Hi everyone! Yes, APAHM is still going on, and today we welcome back Lisa!! I think this is a really interesting topic, and I hope you will too. 🙂 Without further ado…
The Importance of Diverse Representation in Media
First of all, I want to thank Limecello for giving me the opportunity to guest blog and commemorate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! I decided to talk about my favorite Disney movie, and Asian representation in media more generally.
The year was 1998. The new Disney movie Mulan had just come out. To say I was beyond excited would be an understatement. For the first time, there was a movie coming out that represented my culture, people with faces that looked like me. (Yes, The Joy Luck Club came out five years prior, but I was too young then, and hadn’t read the book yet). When I finally saw the movie, it lived up to my expectations, and more. Continue reading →
Hey y’all! Another reader post for your Birthday Month Saturday! This one is also a little special/different. You’ll see why. ;D [Also… more things to come. So yay!] If you need more of an introduction for Lisa – you can check it out here.) Oh – and, last time I had a chance to email back and forth with Lisa about the book covers. Here… I’m just using those from the authors she mentioned. So :X That’s all on me. (If you couldn’t tell, this month has been… well it’s been.) Anyway, hi Lisa – hope you approve! :X
Also, as you see, the cover of A Week to Be Wicked totally refuses to play nice. Despite formatting. … I blame Colin. ;D
The Chronicles of a Fledging Aspiring Romance Author
Hi Everyone. Limecello was kind enough to approach me about becoming a semi-regular blogger here at ALBTALBS. We decided that it may be fun for me to use this as an opportunity to document and share the ups and downs of my writing journey. I am an aspiring contemporary romance author working on her very first manuscript.
So, let’s start at the beginning. As I mentioned in my first blog here, I started reading romance back in high school. Since then, I’ve been a huge fan of the genre and have devoured as many romances as I could manage. But until very recently, it never occurred to me that I could be one of those authors. Oh, I’ve had characters and story ideas running around in my brain for years, but at no time did I ever think I could actually write a book and get published. I had a myriad excuses-I was too busy and had to focus on school/work, I didn’t have enough time, I was too undisciplined, publishing was too hard, I wasn’t talented enough, etc etc etc.
But everything changed last summer when I attended the RWA Literacy Signing in New York City. (Just as a sidenote: If you ever get a chance to attend the Literacy Signing, go! The experience is totally fun and insane, but you get the opportunity to meet your favorite romance authors, and all the proceeds go to charity, so it’s win win win!) Anyways, that night, while I was running around like a madwoman trying to make sure I met all the authors on my must-see list, and doing my best to keep the squeeing and fangirling to a minimum, something fabulous happened. I got swept up in all the giddiness and positive energy of being surrounded by so many romance writers, readers, and fans. It got me thinking “I want to be one of those authors sitting there”. Also, that was the day I met Tessa Dare and Katharine Ashe in person, who are two of the nicest, kindest most generous people you’ll ever meet. I got the chance to chat with them and when I mentioned that I was thinking about writing, they were incredibly kind and encouraging. I am incredibly grateful to them for giving me the push I needed. That was the day I decided that it was time to stop making excuses and really give the writing thing a shot! If not now, when? I came to realize that if I didn’t do this, I’d always look back and wonder “what if” and I didn’t want that to happen.
In the interest of full disclosure, I must also confess that I failed pretty spectacularly at the not-glomming and fangirling, but that’s a story for another time!
So now that I’m ready and determined to embark on this writing adventure, it was time to get down to the nitty gritty. What was I going to write about? One idea I’ve had that’s stuck with me was the story of four best friends who’d met in college who live in New York City and encounter life, love and all the ups and downs that entails while being there for each other. Essentially it would be sort of my take on Sex and the City. This was an idea and theme that really spoke to me because I am a firm believer in the power of female friendships and think it’s important that every woman have good circle of girlfriends around them. Girlfriends can get you through anything, and I wanted to have a positive portrayal of female friendships instead of woman constantly competing with each other and tearing each other down, which you see everywhere on TV and the media these days. The first book, the one I’m currently working on stars Liz, a law school graduate who just landed her first job at a law firm and Matt, who works at said law firm. Except whoops, she sorta reports to him, and whoops, his father is one of the founding partners of the firm so he’s her boss’s boss’s boss. So far, Liz and Matt’s story has been quite the learning experience, which I will be sharing in future blog posts.
So until next time: For any aspiring writers right there-what inspired you to get started? Did you always know you wanted to write? Did you have someone who gave you much needed encouragement and support? And for everyone-when was the last time you did something you always wanted to do, but didn’t for some reason or another? What pushed you to finally do it?
Hi everyone! So I “met” Lisa on twitter and she was all “omg! I watch those shows too! Let’s talk!” And then I was all like “you should do a guest post for me!” *all innocence* and there you have it. 😀 This is Lisa’s first ever blog post, she tells me, so everyone please give her a warm welcome!
When and Why I First Started Reading Romance
I was about 13 or 14 years old when I first started reading romances. I was at a local bookstore in town browsing the shelves, and ended up in front of the romance section. Something made me actually stop and check out the titles instead of just walking past like I normally do. The one book that caught my eye was Nora’s The MacGregor Brides (hey, if you’re going to start, you might as well start with one of the best, right?) Back then, I still had the mentality that romances were naughty books with little to no redeeming value, and I shouldn’t be reading them. But something pushed me to take the book off the shelf and check it out. I read the back blurb about three cousins (Laura, Julia, and Gwen) who fall in love at Christmas, all due to the machinations and plotting of a larger than life, meddling, matchmaking grandfather, Daniel MacGregor, aka,“The MacGregor.”. So despite myself, I found the premise fun and intriguing enough to start thumbing through and reading a bit of the book.
I immediately fell in love with the book, and was completely swept up in Laura, Gwen, and Julia’s story. Not because of the sexy parts, though of course that played a part in it. I loved the sense of family Nora built into the story. The three cousins live together in Boston, and the friendship and bond between them immediately reminds you of hanging out with your girlfriends. Each novella also includes a scene where the whole entire family comes together that reminds you of a Norman Rockwell holiday. But instead of it being overly sappy and sentimental, it just made you want to imagine yourself right there as an honorary MacGregor celebrating Christmas with a family who loves each other and support and care for each other, no matter what. Very fitting, as the holidays are all about family togetherness right?
And the book was funny. The scene when Julia and Cullum fight at her Christmas party/housewarming party and he picks her up and throws her over his shoulder while she’s cursing and spitting mad always makes me laugh, as well as the scene when security expert Royce (hired of course by Grandpa Daniel) walks into the house and sees Laura with her head in the fridge, butt wiggling as she’s dancing to the music in her earphones.
Our heroine is no weakling naturally, and faces Royce down with a kitchen knife before he can get a word out.
Most of all, the heart and romance in the story is what won me over. Branson wins Gwen over by giving her all twelve gifts from the song “12 Days of Christmas”. I defy anyone not to be charmed by a ceramic bowl painted with eight maids a milking, or nine music boxes with dancing ladies on top. Julia is in the business of developing and rehabbing real estate properties and Cullum is the contractor who’s hired to do the work, even though they couldn’t stand each other. (Of course, we all know that it’s all the unresolved sexual tension that’s the cause of all the sniping). Julia has just bought a new house she’s rehabbing. Watching the house come together and come alive as a physical manifestation of Julia and Cullum’s growing love and relationship was lovely. You know, by the end, that this is the house they’re going to live in and raise their family.
Of course, I then went on a mission to devour any other Nora Roberts’ books I could get my hands on. I sped through the rest of the MacGregor series (Ian and Naomi’s story in The MacGregor Grooms is my favorite), and went on to her Chesapeake Bay series. By then, I was a full on convert. Because after all, even under my pragmatic exterior, I am a romantic sap who wants to believe in the true love and happily ever after of it all. Nora’s books and the other romances I read reinforce for me the idea that there is nothing more important in life than love and friends and family, and love is more than just sex. Finding the right person for you, and demanding nothing less than a relationship built on love, trust, respect, commitment, as well as passion is worth waiting for and fighting for.
So my question for you lovely people: What was the book that turned you into a romance fan? What was it about the book that won you over?