Thursday, April 18, 2013

Social Mores in Paranormal Romance

Social Mores: The accepted social, traditional and cultural customs and habits of a particular group of people.

 Every social group has its social mores and an author of paranormal romance can have a lot of fun with this.

In paranormal romance, it is important to understand the social mores of the time and place  from which your characters and mythical beings come.  Simply being aware of the social mores will add volumes to your tale.
For example, nose picking in most western societies is considered highly inappropriate in public, and few people do it (or if they do, they'll do it when they think no one is looking). Yet in other countries such as Thailand and Ghana, nose picking is completely fine to do in public.

Imagine then, you have a mythical being who heralds from some distant land from several centuries past; what social mores with they have?
I personally have a lot of fun imagining!

Of course, you often read that most 'age old vampires' etc in paranormal romance 'evolve' and 'adapt' to the new society in which they find themselves. While I agree with this, that yes, they must adapt to survive - I absolutely love it when a writer throws in a slight age old cultural habit or comment from the creatures time and place of origin. These little details help create the reality and engages the audience by titlating interest, tapping into humour, or giving a glimpse into the reasons behind their behaviour.

Having said all that, do remember (particularly with your hero) that if he is going revert to his original social mores, make sure they are heroic social mores. I'm not sure even I would dare try to pull off a nose picking hero in public...Or worse one breaking wind in the presence of a lady...

Yes, my humour verges on the edge of toilet and down-right wrong - but there you have it, I have no remorse.

And on that note, have a fabulous remainder of the week and remember; an understanding of the cultural and social traditions of your character's past is highly beneficial. The correct use of these facts adds enormously to the story, providing of course, that the writer uses them well.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Viveka Portman - Interview

This weekend, I'd like to introduce very lovely Viveka Portman, whose debut erotic regency romance, "The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley", is due for release with Harlequin's e-line Escape on the 1st July 2013.

If you like my style of writing, you may just find yourself hooked on Viveka's witty, sexy, and fun erotic regency tales as well.

What inspired you to write erotic regency romance?
I have always loved historical romance, from regency, victorian and even medieval. As a teenager I'd read a lot of historical romances, but as I grew older I wanted I wanted a glimpse behind the closed doors of the bedrooms.  I wanted to know if those very proper people were quite so proper in the bedroom.

How did you come up with the idea for The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley?
I had long been fascinated by the concept of the virginal bride marrying the older hero. So I created the curious but innocent Lady Catherine and followed her tale of discovery and sexual awakening after her marriage. It also shows the battle between the regency ideals of decency and propriety versus living and enjoying life as one wishes.

Why did you choose first person narrative/diary format? Did you find it difficult to write?
I was very aware of the 'ick' factor that writing first person sex scenes can have, so I chose the diary form as it distanced the reader from the main character though using the characters own hindsight. Lady Catherine's story isn't just about sex, its about two peoples journey towards a working relationship. Remember, they didn't know each other upon their marriage, so there is an intense amount of awkwardness and discovery going on. It was fascinating and fun, especially getting into the mind of someone from centuries past.

Can you share the blurb?

I have never seen fit in my life to divulge my secrets in a diary, yet now, after today’s proceedings I do…
Lady Catherine Bexley is new to marriage and new to the delights of marriage bed, yet her husband is proper and perfunctory – and she aches for something more.
When the young Lady Catherine witnesses the wicked Lord Stanton disciplining a recalcitrant maid,
a fire is lit within her. She finds herself is no longer so willing to wait for her husband’s stiff and passionless attentions – and develops a naughty plan to finally get what she wants.

Are you writing a series, or is this a one-off?
It's a series of Erotic Regency Diaries. I'm currently working on book two and three tentatively titled, "The Wicked Confessions of Lady Cecelia Stanton," and "The Private Affairs of Lord and Lady Fielding".

If you want to know more about Viveka Portman she is on twitter and you can follower her at @VivekaPortman

Her debut erotic regency will be released on the 1st July, and as soon as she has a cover, I'll post it up.

Have a super weekend. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Aswang, Black Dogs and Catoblepas

OK, I have been remiss in blogging, forgiveness is required.
I am buried at the moment in WIP's and critiquing for my two crit Partners, Shona Husk and Loretta Hill!

Tomorrow I'm over at the Darkside Down Under, talking about Fandom and Manspiration, but today I'm posting up a youtube clip.

It's called the Bestiary - which is an old name for a compendium of legendary / mythical beasts and this episode introduces you to some the Aswang, the Philippino mythological shapeshifting, flesh eating monster (I blogged about it some time ago), the Black Dog Mythology and the Catoblepas, a super bizarre horrible cow-like mythological beastie from Ethiopia.