Love vs. Hate: Volatile Relationships in Romance

Last Week’s Goals:
I did much better this time around. 🙂 I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It rocked! A great ending to a wonderful series. I’m sad to see it go but happy that the madness is over.

I got Desta H.’s woven bookmark in the mail but I didn’t finish the other bookmarks in that particular series (inkle weaving means I have to do them in one continuous band then cut them apart). One of my threads snapped and I couldn’t piece it back together. I sacrificed about seven inches of thread. *sigh*. I started a new band with the stronger thread. The metallic is pretty but obviously too thin for inkle weaving. I’ll do something else with it.

I did get stuff in the mail but real life intruded so I’m still working on Kashmir‘s revisions. I jumped ahead and did the end, so I only have like ten pages to go (that’ll be finished today then I can start implementing them).

In sales news, Adrienne got bumped to #10 on MBaM’s bestseller list for about three days. It’s back at #9 again. I’m hoping all the places I’m sending paper promo will help boost my sales. I’ve also started advertising the interracial aspect since Samhain only promotes the fantasy part. My editor and a happy reader both pointed out that a Black heroine with an Asian hero is rare in romance. The uniqueness of it should generate more readers (I hope).

On to the topic of the day…

(and why I love them)

We’ve all seen it. The hero is a complete jerk to the heroine thru most of the book, but she sticks with him all because his attitude was brought about by his great love for her. That’s the cliché and I LOVE it beyond belief.

Why do I love it?

It makes more sense. I know fiction is a way to escape reality but in this, I need a little real to make the fantasy stick. Most relationships aren’t love-at-first-sight, happily-ever-after from beginning to end–I’m talking real life relationships.

Hell, moving in together is one way to doom a relationship. He’s a dream come true until you find out he likes to leave his dirty underwear on the couch and his biohazard inducing sneakers in the bedroom. Let’s not make the ladies feel left out. Your man thinks you make the sun rise and the birds sing until he finds out you can’t/won’t cook and won’t stop nagging him about…EVERYTHING.

See? This goes both ways. I’m fair like that.

Art is supposed to imitate life (and vice versa). In reality, most people in relationships want to do even half the stuff heroes and heroines do to each other in books (not just talking sex here).

Love and Hate are two of the strongest emotions in the universe. Love inspires grandmothers to lift cars off their grandchildren (and lots of adrenaline) and hate… well, if you watch the news, you know what hate can do.

Two such strong emotions are irrevocably connected to one another. Like the old saying goes: There’s a thin line between love and hate (there’s also a movie by the same title). 😉 Read a few Harry Potter fanfics (if you’re really bored and can’t find anything else to do). Most of them have Harry hooking up with Draco. I know. The mental image makes your brain freeze a little.

It’s a commonly held belief–that is tried and tested over centuries–that love can lead to hate and hate can lead to love. And, so long as I’m dropping sayings. Let’s try this one: You always hurt the ones you love. Many a hero in many a romance subscribe to that particular saying.

I know many readers argue if the hero really loved the heroine then he wouldn’t hurt her–physically, mentally, or otherwise. To them, I say if the hero and heroine are in such a great relationship from the word go, why is the book so long?

Really. If that’s the type of relationship they have, then nothing can stop them from having it and I don’t even know why I’m bothering to read about it. Those type of relationships in romance novels always have outside conflict only–usually people trying to keep them apart for whatever reason.

That’s too easy, in my mind. I’d rather read about a heroine and hero having to get over themselves in order to make their relationship work. Everyone brings something fun to the table. My fun things may not mesh well with your fun things and some of the fun things have to be thrown out or pushed aside to make the relationship work. BUT while we’re sifting thru the fun things, we have to solve this crime or find this missing treasure or get away from the mutant bounty hunters that are after us.

I’m not saying I don’t want external conflict, I’m saying I want them both. I want love and hate. I want internal and external. I want the heroine to punch the hero in the mouth when he calls her a nagging, selfish bitch then screw him senseless when he apologizes for being an overbearing, chauvinistic ass. That’s not how it works in real life, but that’s where the fun of fiction comes along. He can smack her a good one and she can kick him in the nuts and they’re both hot for each other and madly in love five paragraphs later.

My favorite types of books are about the alpha male who has to come to terms with the fact that he’s powerless against a woman who may or may not be an alpha in her own right. It’s even better with a woman who isn’t an alpha at all (and may even be scared of the hero), because his male ego gets all bent out of shape that such a harmless woman can get him all tangled up in his underwear with just a glance.

Romances with violent relationships aren’t promoting that kind of behavior and the authors know most of this stuff wouldn’t fly in real life. This is fiction. No holds barred. Shoot your vampire boyfriend in the head when you catch him sucking some other chicks neck–he’ll heal. Toss her ass out a window after you heal from getting shot in the head–the grass will cushion the fall. If it doesn’t, then turn her and you can ask for forgiveness later.

And think about this:
How many times have you said to yourself or your friends, “If s/he does -blank- one more time, I’ll kill her/him.” You aren’t really going to kill your partner no matter what they do to piss you off (I hope). That’d end with you in jail after being plastered all over the news as some kind of nut. We say it to relieve or spleen then imagine it to blow off some steam. Fictional characters actually get to indulge a little.

To all those people who say you’d never forgive your man if he did whatever the hero in a romance did, you don’t know that for sure. We never know how we’ll react to something until it happens. You talk big and brag about the way it’ll be IF it happens. Until–and/or if–it happens, there’s no way to know. You know how you want to react but your real reaction only comes after it happens. Unfamiliar territory and stress make us do weird things.

And that leaves us with a great lead-in for next week’s topic (I know you saw it coming). It’s a push-button topic that will never, ever be resolved… Rape in Romance.

I ranted a little but longer than I thought and got a little sidetracked, but that’s okay so long as you enjoyed the ride.

My goals for this week:

1 – As the last few weeks. Finish up Kashmir revisions (that’s actually my goal for today) and get them implemented. I already know I won’t be finished with implementation by next Saturday (which seems to be my blogging day), but I hope to be a good ways thru it.

2 – Start and finish my new batch of woven bookmarks. I’m including a woven bookmark with my plush panther gift that will be sent off to a giveaway. The deadline is coming up and I need to finish. I’ll probably work on it tomorrow. Maybe a little today if I get burnt out on Kashmir.

3 – Mail off gifts and goodie bags. The people on my mailing list are getting my left over goodie bags (left over from the book launch of doom). Just one of the fun bonuses for being on my mailing list. I need to pull names and get those sent. I’d love to give one to everyone but I only have a few left over.

4 – Read. I’m not going to say what. Anything. I was supposed to have a one book a week reading schedule and I never started. I need to. Actually, it’s one book or three novellas a week. My list is growing and I’m not doing anything to make it smaller. So… reading–yes.

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