When I joined OCC in 1988, I knew very little about writing romance. One of the first Special Events I attended was a day long workshop at the Fullerton Library taught by Ann Maxwell, aka Elizabeth Lowell. It was an amazing overview of writing romance fiction.
One of the things she said that stuck in my mind was how important it was to tap into the reader’s romantic fantasies. She went on to list some of the more popular fantasies, like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, the Guardian fantasy, and the captive story. That day I decided I wanted to write a captive story, and eventually decided to set it against the backdrop of the French & Indian War where frontier settlers were taken hostage by war parties led by French officers.
The captive story is an old one, with roots in the Greek myth of Persephone in the Underworld, and in reality. Among tribal societies, marriage by capture was not uncommon, a pre-scientific method of enlarging the gene pool. In our own time, the Stockholm Syndrome has been observed, in which hostages begin to identify with their captors. Though “marriage by capture” is no longer practiced, the story still resonates in the collective unconscious.
That book became Rogue’s Hostage, which was a finalist in a number of contests including the Orange Rose and was eventually published by Amber Quill Press in 2003. In a few weeks it is getting a new incarnation as an indie book with a sensual new cover designed by OCC’s talented Lex Valentine.
This is the book of my heart and I’d never have finished and published it without the wonderful educational programs and the support of my friends at OCCRWA.
Ger, yes, the Scarlet Pimpernel is a great romantic fantasy. I love that book and the movies and the musical!
Mona, those were great times, weren't they? We were young(er) and so full of hope and enthusiasm. It has been quite a journey, hasn't it?
on February 19, 2013
I think we joined OCC at about the same time, when Ann Maxwell still lived in California and did some ofthe morning workshops. What a magical time, and isn't it wonderful we've both made that leap from aspiring to published.
on February 17, 2013
What a great story LInda. Thank you so much for sharing. I'll keep my eye out for this one!
on February 17, 2013
One of my favorite romantic fantasies since I was a kid – blame Baroness Orczy and The Scarlett Pimpernel! – has been the husband and wife estranged by viciously bitter but misunderstood betrayal. Their honor keeps them apart, yet they so desperately long to love one another passionately. soap operas were also full of such stories when I was a kid. Sigh.
And what a fantasy! I would never want to be estranged from my husband for any reason!!!