July 27, 2011

Author Guest Post: Stephanie Draven

Second Chances in Romance
by Stephanie Draven

The first time isn’t always magical. Not in love, not in life, and certainly not in literature. When I wrote Siren Song, I didn’t want a hero who had never been in love before. I wanted him to have loved, and lost, and been damn near destroyed by it. That’s how I came up with Captain Alex Shore, instructor of history at the Naval Academy by day, secret guardian of the sea by night. He’s been burned by love before, and badly. The mistakes he made in his very long past have caused him to live as an exile. He’s a hard-ass who isn’t about to cut our heroine any slack.

That she’s a siren doesn’t help matters.

One of the themes I played with during this story was bad first impressions. I’m fascinated by people who overcome genuine hatred, loathing or fear of another person to find love. I confess, I wasn’t too impressed with my own husband’s pick-up line when he first hit on me, so I was bewildered when he turned out to be the man of my dreams. Maybe I’m still working out my confusion in my stories.

I suppose this kind of thing happens to me a lot, and not just with people. Sometimes it happens with books as well. I can list a whole bunch of books that I started, only to put down for lack of interest. But somehow, when I picked them up again, they won me over. One such book is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, which one the RITA for best fiction with romantic elements. It took a while to really grab hold of me, but when it did, it left an impression.

I confess that my interest in J.R.R. Tolkien wasn’t kindled by Lord of the Rings. By Chapter 8 I had met Tom Bombadil and thrown up my hands in despair. But I gave him a second chance with the Hobbit and was won over completely.

What about you? Can you think of a book or author you were slow to warm to, but eventually fell madly in love with?

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