Disappointing Reader Expectations and Pushkin’s ‘The Queen of Spades’

Most books about successful novel writing emphasize that above everything, the writer who wants to sell well and avoid bad reviews must at all costs respect the  tropes of a genre, and particularly avoid ‘disappointing reader expectations’. In fact, Chris Fox in his well argued and generally witty book  ‘Write to Market’ emphasizes this to … Continue reading Disappointing Reader Expectations and Pushkin’s ‘The Queen of Spades’

Formulaic Writing: Romantic Melodrama and Charles Garvice, ‘The Great Bad Novelist’.

I have written before on this blog about the terrible allure of bad writing, both good bad writing, that is, writing that is so bad it’s good – like ‘Rinaldo Rinaldini: Captain of Bandetti’  and frankly terrible writing. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading another late Victorian best seller by that writer … Continue reading Formulaic Writing: Romantic Melodrama and Charles Garvice, ‘The Great Bad Novelist’.

Christmas reading: ‘The Crown Derby Plate’ by Marjorie Bowen – An Excellent Classic Ghost Story as Comedy

I wanted to add a post about a ghost story at Christmas. Which of the many to choose as a seasonal ghost story? I am in fact recomending - again, but now as Christmas reading - a  ghost story that is about as light as could be. It is also written from a wholly conventional … Continue reading Christmas reading: ‘The Crown Derby Plate’ by Marjorie Bowen – An Excellent Classic Ghost Story as Comedy

Criticism and Romantic Novels

I am a bit perturbed (I’m good at being perturbed, aren’t I?) at a New Age view which has infiltrated popular thinking. A recent blog post by Mari Biella on free speech https://maribiella.com/2017/03/19/free-speech-fake-news-and-the-internet/ inspired me to write this one. This 'New Age'  view that has to some extent infiltrated popular thinking is the  ‘No Negativity’ … Continue reading Criticism and Romantic Novels

Genre Fiction, Romantic Novels and Escapism

One of the complaints often aired by romance readers is that the genre is despised as escapism, and yet this insult is not so often aimed at other forms of genre fiction. There is some justice in this complaint.   Yes, there are highly escapist elements  to romantic novels – but often they are ones … Continue reading Genre Fiction, Romantic Novels and Escapism

The Romantic Novel, The Happy For Now And The Traditional Happy Ever After

I saw some posts on Facebook recently on romantic novels and the HEA (for anyone uninitiated, that notorious Happy Ever After). The posters said that there had been some romantic novels released recently without the obligatory HEA, and because of that, some Indie Authors of romantic fiction had included the assurance that ‘this novel has … Continue reading The Romantic Novel, The Happy For Now And The Traditional Happy Ever After

The Villainous Viscount Or The Curse Of The Venns Now Out on Amazon…

  'A good humoured satire of the cliches of Gothic romance... When Clarissa Greendale inherits the fortune from a disreputable uncle she hardly knows, she does not expect to find herself forced into marriage with an aristocratic fortune hunter and wild, brawling, debauched social outcast. Neither does she expect to inherit too the legacy of … Continue reading The Villainous Viscount Or The Curse Of The Venns Now Out on Amazon…

A Spoof Gothic Historical Romance Episode

Now for some comic relief. Who’s for a Gothic historical romance, full of anachronisms (which the re-cycled characters know too well). Scene: A castle in the wilds of Yorkshire, UK, on the moors.  Date – Regency [ A darkly handsome and brooding man appears  at the bolt studded door holding a modern electric torch. Although … Continue reading A Spoof Gothic Historical Romance Episode

Review of ‘Birdwoman; The Memoirs of A Lovesick Siren’ by Anne Carlisle

This is an outstandingly original story, which draws the reader in at once into the fascinating world of the siren. It’s exciting, well paced, funny, sad, outrageous and startlingly believable all at once. The writing is vivid, evocative, bawdy, witty and sometimes poetic. I took at once to the heroine, Destiny, who is born, along … Continue reading Review of ‘Birdwoman; The Memoirs of A Lovesick Siren’ by Anne Carlisle

An Original, Witty and Spine Chilling Fantasy: Review of ‘Reqium for a Forgotten Path’ by Robert Wingfield

These last couple of weeks I've been enjoying reading an excellent fantasy with a strong, independent minded heroine. This is 'Requim for a Forgotten Path' by Robert Wingfield. This is a funny, spine chilling, evocative continuation of the adventures of Ankerita, the eponymous heroine of the first in this series. I really like this heroine. … Continue reading An Original, Witty and Spine Chilling Fantasy: Review of ‘Reqium for a Forgotten Path’ by Robert Wingfield