Monday, June 25, 2012

How Can a book with a French Heroine Have a HEA?

Why did I make her French? From my research, French women do not really believe in HEA. So how can a French woman be the heroine of a romance book, since that genre's number one requirement is a HEA?

I made the decision for Hadley to live in Paris a long time ago. I've been writing this first book for several years. And she's not really French. She just lived there for half of her life, but a thirty year old who had lived in France since she was fourteen would be pretty French, I think. I chose France because I planned for her mother to be Cougar on the French Riveria, but now, after a lot of research, I'm realizing that Cougars on the French Riveria aren't really Cougars. They're just French women, sexy, deliberately selfish, unconserned with what other people think. And I'm realizing that Hadley's issues are not so much by being taught to be a cougar by her mother, but just the general attitude of French women. I may have to change the name of the book from Cougars on the Dock, but I love that name. We'll see....


I must be French. Well, I actually am a little, in my DNA.  But how did a girl from a religious family in Arkansas and Oklahoma, who has not even traveled much end up with those attitudes?  Must be because I've really so many books. I think that's it. Anyway, even before I started really researching French women, I'd given Hadley a pretty French attitude. And I think it came from me. And some reader really don't like her. She'd not like them. Neither am I. But if I'm going to write Romance for an American audience, I have some issues to resolve.


Thank goodness, Hadley lived in the U.S. for half her life. She can come to recognize that both she and her mother were more "American" than they'd thought. She can come around to some American attitudes. I guess in many Romance books, women go from reserved American to someone whose had the French attitude of chancing everything for love, then back to the American when it turns out that the sacrifice isn't really necessary because, you know, it's a HEA.


But I don't think I'll ever be the same after realizing that I'm a Free French woman. And the thing that makes my heart sing about French women is they grow up with no concept of needing to be popular. They need to be themselves and think popular is boring.

Elphaba and I agree!


Some resouces I've used to research French Women:







French Kiss (Movie)

French Kiss Poster

Paris in Love (Book)



A French Gigolo

Breathless (Movie)

Breathless




Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I met an old man when I took a group of students on a trip to Orlando Florida to work with Habitat for Humanity. He and I sat on a rock bench and watched children play in the courtyard of a church that was helping sponsor us.


My son, back home in OK, wasn’t even a year old. The old man, who volunteered to read to the children each week, told me to always read books to children that were above their level and to start reading chapter books early. To make them look forward to the next day’s reading.

Turned out that old man had sold most of his property to Disney World to create the theme park. A pretty smart old man. I listened to him.

His advice worked with my son (now almost 19), but how does it apply to my writing? He would have told me to push the envelope–to do more that is expected of me. I guess his message was similar to that of my favorite song as a teenager, “Dream the Impossible Dream.” (Yes, I’m that old)

I am just finishing up my first novel and I have a play being performed in Tulsa theater this summer. The future is bright as long as I continue to push that envelope and dream that dream!




This post was originally written a a comment on the guest post of Lorenda Christensen (Golden heart Finalist in Paranormal Romance) on the blog of "The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood."