Sunday, January 27, 2013

Escapist reading….

For me, romances represent the ultimate escapist read:  no matter how bumpy the road to love, you’re always guaranteed your HEA.

But there are degrees of escapism, even here.  And as with much of my approach to life (diet, exercise, child-rearing), I prefer moderation.  Call me vanilla or mainstream or even “tame”—especially as I stand like a solid stone in a rushing river of changing societal mores and tastes (viz. how digital publishing is shifting the boundaries from what was in the past “soft porn” to “erotica” to what is now almost “mainstream”). 
Don’t get me wrong, I like reading (and writing) hot sex scenes as much as the next person.  I even like ménage stories, and a little light BDSM (if it’s well written). 

I also enjoy paranormal romance.  Vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, immortals, faeries:  bring them on!  Though even here I like more conventional development of the relationship, where there is a slow falling in love process and growth of the bond between H/h, rather than the hero just “knowing” or “recognizing” his mate from the start, as if this were some biologic imperative against which free will is helpless.
And I love all those alpha heroes who populate both the contemporary and historical romance worlds:  the billionaires and CEO’s, the filled-with-ennui dukes and earls. 

But at the end of the day, I’d rather curl up with something that is more like real life—just a little bit better.  Give me the imperfect heroine, who’s perpetually struggling with those last ten stubborn pounds, and who has bills to pay and a job where she can’t just take off in the middle of the day to join the hero on some grand adventure.  Give me the hero who’s a little seasoned but not a man slut, a little arrogant but not a total jerk, successful but not so mind-bogglingly wealthy that he has a helicopter on standby and drops a fortune on diamonds as “parting gifts” for his paramours.   Give me a story rooted in the here and now, with some drama but minimal angst, and characters you wouldn’t mind having as friends and neighbors.

Oh, and don’t forget the happy ending. 

Taking the plunge...

When I was kid, my mom would take us walking in the park. Whenever someone would stop to coo over my baby sister and ask how old we were, Mom inevitably answered: "The doctor is 7, and the lawyer is 1."

Fast-forward a few decades, and what do you know? Doctor and lawyer, bingo!

I love practicing medicine. I especially enjoy the rewards of taking care of entire families over long periods of time.

But secretly, I always dreamed about writing. Over the years, I dabbled as time permitted: freelancing for various local newspapers, doing a summer stint as a teaching assistant at a creative writing program, penning a few manuscripts that promptly got relegated to the bottom of some desk drawer.

Thanks to my wonderful husband, who encouraged me to blow the dust off one of those manuscripts, I'm finally pursuing my dream! Not full-time, to be sure. I'm still a physician with a busy practice, and a mom with three kids. But after the charts are done and the kids are asleep, it's just me and my laptop---and, boy, am I having fun!

Pursued by the Playboy is my debut novel. It's a contemporary romance, set in Philadelphia, where I grew up.

Why romance, you ask? Because I love a guaranteed happy ending. I hope you do, too!