Andi Winter

Writer, Reader, Tea Drinker, Chrononaut

Month: May 2019

Today’s haiku

blackberries and vinesThought friend was joking:

“You gotta beat back nature”

-ah, the blackberries

 

 

Romance novels: sappy or empowering?

I grew up with historical romance novels*, and then read a ton of Harlequin Silhouette romance novels in college**. After graduating and becoming “an adult,” I started reading “real” books***, and saw no need to ever read a romance novel again. They were mindless brain candy, and I was more mature than that.

Apparently I’ve regressed.

I can’t remember why, or how, I started reading romances again—too many YA dystopian novels? too much violence against women in Game of Thrones****?—but I found an escape that felt good and hadn’t realized that I had missed.

Still, I felt embarrassed to be seen reading romance novels, regardless of how well-written they were (or even if their covers did NOT scream romance) because, well, they’re romances. Chick lit. Silly fantasies. Definitely not something that an educated, intelligent person should read*****.

Then I came across this post by fellow author Alex Kourvo, and I began to rethink some things:

The Novels We Need Right Now

Maybe it’s okay to read something that makes you hopeful, that makes the world seem a little brighter, and that brings a smile to your face. And what’s wrong with a happy ending? After all, Much Ado About Nothing is a classic, and as Nora Roberts points out, everybody ends up happy.

If you haven’t read a romance novel, give one a try. I recommend Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen for those who want a “real” book (it’s a classic for a reason), but who also want to dip their toes in the romance genre******.

Looking for more suggestions? I’ll give my romance recommendations in an upcoming post.

Are you a romance reader, or a romance avoider? Let me know in the comments.

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*Like Kathleen Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter was my favorite book in high school and Ashes in the Wind formed my understanding of the American Civil War.)

**Instead of the gigantic chocolate chip cookies they sold at the campus store, I would reward myself with “just a chapter” from a Harelequin Silhouette romance novel. Which usually turned into two chapters, then three (they were so short!), until I had finished the novel and found myself having to finish my term paper at 1 am.

***Like Sophie’s World (amazing) and Outlander (stayed up all night with that one).

****FWIW, I loved the first novel, and I enjoyed the first season of the TV series, but after awhile the violence against women just depressed me, as much as I adored Tyrion and Arya.

*****To be fair, I have read a considerable number of classics in recent years, including War and Peace and Moby Dick (both of which I enjoyed).

******For more of a paranormal mystery, give Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte a shot. But at all costs skip Wuthering Heights by a disturbed Emily Bronte (unless you’re into abusive relationships, and that’s not romance).

Today’s haiku

monster rhododendronkernels on the branch

monster rhododendron blooms

like fuchsia popcorn

Happy (belated) Release Day!

Spring Comes Twice coverYou would think that publishing a book (let alone, a novel; let alone, your FIRST NOVEL) would have you immediately shouting it out to the rooftops.

Alas, no.

Especially when you’re a bit of an introvert. And busy with Life and its assorted bummers and delights. And slightly forgetful (didn’t I already tell everyone?).

So here it is: Spring Comes Twice. A novel about a guy* who just wants to bring his dead fiancée back to life. But he never imagines the Chaos That Shall Ensue.

This one was a lot of fun to write, and at the same time really nerve-wracking.

For National Novel Writing Month last year, I challenged myself to write a novel completely “into the dark”—no outling or dreaming ahead of the start date (i.e. November 1), and only using a title** and a first line prompt to get going.

When I started writing it, I had no idea what the story was about, where it was heading, or what was up with the talking dog***. No. Freaking. Idea. So I kept writing to find out for myself.

And boy, this was a story I never could have imagined writing. Which in hindsight seems a little silly, since a lot of it is stuff I love: Astoria, bacon, German luxury cars, Asian mythology, and tiki. The other stuff that pops up? Hell if I know.

Spring Comes Twice is available in ebook and paperback in the usual places (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple and other places).

For a look behind the writing curtain on this book, take a look at the posts I wrote during 2018 Nanowrimo.

For a sense of the “Relics of a Future Past” series, sign up for the newsletter (over there on the right side) and I will send you**** a free short story set in that universe. It’s a time travel tale with WWII, romance, and tacos*****.

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*Well, a tech billionaire, to be precise.

**A shout out to my amazing husband for the title.

***SPOILER ALERT: There is a talking dog. He’s awesome.

****In the next month. Because, you know. Life.

*****Who doesn’t love tacos?

 

Today’s haiku

sunny blue sky with leavessunny clear blue skies

I sit in my writing room

the standing lamps lit

-to be fair, it was overcast earlier

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