Location. Location. Location
Whenever romance authors get together and begin talking about early influences on their writing, the name Mary Stewart invariably comes up, particularly amongst those who write romantic suspense. Her books have the classic ingredients - ambiguous alpha hero, who may be a good guy, or maybe not, independent heroines who are more than a match for the tough guy and European settings which, at the time they were written, must have seemed impossibly exotic - the Greek Islands, the south of France, Austria, Spain, the Isle of Skye (before they built the road). The impact on readers in post war Britain, ten years after the war, but with rationing only just ended and the package holiday still many years into the future was surely exactly what a good romance novel must be - an escape into another world.
And location is still a key ingredient in books and films. Reviews of so many books talk of the location as a character in its own right. Films like The Tourist have ravishing settings - in that case Venice - which give the stars a run for their money in drool appeal. (Although I must say that a cameo appearance by Rufus Sewell brightened the screen considerably for me, and diverted me from rampant palazzo envy.)
I still like books which take me to places I consider to be glamorous - with plenty of sunshine please. And those are the books I like to write. Being in a foreign place is an added layer to the uncertainty felt by the hero and heroine - essential stuff for thrillers/suspense. And it throws them together - essential stuff for the romance. And I get to enjoy the sunshine, even if it is only in my head.
It wasn't until I began thinking about this piece that I realised how much my teenage reading of Mary Stewart had shaped what I now like to write. The power of early influence? All the ingredients are there - particularly the settings.
There are other things I know influence my writing, but they're something for another post.
And the heading of this one? That's Mary Stewart's influence as well - many of her titles are quotations, often from Shakespeare. That's something we don't do so much now.
Maybe that's another post too - spot the quote.
Wednesday 20 July 2011
Hello and welcome to my brand new blog.
My name is Evonne Wareham, I'm a writer and my debut novel will be published by Choc lit in 2012. It's a romantic thriller, entitled Never Coming Home.
Choc lit are independent romance publishers who believe that books and chocolate are a perfect combination. Never Coming Home is their first thriller.
I plan to blog on one day every week and Wednesday seemed like a good day. Right in the middle. Just about recovered from last weekend, and looking forward to the next one.
I needed a name for the blog. Evonne on Wednesday seemed to fit.
I hope you'll join me here regularly.