The Book Boyfriend Effect

So after a good character development session today, the thought came to me about book boyfriends. You know the Mr. Darcys and Christian Greys of the world. Before I go any further with this post, I would like to give a shout out to my own first book boyfriend. Mr. Mamrou Chiba (aka Prince Endymion) of Sailor Moon.

"Oh Darien ..." (In my Sailor Moon voice)

“Oh Darien …” (In my Sailor Moon voice)

He was the reason I started to daydream about love, decided that marriage might not be a bad idea when I grew up, and found myself having a thing for intelligent, dark haired men who like to wear shades and suits whenever they think they can pull it off. He was my first book boyfriend. And to this day, I still find myself swooning whenever I pick up any of the Sailor Moon mangas and come across him in a scene.

Now back to my main topic. What I really want to talk about is the impact these men/boys have on women. Some may say it’s just an unrealistic crush on a man who doesn’t exist, but I believe their impact reaches deeper than that. I think these men do something to women on a subconscious level that changes the way we pick future mates. They change what we consider to be non-negotiable in relationships, alter our view of what a healthy relationship is, and even give us hope when we have a bad break up.

Which is why I think we, as romance authors, should put more thought into what we make our heroes to be. We should pose the question of, ‘Would I want to date this guy or have my mother/sister/daughter/best-friend date him?’ If the answer is no, then maybe we should re-think having him as our hero. Because he just may become someone’s first book boyfriend, and the pinnacle of the perfect man in someone else’s eyes.

 

 

50 Shades of Meh

 

After listening to Beyoncé’s haunting rendition of Crazy in Love while watching that movie preview, I finally took the plunge. I read 50 Shades of Grey.

Now according to some of my friends, I am greatly behind the times for someone who has a tendency to weave erotic elements into their writing. One of them even billed the book as being the greatest piece of erotic fiction of our times. Of course that still didn’t convince me that I was missing anything, and I would’ve happily went on with my life without knowing the secret lust for a certain emotionally wounded and unavailable billionaire.

However, the movie trailer got me (damn that elevator kiss!) and so I began to think of reading the book in preparation for the movie debut. After all, there had to be something so compelling about it that it became the best selling, world phenomenon that it is today. And so over the course of a few days (because I am admittedly a slow reader) I followed the journey of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey under the quiet illumination of my bedside lamp.

 

Note: BOOK SPOILERS COMING UP! Read on at your own risk.

After reading the book, I came away with mixed feelings. Anger, boredom, and anticipation to be exact. I found Christian Grey to be an intoxicating character with enough mystery and grace to make me want him. Seriously, when I was a quarter way through the book, I was at work daydreaming about what he would do or say next. On the other hand, his sudden use of the term “laters babe”, broke the spell and left me feeling deflated as he went from being a mature young adult in my mind, to a horny adolescent boy.

I also found Anastasia’s internal posse that consisted of her inner goddess and intution incarnate, to be annoying. I didn’t seriously need to read about how her inner goddess took the lotus position everytime Christian caved to her neediness, which in turn made her feel valued as a woman. But it was there every few pages. I also could’ve done away with the excessive sex scenes. I mean I get that the book is an erotic romance, but some of the sex scenes were just unnecessary.

Her loosing her virginity, necessary. Them having sex in the bathroom twice in one scene, unecessary. It got so bad that near the end I just skipped over anything that mentioned the words down there, my sex, and orgasm. I just wanted to read their story and see how things ended, which brings me to my final point.

I hated the ending. They broke up, and yes if you read this review without reading the book and are now throwing your pillow against the wall incessantly while you scream ‘why!?!?’ Much like I did, then you’re welcome. I still remember flipping those last few pages over in hopes that they would at least find a compromise between her unwillingness to submit to him fully, and his inability to get close to her. And what was the resolution?

They broke up. I’m still angry about it now and don’t even want to go on to read the rest of the series. Although I’ve read over the interwebs about their reconciliation in the next two books. It made me that mad.

All in all though, I can say that I see why the book was so big. It was taboo and dangled the promise of racy sex with a hot billionaire who was the ultimate gentleman in front of millions of women. How can that not sell? Do I think it was good though? Well I think the title of my post answers that.

Where have I been

Banff Gondola

Image via explorerockies.com

 

After some hair pulling on my fiancé’s part and some hemming and hawing on my own part, I just got back from a very much needed vacation in Southern Alberta. And yes, I did ride that gondola and did see those mountains. It’s gorgeous, right?

Anyway, I just want everyone to know that I am still here. I am still writing and Her Knowing is still being released at the beginning of June. (Cue the squeal of a thousand guinea pigs) Anyway, I’m really excited to introduce everyone to my newest novel. Also aside from this post, I will be posting a Q&A with my main character Sarah Jempser this week (possibly today). So look out for that and have a great week.

Concept of the Twin

And when one of them meets with his other half  . . . these are the people who pass their whole lives together; yet they could not explain what they desire of one another. For the intense yearning which each of them has towards the other does not appear to be the desire of lover’s intercourse, but of something else which the soul of either evidently desires and cannot tell, and of which she has only a dark and doubtful presentiment

From Plato’s The Symposium

Tales of great love abound in the world, yet there is one type that I am especially fond of. The concept of what is commonly referred to as twin flames or twin souls. Plato is the earliest source for such a concept as mentioned in the quote above. A love between two people that is ultimately free of any restrictions that the modern concept of love places onto most relationships.  Restrictions such as jealousy, fear of losing someone, and leaving once you don’t feel the spark anymore. Not that all modern tales of love have these pitfalls, but a good majority do at some stage.

Another difference is that twin flames doesn’t the love between twin flames isn’t always a romantic love, although it can be. It is an intense bond that surpasses time and brings with it a feeling of knowing. The main idea behind it is that when the human race was made, we were both masculine and feminine in one form. But those two parts were split apart and therefore mankind was left with the burden of always striving to find their other half.

When one meets their twin flame it is said that you experience a great feeling of coming home. Even if they are involved romantically with someone else, it doesn’t matter. As long as you have your twin in your life, you feel whole again. This does not necessarily mean you feel you need them to be happy, although it can lead to feelings of hopelessness when they leave your life. But it is more like knowing that you found someone who you can connect with on a level most people will never experience. Everything just falls into sync between the two people involved, and you feel like they are literally a mirror of your entire soul. From your greatest fears to your greatest accomplishments, they are the reflection of your true self.

As with almost all good things, a love like this does have its own drawbacks. There is the potential that one, if not both, parties will be very scared of the feeling that comes with such a unique experience. Leading to feelings of rejection, confusion, and overall anxiety about being drawn to a complete stranger and not being able to stop such feelings. There This causes one to run away, leading to a sometimes never ending cycle of feelings of emotional pain and loss. It’s a complex love and one that I greatly enjoy writing and reading about. Possibly because I felt it once before myself.

What are your thoughts though? Do you believe twin flames exist, and if so, have you ever experienced such a connection yourself?

So, how long have you been a writer?

I get asked this quite frequently when I tell people I’m working on my debut novel. Usually I just say five years, since that’s when the idea to write what I’m working on, first came to me. The truth is, I’ve been a writer my entire life. Books were some my best friends growing up. Every chance I got, I would beg my mom to take me down to the public library. While other kids would be content with their picture books about watching John run. I was itching to get into the fiction section.

Finally one day I did, when my mother allowed a very young me, to take James M. Barrie’s popular book, Peter Pan, home for the first time. I still remember the first time I read the last sentence in it before closing it and breathing a sigh of relief. The feeling of finishing my first big kid book on my own.

That moment started a fire inside of me. I’d always been a daydreamer, finding the worlds I visited in my head during the night and day, more appealing than the real world. And from that moment on, I knew I wanted to write just like Mr. Barrie. To put onto paper the things I saw playing through my head like a movie for hours on end throughout the day. Thus began the beginning of my life long dream, to become not only a writer. But a published one who was pretty good at what she felt she had been born to do.