To me, infidelity and adultery is something that is a flaw that must be overcome in a romance.
This was a topic Keishon blogged about last week. (Thanks Tee!). I recall there being a controversy over Jane Feather’s book featuring Jack and Arabella in Almost a Bride. This was a book published pre Dear Author, but it was a book both Jayne and I liked. The hero, Jack, is a duke and never once says “I love you” to Arabella even though I was convinced (and I believe Jayne was) that he did love her in the end. His not saying those words was in keeping with his characterization which was autocratic and full of superiority.
There is the famous line in Ghost where Patrick Swayze’s character says “ditto” whenever Demi Moore tells him she loves him.
Are the words necessary for you?
Sarah of SmartBitches and Maili were discussing on Twitter about being out of step with popular opinion regarding books. I admit that I had some qualms when I posted my B review of Joan Johnston’s Outcast and saw that Sandy at AAR had given the same book a D! I wondered whether I had missed something or whether I had not been paying attention while reading Outcast. In the end, though, I felt comfortable with my decision.
I kind of made up this poll so I could talk about a recent blog post that I saw wherein the author appeared to describe the Scottish hero in absolute terms:
But there is far more to a hero who wears a kilt than just his clothing. If the story takes place hundreds of years ago in Scotland, he’s a tall, strong warrior who fights for what he believes in and what he loves. His duty is to defend his clan, his lands, his country, and protect the woman he loves. Honor and loyalty are of primary importance to him. He is noble but at times playful. That delicious Scottish accent rolls off his tongue, seducing both the heroine and the reader. He can handle a sword or a woman’s pleasure with equal proficiency. He has passion in spades. Sometimes that famous Scots temper might escape his control and have him spouting Gaelic curses or chasing after the enemy with a sword. The land of myth and legend is his home. He has experienced the harsh realities of life–the feuds, battles and oppression–but chances are he also believes in fairies and magic. Perhaps his soul and body are battered and damaged from the battles he’s chosen to fight, and maybe he has lost all faith in love. But when he finds it, we enjoy watching him touch and accept love like something fragile and precious. Love can heal wounds of the soul and break curses.
I’m completely uncertain where we get the image of this type of Scotsman other than from a Braveheart movie. There’s little that ticks off Jayne more than the faux Scottish Highlander speak with the dinnaes, cannaes, and wee lassie references. Maili is sent into a tizzy over the “famed Scots temper” and other infamous generalities.
Aassumptive writing leads to complaints of stock heroes. Not all heroes, even in Scotland, should have a temper, be a warrior, handle a Sword, have passion in spades, spout Gaelic curses. It’s one thing if you want to say that your creation is one of “myth and legend” but it’s important not to portray one characterization as emblematic of an entire race. (We’ll assume for the sake of argument that the author was identifying the hero in her most recent story and not the entirety of historical Scottish men).
Last night, on Twitter, Alice Hoffman totally lost her shit over a review written by novelist Roberta Silman at the Boston Globe. As Ron Hogan so beautifully summed it up:
In addition to playing the Famous Writer Card on Twitter, Hoffman also played, among others, the Feminist Card (“Girls are taught to be gracious and keep their mouths shut. We don’t have to”), the Provincial Critic Card (“This is a town where a barking dog is the second top story on the news”), the Lousy Paper Card (“No wonder there is no book section in the Globe anymore – they don’t care about their readers, why should we care about them”), and the Post Your Enemy’s Email & Phone Number Online Card (encouraging fans to further validate her reaction and “tell her what u think of snarky critics”).
Gawker had some things to say about Hoffman’s inability to keep her fingers from her keyboard as well.
Popwatch found out that Hoffman once gave a negative review to author Richard Ford which lead Ford and his wife to shoot a bullet through a Hoffman book (Practical Magic maybe?).
Hoffman decided that she would delete her Twitter Account and issue a lame ass statement through her publishing house because she apparently couldn’t use Twitter to apologize directly for her actions:
Of course, I was dismayed by Roberta Silman’s review which gave away the plot of the novel, and in the heat of the moment I responded strongly and I wish I hadn’t. I’m sorry if I offended anyone. Reviewers are entitled to their opinions and that’s the name of the game in publishing. I hope my readers understand that I didn’t mean to hurt anyone and I’m truly sorry if I did."
The screencapped deleted Tweets of the raving Hoffman:
But rivaling Hoffman for douche of the day is author Alain de Botton who, in response to a negative review, wrote the following:
You have now killed my book in the United States, nothing short of that. ….I will hate you till the day I die and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make. I will be watching with interest and schadenfreude.
Nearly all ereading devices have had mp3 players. I don’t know if this is for audiobooks or music playing. But I do know that writers often to listen to music to get them in the mood for certain scenes. Do readers listen to music while they read? I prefer perfect silence when reading.