Sunday, May 29, 2011
It's been a long time since I interviewed someone on Review Carnival. To make up for the lost time, I have a really interesting guest this time- historical romance author Delilah Marvelle. Her Scandal series is fabulous and she's working on a new series. Be sure to check out her books on www.DelilahMarvelle.com
Here's the interview-
RC- Why did you decide to write Historical romance?
DM- I've been writing for a VERY VERY long time. Since I was about 8 years old. I was always that kid that wanted to rewrite every story that didn't end the way I wanted it to. I always wanted a happily ever after, which lent to the whole idea of fairy tales and romance. I totally rewrote stories like Peter Pan. In my version, he went home with Wendy and they grew up and had kids together, lol.
When I read Jane Eyre in high school, I fell in love with historicals and knew that was what I wanted to write. When I read Judith McNaught based off of a recommendation by some random woman in the library, that's when I devoured more and fell madly and lustfully in love with the sweeping romance and everything in between. That's what I've been writing ever since. For me, digging into the facets of history and creating a relationship between a man and a woman during a time when women had very few rights and men held all the power lent to stories and conflict galore. I adore the challenge of writing about a relationship set in history and doubt if I'll ever write anything else.
RC- What traits do you think make a good/strong romance novel hero/heroine?
DM- What I think makes for a good/strong hero and heroine would have to be honesty, passion, and the willingness for the characters to go against the world around them in the name of everything they believe in. Because the world isn't always right and the heart is what ends up beating for those who are true to it.
RC- Historical romance must be a tough genre to write due to the amount of research involved. How do you research on the speech patterns (like the kind of words used, level of formality), clothes they wore, social views on things at that time?
DM- I more or less stick to one era and one era only when I write, because there is just SO much to learn about one given era, I couldn't even begin to veer off the path by learning anything beyond 1828-1831. It would be like wanting to learn six more languages. It's overwhelming. But it's a passion that arose from reading books of that era, collecting out of print books and constantly researching the era and finding anything and everything interesting. From the clothes to the furniture to the food they were eating, everything comes together to create a world that feels real to me. The more I research, the more I find that the people back then weren't any different from the people of today. Their environment is what made them different from us. Because people back then still ate, slept, drank, had sex, had fun, joked, worked, and did everything we did. They just carried it out in different manners and a mindset that was created by the mores of their time.
RC-Is the life of a writer what you imagined it to be like?
DM- Ha. No and no. It's a lot harder than I imagined it would ever be. And I'm not talking about the writing aspect of it. The writing comes easily and naturally enough to me. It's the time and all that is expected of me. From both my agent/editor/publisher and then my readers/fans and then from reviewers and bloggers and then keeping up with hundreds of emails that I get every day and then trying to blog, twitter and facebook on top of it, all while traveling and signing books and ensuring I don't let my family feel neglected. I really never expected it to involve this much time. I always thought, I write a book, I edit it the way my publisher wants and I'm done. Not so. The internet has definitely changed the interfacing between readers and authors in a BIG way. I think Hemingway would have shot himself much earlier in his career if he were writing today, lol.
RC- (Okay this one is out of sheer curiosity) Are the people on your book covers real people or painted?
DM- The people are in fact real. Either taken from stock photos or done with a photo shoot that is coordinated by the Cover Art Department of my publisher. I think it's AWESOME. Because I could actually go and technically meet my own characters!
RC-What are your hobbies other than writing?
DM- I love to run, hike, do Tae Kwon Do, read and above all...I love to cook. I'm actually a chef by trade and so it's my second love I dive into when I have extra time.
RC- Tell us something about your books.
DM- My books are what you call historical romance on crack. For many years readers have gotten used to reading a sterilized version of romance, due to what publishers would or would not allow due to taboo. Because of that, I think a lot of readers have gotten used to drinking the kool-aid they were being offered and when something other than kool-aid is being offered, they have a tendency to immediately dislike it. That's where I come in, lol. I like the idea of reintroducing a sliver of reality into not only romance but the historical aspect of romance that people think doesn't exist due to the books they have read or the movies they've watched. I love writing about characters that are not only set within a time that would never accept them for who and what they are, but that they are flawed and have to redeem themselves not only in eyes of the person they love but within their own eyes. It makes that redemption so much sweeter and so much lovelier and real. I'm not all doom and gloom, though, I'm all about twisted humor and twisted versions of fairy tales.
RC-What message would you like to give your fans?
DM- I would like to tell my fans THANK YOU. I wouldn't be where I'm at without them and I'm pouring my heart into the pages of every book I write just for them. They mean so much to me.
Thank you so much for the interview, Delilah. You can buy her books on Amazon.com. Please leave your comments for her.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Six thinking frames (I am going to refer to it as that. It's name is Six Frames:For thinking about information) is a non-fiction, self-help kind of book by Edward De Bono- a very famous writer in his niche. It is something along the lines of Six Thinking Hats (reviewed earlier) and Six Thinking Medals.
Six thinking frames aims to organize thoughts, which admittedly, is a difficult task. Edward urges people in organizations, homes etc. to think of a particular idea or thing in certain ways. What I could gather was, that the writer wants us to see everything in six different ways using the six different frames. They are- Square, Triangle, Circle, Diamond, Heart and Rectangle.
Each frame has certain qualities associated with it, which you must use when you think about something using that frame. The author probably things of frames like thinking caps of different shapes. 'Put on your triangle thinking cap/frame' is what he means.
The book aims to create efficiet thoughts and promote thinking differently among people, which is the major theme in many of his books.
While all the principles were nice, it is very difficult and time consuming to apply them to real life. It is best left as a theory of thinking.
Pros- If used, the thinking frames can really help in thinking well
Cons- The writing style is too boring/dry.
These days, I'm really into books by Lisa Kleypas, and romances, in general.
Dreaming of You is a wonderful book by her about novelist Sara Fielding, who wants to research about casinos (or whatever they were called in historical England) for her new book. She has already written a controversial bestseller, which is the talk among the ton. During her vvisit to London, she saves a mysterious man- Derek Craven, who turns out to be the owner of the most fashionable club in London- Craven's. She manages to get his permission to research his club. Slowly, a relationship develops between them....
In Lisa's usual style, it is highly passionate with a tortured, troubled alpha hero (I'd really like to see some beta heroes in this genre) and the stereotypical strong-willed, high-class working woman.
The heroes, are much like many of the tortured alpha heroes/spunky heroines in many romance novels, especially Lisa Kleypas'.
It is a great read if you are the fan of this genre, or a good place to start reading historical romance. But for me, who has read so many of them, it was a repetitive book. That doesn't mean it wasn't good, though. The scenes were almost perfect, but I already knew what was going to happen before even getting to that part.
But I guess, that happens when you overread a genre so much. I am really going to try getting into contemporary romances from now on. Any good authors that you can suggest me?
Pros- The hero is not a duke/marquis/earl/viscount, so you can get a glimpse into the life of someone who is not from the nobility in historical England.
Independent female lead
Cons- Despite having intriguing characters, it plays out exactly like Lisa's other novels with less engaging characters (Ex. Scandal in Spring)
Not groundbreaking, in fact is like a repetition of some of her other works. Now, I know that this novel was written before many of her other works, but I read them all before this, so this is my viewpoint.
I would recommend this book more to those starting to read this genre rather than experienced fans. But for Kleypas fans, it is as entertaining as any of her other books. It is by no means, a mediocre or bad book, though.