February 1, 2010

Guest Blogger - PJ Mellor

When You Wish Upon A Star. . .

As a little girl, as most little girls are, I was intrigued by fairy tales. The opulent settings, the handsome princes, ready and willing and oh-so-able to whisk the heroine away to live happily ever after were truly the stuff of dreams. So, naturally, when I grew up I found a fabulous way to satisfy my need for romantic happy endings—by reading romance novels.

I devoured them! Sometimes I read two a day. I was truly thrilled when I discovered the historic romances were morphing and branching out to include contemporary tales. I loved contemporary romances because it made me feel as though not only could they possibly happen, they could happen to me. It was a powerful notion. Sort of a modern fairy tale, right?

After a while, I became more selective in the romances I read. The more I read, the more jaded I became. Yikes! I’d morphed into a romance writer! Now I was not enjoying them nearly as much as I mentally tore the writing style and plot apart to see what helped these authors sell to my favorite publishers.

What I discovered was this: there is no concrete thing, no secret plot or handshake that will get an aspiring writer published. Only ability and dogged determination will get the job done. Happily, I was one of the lucky ones who wrote the right manuscript at the right time and had it read by the right editor. Truly, the stars must have been aligned. Thank goodness!

Okay, I’m published. Now what? What happened to all those brilliant ideas I had as an aspiring writer? My editor wants me to do what by when? Really? No one told me I’d have to actually work at this writer thing!

And so I came to the place where my editor was actually expecting me to come up with a new plot for my next novel. Suddenly, the fairy tales I’d loved as a girl came buzzing back, whispering in my ear to give them a new, contemporary twist. The idea was exciting but I knew I didn’t want to do the same old retelling, even set in modern day. Did I mention I write humorous erotic romance?

So began the “what if” game writers love to play. What if I retold Red Riding Hood with a modern—and erotic--twist? And what if the persona of the Big Bad Wolf was the heroine? In my version—REDD HOT—in my February release, BETWEEN THE SHEETS, my wolf is tamed and learns some valuable life lessons, including what it means to give your heart. And just to make things even more interesting, I had the heroine have age as well as control issues. Boy, did I have fun writing that story!

The second tale, JUST RIGHT, is a modern take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, with the heroine being romantically involved with the hero’s two best friends before realizing he was the only one who was “just right” for her.

And, finally, is STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, the third story in BETWEEN THE SHEETS. I had to actually do research for this one, which added to the fun. Claustrophobic romance writers do not do well when they attempt to don a wet suit and dive. Trust me.

So what is your favorite fairy tale and why? Leave a comment and you will be entered in a drawing to win a book. Thanks, Anna Kathryn, for allowing me to share!

Visit PJ at http://www.pjmellor.com/ to learn more about her stories.


Lori Brighton said...

So many, I dont know if i can pick one. Maybe Beauty and the Beast? Such an alpha male! lol. And I do love those alpha males.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the cover of your latest, Pam!

Fairy Tales? I don't know. I think I agree with Lori on this one. Beauty and the Beast is a great tale.

Snow White is pretty nice, too. I mean who doesn't like seven men fawning over you, going to the mine everyday bringing back diamonds and having a prince slay dragons for you.


Virginia said...

Cinderella was always my favorite! I love the rags to riches stories!

Jane said...

I love "Beauty and the Beast," too. I like the message behind the story and I loved the part where Beast gives Belle the library.

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it