A Gentleman ’til Midnight by Alison DeLaine
After a number of years as a semi-pirate in the Mediterranean, where I wielded a cutlass and captained a large sailing ship, I decided to write A Gentleman ‘til Midnight as sort of a combination autobiography-memoir.
I’m a little bit fascinated (and terrified) by the notion of novel-as-autobiography. Sometimes I worry that a psychologist might read my work and smile knowingly while making a mental list of all my neuroses. Maybe, I worry, my “fictional” works are telling the world a whole lot more than I realize.
But maybe not. I mean, nobody would ever confuse me with a romance heroine. I just don’t have the required characteristics. For example, I could and would never…
Be universally regarded as an object of desire. Let me assure you, this is completely outside the realm of my personal experience. I mean, I can think of at least two, maybe even three guys who have set eyes on me and not been driven wild with desire. It happens. (Just not to my heroines.)
Scoff at a hot guy’s marriage proposal. When my husband proposed, I said yes right away. In fact, I’m sure I made my answer clear even before he proposed. If my novels were autobiographical, my heroines would be contemplating marriage on page one, spend most of the book hoping somebody would ask, finally get some self-esteem around page 300, and only then would the hero appear. The romance heroine, conversely, comfortably throws the hero’s interest in his face time and again.
Use seduction as a weapon. I’m pretty sure I’ve never done this. Moreover, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t know how to do this. I think you have to be specially trained—or be a romance heroine.
Pull a Lorena Bobbitt on some skanky guy. Really, the only place to do this with impunity is in a novel. Which is why this is not an autobiographical element: because I don’t want to go to jail. And I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone. (In that order.) My heroine doesn’t have nearly the qualms that I do, which is more proof that this is not an autobiography. But she does have great skill with her cutlass, which is a good thing or my hero in Book 3 would have a very different set of issues to address.
Do you have a trait that would make you a great romance heroine – or not? Tell us about it, and we’ll choose two lucky readers to win a copy of A Gentleman ‘til Midnight.
Alison DeLaine lives in rural Arizona, where she tries to keep her hillbilly side under control (but generally fails) and can often be found driving a dented old pickup truck out to her mining claim in the desert. When she’s not busy striking it rich, waiting on spoiled pets, or keeping her husband in line, she is happily putting characters through the wringer. Alison is a two-time Golden Heart® finalist and currently writes historical romance for Harlequin HQN.
Learn more and order your copy of A Gentleman ’til Midnight here.
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