Elmore Leonard said: I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances ''full of rape and adverbs.''

Monday, 20 October 2008


To those of you who give not one fig, apologies, but this was far too funny not to share.

Warning - profanities galore (including one inventive turn of phrase I've never heard before; but then, that's HBO for you).

Monday, 13 October 2008


Many moons ago, I agreed to take part in a meme over at Tumperkin's. This involved getting a random letter from Tumperkin (in this case, the letter ‘C’), then thinking up five fictional characters whose names begin with that letter.

Easy, I thought. Easy peasy.

Not so much, as it turns out.

I ran out of steam after two. Strange how the names of so many romance heroes and heroines are totally interchangeable: I couldn’t think of any. Below, I’ve listed two romantic characters from the classics. I guess they’re classics for a reason, no?

Cyrano de Bergerac

Ah, poor Cyrano. Witty, smart, creative, sensitive, dueler extraordinaire - and in possession of a large, a huge, nose that completely inhibits him. Believing himself to be hideous and unlovable, he is too scared to admit his love for the beautiful Roxane.

This story has been done to death by Hollywood, in various permutations (including Steve Martin’s Roxane and The Truth about Cats and Dogs) but the play written by the French poet Edmund Rostand in 1897 came to my attention when I found this quote -
A kiss is a rosy dot over the ‘i’ of loving

This is the passage that the above quote came from. I think you’ll agree it’s a whole lot better. (Cyrano is pretending to be his handsome friend, Christian, who is also in love with Roxane).

A kiss, when all is said,--what is it?
An oath that's ratified,--a sealed promise,
A heart's avowal claiming confirmation,--
A rose-dot on the 'i' of 'adoration,'--
A secret that to mouth, not ear, is whispered,--
Brush of a bee's wing, that makes time eternal,--
Communion perfumed like the spring's wild flowers,--
The heart's relieving in the heart's outbreathing,
When to the lips the soul's flood rises, brimming!

Catherine Earnshaw, Wuthering Heights

I can’t say anything about this that hasn’t been said before, but I loved Wuthering Heights when I read it as a teenager, then read it again when I was older and wondered what crack Emily Bronte was on when she wrote it. Its a great classic for teenagers, actually, and a great romance, too, disregarding the death and tragedy of it all. I think Kinsale has a bit of the Emily Bronte crack in her, and there are some Kleypas heroes that might fit the Heathcliff mould.

Here’s a snippet from the mouth of the delightful Catherine.
"It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire."

Ah, romance.

(Feel free to suggest all the obvious C's I've missed)