Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Atypical Romance Novel Discussion with Charmaine Gordon and L. E. Harvey

Today, Charmaine Gordon, author of To Be Continued; Starting Over; Now What? and Reconstructing Charlie; and L. E. Harvey, author of Loving Her; Unbreakable Hostage; Imperfect and the soon-to-be-released Impeccable, discuss writing “atypical” romance novels.

Charmaine Gordon is an incredible lady. She is full of life and enthusiasm. Her energy dwarfs that of twenty year olds. She has experiences galor, and a highly contagious laugh. Her stories are beautifully executed novels about women starting over, whether from death, divorce or otherwise. Most romance novels focus on young, beautiful people who spend forever together and it’s ll just perfect. Charmaine knows that even with as dark as reality can be, there can still be bright beautiful romance. Her stories give hope to all of us, and are the kind of reads we can all relate to.

L. E. Harvey is a very out-spoken person. She refuses to hide her identity or her beliefs on equality for the sake of being “P. C.” Her experiences have shown her the highest highs and the lowest lows of humanity. Using these experiences, she writes stories about people who love regardless of race, religion and gender. L. E. Harvey’s stories show us that with inner strength and true devotion, couples can survive any trial.

Question 1: How do you feel defining your romances as "atypical" or "different?"
CG: My stories have been referred to as Survive and Thrive.
LEH: So, they’re not necessarily strictly romance novels, then. I personally much prefer a story to be richer, fuller and more complex than a straight romance.
2) What is the reward for you in writing about characters who aren't young, pretty and perfect?
CG: The women can be any size, age, and shape. We're all people not cookie cutters of some ideal but rather we are snowflakes, each unique in our differences.
LEH.: Beautifully stated.
3) What would you like to say to readers about your work?
CG: Each story is different, not formulaic. What brings them together is the women in each have suffered a loss either in death, abandonment, maybe divorce. They must find courage to rise above and begin the task of placing one foot in front of the other until they find where they are going.
LEH: How true that is of life! It’s great to read about characters whose struggles mirror ours!
CG: Answer the same questions you asked me, m'dear.
Question 1: How do you feel defining your romances as "atypical" or "different?"
LEH: I don't like defining my romances as different. Love is love and it crosses all boundaries, defies race and religion. All romances are different, but they should all be treated equally.
2) What is the reward for you in writing about characters who aren't young, pretty and perfect?
LEH: The reward for me is creating people who are just like me. They are people to whom my readers can relate. I think empathy and relate-ability are very important to any story.
3) What would you like to say to readers about your work?
My novels are contemporary fiction. Although my characters are typically LGBT, the stories are universal and will touch the hearts of all readers. I'll openly admit that there are political tones to my stories, though they are entertaining as well. Although they are different, My books deserve to stand on a shelf next to any "typical" romance novel. I think most people would be surprised at how univeral my stories really are.

3 comments:

Sun Singer said...

Well, hell, this post was a hoot.

Nice conversation. I can only imagine how it would have gone if we'd all been in a secluded bar talking about books while slamming down single malt Scotch.

Malcolm

L. E. Harvey said...

I'm not a scotch drinker, but I think a White Russian or a Mudslide would be just as good for me! :)

Glad you liked it, Malcolm! Thanks! :)

charmainegordon author said...

Hey Kids, half a glass of Chardonnay and I'd be tap dancing on the table. Cheap date.