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by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large

How well do you know your hero? Is he tall, dark and handsome? Okay, so you don’t want a cookie-cutter hero, but have you really thought about what questions to ask him?

(When you can take your eyes away from his sexy grin among other parts of his anatomy.)

This reporter recently interviewed heroines for a romance gig and got some very interesting answers.

Now, it’s your hero’s turn. Ready, ladies? Start your engines…

Here are my 5 Job Tips for a great romance novel hero interview:

1. Don’t ask him to take off his shirt. Tempting, yes, as you check out his muscular arms, but this is a sexist attitude that will get you nowhere. (But oh the fun you’ll have trying!)

2. Schedule the interview in a locale where you’ll both feel comfortable. Not in a sports bar where he can eyeball the basketball scores and the waitresses with the deep cleavage. Forget tea shops that serve lemon dainties, unless you’re writing a regency and you want to see if he exudes the proper Mr. Darcy-isms.

3. Ask him to show you his…wheels. Yes, I said, wheels. Is he a Harley guy? Jaguar? Or does he drive an old pickup? Does he keep half his “stuff” in his car? Or is he a neatnik? You can tell a lot about a man by his…wheels.

4. What’s his day job? Or if he’s into night work (and what hard-working vampire isn’t?), you’ll want to make sure he’s a good match for your heroine. If she’s a lawyer, a police detective can make her life hectic; if she runs a cake and bake shop, how about interviewing a land developer who wants to tear down her vintage cottage shop? And let’s not forget the city gal who’s just aching to meet up with a real cowboy. Just make sure he can ride…a horse.

5. And finally, don’t ask him if he’s a good kisser. Tell him to show you.

Evelyn is the alter-ego of Jina Bacarr, The Blonde Samurai: “She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Jina is also the author of The Blonde Geisha ,Cleopatra’s Perfume, Naughty Paris, Tokyo Rendezvous, a Spice Brief, and Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs

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by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large

Is your romance novel heroine qualified for the job?

Did you interview her before you started writing? I don’t mean where she went to school, what her favorite color is, etc. but whether or not she’s qualified for the job as a romance novel heroine.

For example, does she have the skills needed to perform her job: Can she shoot a Glock if you’re writing an FBI agent? Lace up a corset if she’s interviewing for the job as a Victorian lady’s maid? 

Or she may be overqualified for the job. For example, she can type faster than you or she has aspirations to leave the romance novel field and get a literary gig.

How long has she been out of work?

Romance novel jobs are hard to get and if it’s been decades since she slipped between the pages of a novel, you might want to reconsider. On the other hand, experience between the sheets is important for every romance heroine.

A typical interview could go like this:

Miss Jones, I’m writing a novel that takes place during the Regency Period. Are you a fan of Jane Austen?

Miss Jones: Jane who? I’m so into Lady Gaga. Love her sunglasses.

Next…

Miss Smith, my next novel is about an FBI agent who’s very physically active to catch the bad guys. Can you drop and do twenty?

Miss Smith: the only thing I dropped was twenty pounds to get this interview.

Let’s try again.

Miss von Rittenhaus, I need a romance novel heroine who sleeps all day and bites all night. Can you list your qualifications to be the vamp queen in my new urban fantasy novel?

Miss von Rittenhaus: Honey, I can snooze and cruise with the best of them. I’ve hit every vamp bar from here to Tampa and let me tell you, no one gets her fangs on better than Lulu.

When can you start?

Miss von Rittenhaus: Tonight. As soon as the sun goes down. (Pause). You haven’t mentioned a benefits package.

What do you mean?

Miss von Rittenhaus: Do I get overtime pay for all this night work? And how about a 401K? I’m not getting any younger and in this economy a girl, I mean vamp, has to look out for herself. What about my e-rights? And health benefits? What if I chip a fang and I have to see a dentist between chapters?

Jeez…Romance heroines…you can’t write with them and you can’t write without them.

This is Evelyn Q. Darling. Till next time when we’ll interview the romance novel hero and see if he’s up for the job.

 Evelyn is the alter-ego of Jina Bacarr, The Blonde Samurai: “She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Jina is also the author of The Blonde Geisha ,Cleopatra’s Perfume, Naughty Paris, Tokyo Rendezvous, a Spice Brief, and Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs

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I decided to dig through my old pix of Ireland and see what I could find for the wearing o’ the green.

No, this wasn’t my mode of transportation in Ireland, but it looks like a fun way to see the countryside!




Anyone for diving off this cliff?



Here are some pretty pix of Ireland taken over various trips…just for the Irish of it!
Next time you put your heroine in a castle, remember to add central heating.
The sign says “Stop Check Point.” This was before the Belfast Agreement was signed…
Happy Patrick’s Day from my

Irish Maid Doll!
 
 
 

 

And in case you missed it last St. Patrick’s Day or you’d like to read it again, here’s the link to my erotic short story: A Naughty Victorian Lady tells the tale of a naughty Irish maid on St. Patrick’s Day

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by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large

This reporter was dashing here and there yesterday from one errand to another when disaster struck at my local market. You can’t lug around a big ole purse and not expect the inevitable not to happen.

The strap broke.

Out went my entire life, spread across the dirty linoleum like a social networking nightmare. Notes, lipsticks, coins, cell phone…everything fell out. Junk I haven’t seen for months (years?) went flying from one end of the floor to the other. You’d think someone had just broken a piñata the way the clerks came running to my assistance.

Which made me wonder: what does a contemporary romance heroine carry in her purse?

Or to take it a one step further: what three things can’t she live without?

This reporter says a cell phone, credit card and lipstick.

And if you’re writing erotic, condoms.

But remember, we said only three items. Makes it more difficult. Here’s the deal: You can’t eliminate the condoms–safe sex rocks!–so if you were writing a contemporary erotic romance, what item would you eliminate–the cell phone, the credit card or the lipstick?

And why?

Think about it. Then read my answer below.

================

This reporter would keep the cell phone and credit card and eliminate the lipstick, then I would use the credit card to buy a new, red-hot lipstick!

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By Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large

February is National Snack Food Month. From greasy potato chips to chocolaty M&M’s, we all love snacks, which makes this reporter wonder: What does a romance heroine snack on between the sheets?

(I know what you’re thinking, but this reporter is not going there.)

You can’t ignore it. Snackin’ is a way of life in the 21st century with snack sales going over the $60 billion mark annually. Yes, that was B as in billion. (Who eats all those Doritos anyway?)

So this reporter was wondering (while she was snacking on peanut butter cookies), what heroines in various romance genres might be inclined to snack on. Think about it: what you give your heroine to snack on today would be different than in the Victorian era.

Crumpets (soft and spongy) dripping with honey were all the rage back in the late 19th century, served with afternoon tea and milk, while a hip modern heroine might snack on a vanilla yogurt parfait topped with granola. (Victorian heroines didn’t worry about calorie overload. They could always cinch in their corset an extra inch or two. A modern heroine doesn’t have that luxury.)

Or if your heroine is a vampire, blood oranges.

How ‘bout a zombie heroine? Zilch, nada. (What do zombies eat anyway?)

If you’re writing a romantic comedy, why not have your heroine throw caution to the wind and indulge in tortilla chips with spicy salsa or gourmet popcorn with real butter.

If your heroine’s a gun-packin’ mama, how ‘bout Snickers and black licorice sticks for fast, on-the-go snacks that she can sink her teeth into while she chasing after the bad guys.

Steampunk? You must have black tea for that British feel, then add red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for a touch of fantasy.

And finally, erotic. (You thought I forgot?) Bananas, baby. Big, long, juicy bananas.

Need I say more?

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by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large

It has come to the attention of this reporter that several of you out there, both romance readers and writers alike, are so involved in your reading and/or writing of romance novels that you may not be aware the bastion of male sweat and tight ends will soon be upon us.

Super Bowl.

Be aware, ladies, this is not to be taken lightly. No amount of cleavage or sexy panting will get your man away from the TV set on Super Bowl Sunday. Trust me, I know.

And if you are a football fan, well, you may know how to play the game, but do you know the top 5 things NOT to do during the game?

This reporter has gone to great lengths to find out.

So before the coin toss on Sunday, let’s get your game face on.

1. This is not the day to have new furniture delivered. Your man wants his lumpy sofa and scratched-up, old coffee table where he can be comfortable and put his feet up and watch the game. His turf, if you will.

2. No flavored sparkling water with teensy lime slices. This is like serving vanilla meringue puffs to a hungry army on the march. Beer is the beverage of choice and plenty of it.

3. Hold the beans and pass the guacamole. This is not the time to try out your extra spicy, three-kinds-of-beans dip. Bathroom breaks are not at the top of his list, even during the commercials. Who wants to miss those?

4. Don’t diss his friends if they show up smelling of beer and cigarettes. It’s a guy thing, believe me. A ritual to see who can smell the worst. Remember the guy in the news recently who didn’t wash his jeans for more than a year? That’s right, keep telling yourself it could be worse.

5. No matter how many potato chip crumbs or pizza toppings fall to the floor or carpet, do not vacuum them up. You will drive him crazy. Not good crazy, bad crazy. He’ll never forgive you if he misses the winning touchdown because of a noisy vacuum. And don’t try vacuuming naked. The only skin he’s interested in during the game is on a football.

One final word from this reporter’s iPad: whether your man pouts or gloats about his team’s performance, make sure you rave about his performance in bed afterward.

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Meet EVELYN Q. DARLING, Romance Reporter at Large, in her first blog today:

In the past, creating a job for a romantic heroine usually meant she was either a governess, a nurse, or in the early twentieth century, a “typewriter,” better known as a secretary.

Take a letter, Miss Jones…

To all writers of romance novels.

Dear Miss, Ms. or Madam:

It has come to this reporter’s attention that several of you have veered away from writing about governesses in dark, gloomy manor houses and pert, red-cheeked nurses and turned to writing about heroines who carry guns, sport black leather and can take a man down in fifty seconds flat.

Really.

What happened to the days when all a heroine had to do to get her man was flutter her black lace fan and bat her soot-caked eyelashes? (Ample cleavage didn’t hurt either.)

It was so much easier when all a writer had to worry about was how many flounces graced her heroine’s gown or the number of hooks on a corset. (A heroine’s age at marriage also determined the size of her waist: if she wed at 18, she aspired that her waist remained at 18 inches.)

And if all else failed, there was always the “smart” heroine who wrote novels, solved mysteries or planted her delicate boots on foreign soil and showed her moxie by becoming a globe-trotting adventuress.

Sigh. Ah, for the good ole days before our heroines decided they wanted equal rights between the sheets. And on the job.

Now to create the modern heroine, a romance writer has to know the difference between a Glock and a Sig Sauer (the latter sounds like a deli sandwich).

Be able to “street speak” in urban fantasies, suck blood without smudging her lipstick in vampire thrillers and shape-shift into an exotic creature with all her parts intact.

So I’m asking all you romance writers to drop me a line and tell me what “dangerous professions” for a heroine you’ve seen in recent novels or in a novel you’re writing.

What’s new for a heroine in the 21st century in the world of “9 to 5” that you haven’t seen or written about before?

I’ll be eagerly awaiting your answers.

Who knows?

Maybe we can start a new trend: Dangerous heroines in tight corsets and red high heels who live in an abandoned subway tunnel and belong to a secret society of lusty Victorian vampires who feed on handsome firefighters.

Then again, maybe not.

 Best regards,

 Evelyn Q. Darling

Romance Reporter At Large

Artwork by Jina Bacarr

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