Sunday, February 12, 2006
Welcome to My World, Brave Souls!
Welcome! I’m not sure how to do this any differently than the Sybpress blog, but here goes.
The year was 1975. I was 15 and a very Catholic schoolgirl. I was also a voracious reader. I was barreling through the school reading list and everything else I could get my hands on. One day, I noticed a new book on my mother’s discard pile. There was something about the cover and the back blurb that made me curious. She was finished with it, so I took it to my room. I didn’t let it go for three days. I sneaked reading it in study hall (I risked five demerits for violating the morals rule. Oddly enough, I would violate that rule for publishing a review of Saturday Night Fever two years later, but that’s another story).
The book was Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers. This was no chaste kiss at the end of pages of teasing. Ginny lost her virginity a third of the way through and it was no holds bared after that. She even forced herself on the hero at knifepoint later in the novel. I mean really. It was an eye opener for a gal who didn’t quite know how everyone fit together. It was an inspiration as a reader and for a writer. I became hooked on romances. And I wanted to write them. But I had no life experience. I had not known men in the Biblical sense. And save for Ms. Rogers, most romances weren’t as racy and unpredictable as she was. I also loved Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. Shanna, my favorite, had a really clever set up and was just packed with the most sensuous sex. It also had a really good sense of humor. Most of the industry bestsellers didn’t have those qualities. I drifted from reading romances.
As for my writing, the whole lack of experience left my characters more wooden than human. Then there were the voices nattering at me from authority figures warning that romances weren’t serious writing. Oddly enough, grad school cured me of that notion. But still I didn’t turn back to the idea of writing romance.
Then, I met the divine Thea Devine at the Romantic Times convention. That little lady from Larchmont New York wrote some of the raunchiest romances I’d ever read. Her Beyond Desire had a sex scene that strung the reader along for nearly 100 pages. It was a work of beauty. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) read it at my insistence and said it was better than any sex scenes he’d seen on film. Smokin! Then, I discovered that she was the reader at Avon books who’d found Sweet Savage Love. I took that as a portent.
But life intervened. You can read about it on my website, http://dlwarner.com in my bio. Yada, yada, yada. I embraced my inner dominatrix and found the twisted side of my writing voice in slash fiction. One day, all of that combined with an obsession with Legolas Greenleaf and Prince Nikulainen was born. From there, The Gift of Surrender was all about finding a way for my lucky Princess to enslave a near magical man body, heart, mind and soul.
The book is both a tribute to the women who inspired it and a subversion of the form. Princess Sarianna is a virgin on her wedding night, but she and her fiance have had each other every way that didn’t involved penetration. She is never separated from him for more than a night once they are engaged. And he is the one that surrenders himself in the relationship yet he is still very much the strong, virile hero. And the book has a very wicked sense of humor.
It was great fun to write as is the sequel. More on that and other things later. Ask me questions or make comments here or at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join my yahoo group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DLfiction/.