layla: grass at sunset (Default)

The latest book from my Library Pile is one that I’d thought to be a historical murder mystery from the cover, but once I started to read, I realized it was a mystery-romance. The heroine has a meet-cute with a guy on the ferry that she’s taking to the Greek island where the events of the book take place. On the island, he is giving her a lift in his sporty little car, when he accidentally knocks over an old lady’s fruit stand, knocking oranges all over the road. Immediately, he stops, apologizes, and helps the old lady pick up her fruit.

And this really gave me pause; it made me stop and go, “Wow, I like this guy! This one’s a keeper, lady.”

… then about five pages later, the actual romantic hero shows up, which is clearly signposted because he is a total dick and the heroine hates him. Just to be sure, I turned to the blurb on the back (normally I avoid those, being a spoilerphobe) and discovered that not only is Dick Boy our “hero”, but the guy I’d liked so much is slated to be the murder victim.

Yeah. No. This one goes straight back to the library.

But this made me realize just how thoroughly over the alpha-hero trope I am. Over. Done. I want characters (male and female) who are the sort of person who would stop to help an old lady pick up her oranges. I am hungry for kind characters in literature, the sort of people who are aware that they exist as part of a community; who, when they accidentally hurt someone, notice and apologize for it, even if it’s a stranger, and doubly so if it’s a loved one.

And I think it was very eye-opening for me how startling it was, to encounter a scene in the opening pages of the book in which the character that I had believed to be the hero does something kind and altruistic. That’s rare. And it shouldn’t be. And this isn’t a problem specific to the romance genre. I read so many books in which the characters are misanthropic loners or just general jerks. I can enjoy me some misanthropic loners, but these days, I find that I’m really craving books about characters who aren’t. (Even if they may occasionally mistake themselves for one.)


Crossposted from Wordpress.  
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

I mentioned a little while back that I had been writing romance and thinking about using my maiden name as an alias for it. Well, I made my first sale under that alias, a short story in the anthology “Snow on the Roof” from Dreamspinner Press. So I am activating my new romance alias (special pseudonym powers: ACTIVATE!) and it now has its own wordpress blog: laylawier.wordpress.com.

Hopefully this is not a terrible idea that will sow only confusion.

I will be making absolutely no secret of the fact that both Laylas are the same person, and I’ll be frequently linking back and forth between the two blogs — Layla M. Wier’s upcoming releases will be linked from the Layla Lawlor blog and vice versa. If it turns out to be simply too hard to keep things straight, I’ll probably end up rolling the two blogs back into one. But in the meantime, the Layla M. Wier blog will pretty much be all romance all the time (with an occasional “oh hey, I sold this other thing as Layla Lawlor”), and this blog will be for everything else.

Originally published at Layla's Wordpress blog. You can comment here or there.

layla: grass at sunset (Default)

I made my first submission using a pseudonym today, so apparently I’ve stopped dithering and decided to take that particular plunge. I’ll be writing romance and contemporary fiction as Layla M. Wier (which is 2/3 of my maiden name, so not really that pseudonymous anyway). I haven’t actually published anything under that name yet. I’ll keep you posted when I do! (I plan to make a separate blog for “Layla Wier” at some point, but it’ll still be closely connected to this one; I plan to keep the connections between the two names quite obvious.)

It’s a branding thing, mostly. My genre fiction and comics will still be under my regular writing name; the Layla Wier name will be for the more mainstream stuff. Doing this feels very weird, very commercial, but I figure that if I don’t like it, I can always go back to using just the usual name (which has the added advantage of being my actual, legal name).

Further rambles about writing romance under the cut. )

Originally published at Layla's Wordpress blog. You can comment here or there.

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Layla

December 2016

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