And now for something completely different – Nicole Murphy

July 8, 2011
By

To say that I had something a bit different for you lot today would be a bit of an understatement. But let it never be said that I’m some kind of one trick pony. I know a few tricks and I have friends who make me look better. To that end, I’m happy to host a guest blog today from urban fantasy/romance writer Nicole Murphy. I’ve know Nicole for a while now and I’m very proud to call her a friend. With the release of the third book in her current series, she’s doing a few guest posts around the intertubes, and today she’s appearing here. Some of the things she has to say are very interesting, so read on.

On romance… by Nicole Murphy

secret ones web And now for something completely different   Nicole MurphySo here I am, a guest on Alan Baxter’s blog. A writer who deals in dark fantasy, horror, mystery and suspense. All the fabulously deep and dark and gritty stuff. And I write light urban fantasy romance. The Courier Mail described my work as “a lightweight but rollicking romp through the space where fantasy and romance collide”.

What does someone like me write about for the fabulous readers of Alan’s dark fantasy?

The answer – embrace the difference. Stand tall and proud and announce that I’m going to write to you all today about why I love romance.

A) Romance is about positivity and finishing on a high note. There are days when it’s really hard to find the positivity IN ANYTHING. So I can grab a romance and know that no matter how hard things get for the hero/heroine, it’s going to work out all right in the end. That’s a nice thing to be able to rely on.

B) Romance is about feminism and strengthening views of women’s sexuality. Now, I’ll admit it doesn’t always succeed at this – but then not every horror novel succeeds at being scary. But there are still huge tracts of the literary world out there where women are not seeing strong role models or being shown that they deserve happiness whether sexual or not. In the romance world, we get to see women taking on the men, beating them at their own game and getting the loving partner that can make their life better.

power unbound web And now for something completely different   Nicole MurphyC) Romance is about acceptance. There’s such a range of relationships and sexuality in the romance genre. On the one hand there are the inspirational books – heavily based in religion (generally a Christian one) in which there’s no kissing or touching. On the other hand we’ve got erotica, featuring menages and S & M. At the moment, there’s a rise in gay romance (mostly being read by women, interestingly) and a massive call for romances dealing with different cultures and races.

D) Romance is about characterisation and world-building. Because of the restrictions on the plot (it HAS to end in a happily-ever-after or it’s not romance, it’s just romantic), you’ve got to work hard on the characters and world in order to create an interesting and exciting book that the readers will want to connect to. Some of the most memorable fictional characters I’ve come across have been in romance.

E) Romance is about escapism. People say this like it’s something bad but of course it isn’t. We all need to get away from the real world for a time – because we’re tired, because we’re stressed, because we’re worried, because we’re overwhelmed. A break from all this for just an hour or so can give us the push we need to move on and get through it. Most romances are written in a style that’s very easy to read and it means they’re easy to jump into, while away the time and then pop out of again.

rogue gadda front small And now for something completely different   Nicole MurphyF) Romance is about love, and love is one of the most powerful driving forces in human existence. Fiona McIntosh said it nicely on a panel at Worldcon last year – ‘if you’re not dealing with romance in your work, then you’re not dealing with the totality of the human condition because at the end of the day, we all want to be loved’.

I know romance isn’t for everyone. There’s things that I don’t like to read (and no, dark fantasy isn’t one of them icon smile And now for something completely different   Nicole Murphy ) so I can understand that you can give it a try and not find it your bag.

But I hope that if you’ve ever been inclined to bag romance, you’ll now think twice about it. Or at least go and read a few books (preferably mine!) before you put it down.

***

Giveaway question – To win a copy of Rogue Gadda, tell me what you love about your favourite genre.

[Leave comments below and Nicole will pop back to see them. She'll pick a winner for the copy of the book - Alan]

Rogue Gadda

They came to the night that she and Hampton had made love. She hoped this was something the Firimir would skip through but no, she had to sit there in front of Hampton and relive those exquisite memories in the most humiliating fashion.

She wanted to squirm, both from embarrasment and arousal – Goddess, watching them together would set anyone on fire. Then she realised the Firimir could probably feel her arousal and embarrasment won.

.

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11 Responses to And now for something completely different – Nicole Murphy

  1. Nicole Murphy on July 8, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Thanks Alan – I’m proud to call you friend too :)

  2. alan on July 8, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Awww, feel the love! :)

  3. Dianne on July 9, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Sadly, the Romance genre over the years has suffered flack from some parties. However, we are beginning to see the likes of Harlequin opening up various lines of urban fantasy, which has been quite successful so far. Readers are looking for something different on their shelves, which may put Fabio-esque pirate porn on hiatus.

  4. Nicole Murphy on July 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Hi Dianne

    As the proud possessor of a poster of Fabio in pirate gear, I must confess that I enjoy a lot of that older romance. My fave romance, Warrior’s Woman, had a Fabio cover :) If the romance shows a respectful relationship I’m there.

    There’s so much value in romance if folks would just take time to find the good ones :)

  5. alan on July 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    It’s also worth remembering that without romance the ebook situation would be nothing like it is now. I’m a huge fan of ebooks and the uptake of ebooks and ereaders has been massively sped up by the buyers of romance, who read voraciously. Romance is still the biggest selling genre in ebooks and probably will be for some time.

  6. Nicole Murphy on July 9, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Very true Alan. There are publishers who are making a business out of solely electronic publication. I love that romance has picked up the technology better than the geeks :)

  7. alan on July 9, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    You romance lovers just can’t get enought. ;)

  8. Lily Mulholland on July 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Actually I’m a sucker for a good thriller. You just know there’s gunna be deaths and twists and turns – just with the good ones you never know who or where or when.

    Congrats again, Nicole, and good onya Alan!

  9. alan on July 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I’m a big thriller fan too, obviously. I love mixing the spec fic tropes with thriller tropes. My novels are classified as dark fantasy thrillers, which I love! :)

  10. [...] I was at dark fantasy writer Alan Baxter’s blog, spruiking romance and talking about why I love the genre. Might have been a bit too much for [...]

  11. [...] *And now for something completely different on Alan Baxter’s blog: Nicole Murphy, who recently celebrated the launch of Rogue Gadda, talks about romance. [...]

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