Blog Articles

Some people are sensitive about what romance novels make them desire.

Romance Novels and Sensitive Nerves

February 20, 2015 10:49 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The things that cause an individual or a society discomfort and anxiety often provoke ridicule, scorn, and/or disregard. Romance novels provoke all three responses. Note: I have addressed the ridicule in my blog On the Term ‘Bodice Ripper,’ the scorn in my blog Five Myths About Romance Novels, and the... read more

keeping your distance as an author of romance novels

On Authorial Distance

February 13, 2015 4:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

On Christmas Day 2014 I listened to an interview Diane Rehm had with Margaret Atwood about her new story collection Stone Mattress: Nine Tales. Note: The original NPR airdate was November 10, 2014. During the interview Atwood read the opening pages from the title story first published in The New... read more

Writing sex scenes in fiction (not just romance novels)

Sex, Outrageous Reversals, and Romance Novels

February 6, 2015 10:35 pm Published by 1 Comment

In Creation of the Sacred. Tracks of Biology in Early Religions Walter Burkert, Professor of Classics at the University of Zurich, writes: ”We must acknowledge the highly ambivalent status of sex in all human societies, with all sorts of disclaimers, secrecy, and repression, and the concomitant possibility of outrageous reversals.”... read more

spanglish as a world language


January 20, 2015 3:09 am Published by Leave your thoughts

In 1821 Mexico won its independence from Spain and came into control of territory that extended not only over present-day Mexico but also over present-day Central America as well as large parts of present-day southwest United States. The new Mexican government continued the Spanish practice of issuing land grants to... read more

writing better dialogue for novels

Three Tips for Creating Good Dialogue

January 12, 2015 3:14 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In my post The Importance of Writing Dialogue I note that dialogue is an important, if not the most important, way to build character. The words, phrases, whole paragraphs, mere grunts, or even silences that come out (or don’t come out) of your character’s mouth are the psychological and emotional fingerprints... read more

How I Create Historical Atmosphere

January 5, 2015 3:11 pm Published by 1 Comment

Science fiction, fantasy, and historical novels bring to life worlds unknown to the reader. Science fiction and fantasy novels invent ones that never existed or don’t yet exist, while historical novels invoke ones that once existed. The standard definition of the most recent temporal limit of a historical at any... read more

romance novels self-referencing

Genre Self-Reference

December 17, 2014 10:34 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In Genre Etiquette I critique the practice of using the romance novel as an index of the kind of thing stupid people read. The practice serves to distance the writer from the romance, presumably thereby to validate and valorize the writer’s own work. It’s a hackneyed move at this point–... read more

genre etiquette referencing romance novels

Genre Etiquette

December 11, 2014 10:05 am Published by Leave your thoughts

“If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard?” Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey The broader context of Austen’s authorial intrusion is the following: “I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom so common with novel-writers, of degrading... read more