to watch him decline.

7. Charlie Davidson (First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones) – Not only is she a detective … but the Grim Reaper. Yeah, who would have thought that the Grim Reaper could be one hell of a heroine. But there you have it!

8. Kristin Bjorson (Freedom’s Landing by Anne McCaffrey) – Another kick-ass heroine that you can’t help but loving. Kidnapped from Earth and transported to another planet, she steps up to help lead a ragtag band of victims to create a new settlement. Of course she finds the alien of her dreams in Zainal.

9. Eliza Flyte (The Horsemaster’s Daughter by Susan Wiggs) – Fiercely independent, she lives alone on an island. When a plantation owner brings a wounded horse to her to heal, it seems more than one heart mends.

10. Brenimyn (Garden of Serenity by Nina Pierce) – Oh come on, you’ve gotta give me one! LOL! Bren is the hero from the first novel that I published. I think he’s so memorable because I rolled all my favorite heroes into this one hunky guy.

Garden-of-Serenity-e-reader-copy
So there are a few of mine. What about you? What characters can you just not get out of your head … or heart?

So it seems everywhere I turn people are discussing erotica. Okay, I admit many of the blogs I visit are romance writers or somehow related to the industry. But still…

I belong to the national organization of Romance Writers of America. I didn’t join because I thought the national level could offer me much, I pretty much ignore them. I joined (and continue my membership) so I can be a member of my local chapter of RWA, Passionate Ink (the chapter for erotic authors), and soon will be joining the Kiss of Death chapter for suspense authors.

Why do I mention all this? Well…. there seems to be a portion of the membership that has started picking on erotic authors. Huh? Romance already gets snubbed by many people as “fluff”. I’m okay with that. Let’s face it, I don’t pick up a Sandra Brown novel to get entangled with the latest political views. I read fiction because it’s just that… fiction. Escapism.

I know erotica is not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m good with that too. But to say it is nothing more than pornography does belittle some amazing writers out there. The Tilling Passions series involves plotlines with intricate twists. I don’t want people to skip from love scene to love scene… it’s not the point. Yes, there are electronic publishers out there publishing the bulk of the erotica, but major NY publishing houses like Avon, Bantam, and Kensington (to name a few) are or have opened erotic lines as well. The stories they publish are complex plots with character growth.  Throwing open the bedroom door doesn’t mean the writing has been “dumbed down”.  

Many people DH and I know are asking about my books. I’m comfortable enough with my writing to suggest to some people that they may not want to order my book and when I explain why they usually laugh and agree… though some have surprised me!

Anyhoo… many writers were up in arms over the discussion. It was blog fodder that sparked lively debates. I went to a couple of links that went to other links until I was shaking my head in disbelief over the controversy porn vs. erotica sparked. Eventually I stopped reading it. I’m actually coming to the party very late. I didn’t bother to get embroiled in any of the rhetoric. It’s not worth my energy.

I started writing because it gave me something to do after MS forced my hand. I continue to write because now that the dam has been broken… there’s no holding back the flood! The hours at my computer are pure joy… most of the time 😉

Oh, by the way… thank you for all the suggestions on the whole blockage thing. I’m happy to say that I’ve hooked up with a couple of awesome writers to do an anthology. Nothing I want to talk about until the words start coming… but suffice it to say… the research into something new and exciting has begun!

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