Thursday, January 28, 2010


I like reality. I’ve always felt like a good dose of the here and now will keep a soul grounded. Although it works well for me, it seems it might not work well for others.

I was reminded recently that romance writing needs to dwell in fantasy, the heroine being promised a whirlwind lifestyle of fancy restaurants, travel to exotic locations, yacht excursions and the like. Romance writing isn’t supposed to be about a regular Joe with a good job sweeping your average Jane off her feet. And don’t even consider the hero who might be struggling, or even worse, unemployed and penniless. Apparently, whether he’s a good guy or not, that’s not a girls dream come true.

I like regular Joes. I know a lot of them. Billionaire playboys, secret agents, deviant athletes, and swash-buckling matadors have yet to cross my path. Most of my heroes have been regular Joes. Only one or two happened to have bank. The others were just standup guys you wouldn’t throw out of bed because they dropped a cookie crumb or two. It seems, I’m told, that women who read romance would throw Joe Regular out of bed, no matter how outstanding his character might be. This is what I’m being told.

I know that a number of young women read my books. Very young women. Although I want them to get caught up in the fantasy, I don’t want them to lose sight of the reality. There are conversations they need to be having in their own lives and so I allow my characters to have those same conversations. Jane might not have anyone else to guide her so if my heroine can lead the way, I’d like for her to go a good job. Personally, I always thought blending the fantasy with the reality is what made my writing good. Now it seems that I really didn’t have a clue.

Or so I’m being told…


T. said...

It's funny (or should I say interesting) that the form of fantasy that attracts younger women is the one that is not based on any element of reality. Ms. Mello keep mixing the real with fantasy. I liken it to mixing youth with wisdow. With wisdom comes the realization that the "perfect fantasy" may never come your way. However if you inject portions of realism - it is just enough to "keep hope alive"!

Deborah Mello said...

Thank you! I agree whole-heartedly.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I can travel around the world experience every fantasy that I can ever dream up, keep reality in check and never leave the comforts of my bedroom (lol)