So Happy Together Again

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Every author knows the experience: a character who’s supposed to be a supporting player suddenly starts moving toward center stage. Sometimes you nudge her back to the edges. But sometimes you think, hmmm, maybe there’s something there. That’s the case with several of the characters in the two Konigsburg novellas that make up So Happy […]

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Jane Haddam

I learned about Jane Haddam’s death in the way I’d guess she’d want her readers to learn about it: while reading her last book, One Of Our Own. Her sons added an afterward to let her fans know what had happened. I was sad for the rest of the day. Haddam, aka Orania Papazoglu, was […]

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Plague Writing

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It’s been a year now since the pandemic descended upon us. As a retired person, I was in the enviable position of being able to go into lockdown without too much trouble. I live in a state where most people are decent about observing public safety rules and, although I suffer from cabin fever as […]

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Points of View

Most romances are written in third person. It’s not a requirement, mind you. There are first person romances, some of them classics (Jane Eyre springs to mind). But using third person allows you to use multiple points of view, switching back and forth between hero and heroine, for example, with the villain thrown in sometimes […]

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My Top Ten

A few years ago, Entertainment Weekly hit a new level on the hubris meter: they listed the 100 best in a variety of entertainment categories, movies, television, plays, music, and books (and therein lies another blog post). Predictably, I disagree with a lot of their choices, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. Everybody […]

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Valentine’s Day

The woman in line ahead of me at the grocery store was talking to the clerk. “It’s not a real holiday,” she said. “It’s all about marketing.” “Oh, I know,” the clerk said. “My husband and I never give each other anything.” “And the cards,” the customer said. “They’re ridiculous. And so expensive.” “I agree,” […]

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Billion Dollar Babies

Billionaires are in. If you go to Amazon and search for “billionaire” and “romance,” you’ll find a hundred pages of titles. Fifty Shades of Grey is probably the most prominent of these books, but there are lots of others, and the trend has been around for years. I remember reading Christina Dodd’s Just the Way […]

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English Teacher vs. Author

You see this meme repeatedly on Facebook—a Venn diagram showing the small intersection between what the author meant and what the English teacher thinks the author meant. Usually it’s posted by an author who’s convinced that English teachers are evil witches distorting an author’s true meaning. English teachers, say the authors, should just stick to […]

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