It’s that time people. Time for me to be totally honest with you. Seriously. We’ve introduced ourselves, got used to each other’s weird bits and I’ve learned to ignore your lisp. Fings are ‘bout to get real cause I’m going to take our relationship to another level and tell you…The Five Things That Piss Me Off in Romance Novels
Let me start by saying – not much pisses me off. Really. I’m one of those people. I seriously give minimal fucks about anything. I like trying new things, I love meeting strange people and weird shit makes me laugh. But when it comes to reading – I gets a little serious peeps. Like my Year Four Teacher Mr Walker whose face would turn purple when someone talked while he was speaking. Instant detention. So here are a few things that rattle my chains and earn you INSTANT detention.
I cannot stand these whinging little minkers. Now I’m not talking historical virgins – because then I’d never read a frigging one. I get those girls. They want it, but can’t get it. I’m talking bout those contemporary virgins who have it handed to them on a platter – but don’t want it. For real? You’re 24 and gorgeous and you’re still waiting? For what? Freddy and his perfect brown eyes? Freddy is too busy bangin the girl next door to be writing you love notes sweetheart so you need to jump on that boat. There are some virgins I don’t mind (actually I can only think of one: Kelly Hunter’s virgin in The Trouble With Valentines – she was sparky and fun and she had all these annoyingly protective brothers and I’m glad she waited for Nick and his very large….bank balance because his…bank balance was so very large. ) I’m talking about those I-fell-in-love-with-my-brothers-mean-and-disrespectful-friend-when-I-was-fifteen-and-am-now-spoiled-for-every-other-man type virgins. The ones who wait for an arsehole to notice them. And only then does she find out he’s not an arsehole. No. Go and get it on ladies. But always make him wear a condom. A gals gotta stay safe.
Not all handbags. Those ones called ‘purses’ which heroines sling over their arms in a huff and stalk off. Now. Let’s get something straight. It aint 1985. No one has a perm and we don’t wear shoulder pads anymore (well, expect for those hipsters who do – ironically of course) Don Johnson is not waiting for you, arms crossed and leaning on his Ferrari Daytona Spider. Take off your ‘uge resin earrings and pack away the ‘purse.’ Heroines in 2013 carry iPhones. Or satchels. Maybe one of those awful Kim Kardashian monster bags or even a clutch…for a special occasion. But never…and I mean never…a ‘purse’ with a long strap and a clasp that twists. Never.
3. Kids and Dogs
Deep breath. I know there are those of you who sigh in delight at kids and dogs. I’m not one of those people. Let’s move on.
2. Wanker Hero’s whose only purpose is to bang the heroine
You know the ones. “Barry’s pure animal lust took over and he realised he’d never stop until he had her naked and screaming his name beneath him.” Time to put your pure animal lust away Barry. It’s frankly getting a little manky. Now I like a hero who sees what he wants and goes after it. And I’m cool with him wanting her for her body…for a page or two. But he needs to move on. Quickly. I do realise that men often think with their red wine and onion $7.99 a kilo specials. I also realise that they see a woman’s arse, tits and legs first. And it goes without saying that most normal men wanna do the wild monkey dance before they even think of getting to know you. But this is a romance novel. And the rules are – they want you for more reasons than your delectable back-end. Stick to the rules people.
1. Perfect Heroines
Ohmagawdohmagawdhomagawd. (Imagine my hands flapping frantically right now) I H.H.H.Hate Le Perfect Heroine. She is beautiful. She’s a former model who has a degree in Scientific Biology of Marine Plants and Allthatfuckery. She is sweet and good and has the morals of a reformed hooker. She is self-righteous but sympathetic. “I knew Margery was making a fool of herself by swinging her hair around on the dance floor but she’d had such a tough childhood that I let her go. She needed the release.” Gag. Gag. If you take nothing away from this post – please listen to me about this. Give your heroine a flaw. Make her internal thoughts a little fucked up. Give her one boob bigger than the other. Make shoe shopping painful for her because she has big feet. Let her fail her exams. Allow her to be the mean girl. Make her say embarrassing things and flash her arse when she falls down drunk. I don’t want to read about Sweetie McPerfect and her chance encounter with a doctor billionaire who she is helping save the world one whale at a time. Tell me about Tarty Bigtits who gets drunk at her best friend’s wedding and admits she’s loved the groom all along while singing bad karaoke and snogging the father-of-the-bride. And make her break her frigging purse while she’s at it. The thing is, I’m not perfect so I don’t want to read about someone who has life all fall into place for her. I’d prefer to know there is someone more fucked up than me who makes all the wrong choices but gets her happy ending anyway.
And finally dear, dear, dear old friends; if I do ANY of these things in my books – ever…then it’s actually all perfectly and totally ok to do any or all of these things whenever you want.