contemporary fiction

Pajama Girls and the Evolution of Romance Fiction

I hope you haven’t forgot about Pajama Girls, who are in limbo until the trade paper edition comes out early next year. Lynn, Southerner that she is, has kept an eye out and found an interesting review by Mary Beachum in Augusta Magazine. It’s one of those reviews that starts out a little wobbly — I’m not sure if I’m being panned or not — and then turns toward the positive. You may think I’m odd for saying this, but I almost prefer this kind of review to a no-holds-barred love-it review. There’s some of the reviewer’s personality here, and some real thought.

Funny (and quite accurate, in my opinion) is Ms Beachum’s take on the evolution of romance fiction:

Once upon a time, the pattern of a romantic novel was predictable. Man and woman meet, in some cute way. Despite setbacks, they develop feelings for each other. Then they overcome a major obstacle, declare their love, fall into each other’s arms and are swept away by passion. Well, that is just so 20th century. Today man and woman meet, in some cute way. They decide to indulge in some recreational sex, discover a few common interests and are dismayed to find that they are developing emotional entanglements. After a dance of “on again and off again,” they reluctantly admit that they are in love and walk hand-in-hand into the sunset.

book groups, phone calls, and other bits and pieces

A few weeks ago I did a conference call visit with a book group in Pennsylvania to discuss Pajama Girls. It was arranged by Wanda (who stops by here once in a while), who also hosted the group that evening. Everybody came in pajamas. Even Sue F., who is 71. We had a great discussion; they asked a lot of good questions and were very polite when I rambled off into subsidiary topics. All in all, a great cyber-meetng.

I have two more book group meetings this month, one cyber and one in person. Please keep this in mind — if you have a book group that is reading something of mine, I am happy to visit. Technology makes these things possible. My only requirement is that the group actually read someting of mine. Just drop me an email and we’ll get organized.

Via the glowingly radiant Robyn Bender, this link to a really interesting post about the similarities between writing and mothering..

Filed under ‘better late than never’ I am jumping on this meme I first saw at HelenKay Dimon’s weblog: ten signs a novel was written by me.

10. There are letters, phone messages, newspaper advertisements and/ or other odd ways of passing along information to readers.

9. Nary a werewolf in sight; nor will you find vampires, elves, fairies, talking animals, or magical to-doing of any kind.

8. Ghosts (human or canine), the green man, and other slightly less than normal beings wander in and out again without much fanfare.

7. The biggest stumbling block for any romantic relationship is going to have something to do with trust and the resolution of troubled family relationships. I don’t do secret babies, but I usually have a difficult mother tucked into one corner or another.

6. I will never, ever tell you how big the main female character’s breasts are.

5. I will never, ever tell you how bit the main male character’s — well, you get the idea.

4. If I open the bedroom door while characters are having sex, the guy is always going to be talking. A lot.

3. The characters I like the best have dogs.


I am going to leave two spaces open in case you would like to make a suggestion. Every writer has fixations, and most writers know some (but not all) of them. So, go ahead, enlighten me.


If you’ve read Pajama Girls, you may remember than Julia has a weakness for an online word game called Babble. The people who run Babble (and other games) certainly noticed. Have a look at the top of the page.

I was as thrilled to see my name up there as they were to see Julia playing babble.

Right now I am in Charleston, South Carolina. The weather is beautiful, and I had a good night’s sleep. I have a choice: I can work for a couple hours or I can go walk around town until it’s time for this luncheon gig.

I wonder what I’ll do.