Four hours and 10 Tissues later!

… runny nose, swollen eyes and feeling a bit numb I’m sitting in my armchair. No, I don’t have another cold; it’s all in the name of research!

The other day I zapped into the middle of a documentary on ‘Mills & Boon’ romantic novels. An established writer went on a quest to find out on how to write a romantic novel Mills & Boon style. At first I had no idea what they were talking about until I learned that this is the publisher specialised in this kind of literature.

When I was a teenager and later as a student I loved them – we all did. But I was never aware of the publisher’s name. We called them ‘penny novels’ because they were derived from the thin comic book format of our grannies who used to love the historic romantic novel version of it.

Although they had evolved from that - oh girl, and evolve they did - they still kept their name. But that was back in Germany, now here in England I learned that one has to look at the shelves titled ‘Mills & Boon’.

Once I understood the subject of the documentary I was hooked. I am embarking on a writing career; could that be something for me? As I said: I did love them! I spent some of my best hours in the company of those books – ‘Happy Ending’ guaranteed. We had a bag full of it which we guarded and which got passed around. Some titles vanished for a while, others got added. They never failed to deliver what was promised on the cover, and a bit more.

So my weekly shopping led me straight to the book shelf – oh and they are so smart: One can’t decide which one! The covers all sound so promising. I will have to be careful, this might be addictive.

By some people this kind of literature is not even considered such, but in my eyes it is THE kind of writing that makes it clear once and for all why books are so much more powerful than any movie can ever be. Whatever love scene one might envision from a movie, one will remember the same faces, the same ambience than everybody else. It is a mass product which is working for some but not for others.

The famous scene in ‘Casablanca’ with Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart – It’s not for me. I don’t particularly like the actors; probably I would like it more if I could fill in the faces with my own imagination.

The scenes in the books are depicted in every detail; however, every reader can fill the gaps with ones own imagination. This makes it work for everybody who is willing to take the trip.

Well, and what a trip it can be!

Either, I am an emotional wimp or these writers really know how to push buttons! And these stories did evolve. Well, maybe not in the historical range – I will have to extend my research to those – but definitely in the modern series.

Apart from all the emotional social tam-tam that is created in there to prepare the scene for the heroine-hero interaction, the romantic novel I read definitely is the female equivalent to the good old porn-magazine hidden under the carpet tile beneath the bed for a teenage boy. And apparently there is another series called ‘Blaze’ which provides that sort of writing on an even more elaborate level.

Oh guys, if you could brace yourselves and just read one of those novels – you might not understand it in full detail, but you would at least get a glimpse of what woman want. And you might be starting to understand that most of this sort of thing is happening in the female head.

I once heard the phrase: A woman needs to feel good to have sex, while a guy needs sex to feel good.

Oh so true!

And feeling good begins in the head - when the brain is occupied with scheduling daily tasks, the thought that not even the legs are shaved, that the feet haven’s seen any care for a while, and that thanks to all the duties one has been eating too much rubbish without taking counter measures on the gym floor, there is no room for ‘I am pretty, oh so pretty’.

However, I think if guys would read such a novel they would completely misunderstand. They are not to be taken literally:

The hero is always rich – We don’t want to have diamonds

The hero is always oh so gorgeous and a bit mystical – we don’t necessarily want to have our husbands to go to the gym and take up a spy job

The setting is usually in a fantastic environment – we don’t want a bigger house at the beach. OK, we want that… , but this is a different story.

These are all rhetorical devices to create a seductive tension between the characters. Well, the most common real life tension I know of is created by the question of who is to bring the rubbish out. We girls need the feeling that somebody cares, a bit of pampering, time to have the mind floating and a bit of seduction once in a while, …

Well and until that happens: I got a ‘3 in 1’ for £4.99

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Author: Rika