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Showing posts by: Dani Collins click to see Dani Collins's profile
Nov 7 2014 10:30am

A Precarious Balance: Taking Chances or Sticking With Tropes?

The Russian's Acquisition by Dani CollinsToday we're joined by author Dani Collins, whose book The Russian's Acquisition includes a sexy Russian (natch!), a virgin heroine, and a plot for revenge. Dani is here to talk about taking risks in writing, and the balance of presenting the familiar with the unknown. Thanks, Dani!

One of the biggest challenges facing all artists is, “How do I do what I love, stay true to myself, and make enough money to eat?”

I’ve been pondering this a lot lately, especially after I had an editor pull me back on a particular character. My heroine had an edge on her. To my mind I was taking chances and thinking bigger. A heroine with serious flaws becoming a lovable heroine was a broader character arc than perfect to loveable, right? (It’s worked more than once for Susan Elizabeth Phillips!)

But the word ‘commercial’ came out and kind of stopped me in my tracks. Did I want creative freedom? Or a return on the investment of my time?

I needed a firmer grip on how and why some writers manage to take huge chances and come out on top. My first thought, of course, was something like the Fifty Shades trilogy, but as groundbreaking as it appears to be, it’s not. There was a huge readership for BDSM erotic romance before those books came out, so why did it appear so new and different? Simply because E.L. James makes the leap to readers to whom erotic romance is beyond their typical scope of reading?

[Kind of a chicken or the egg question, isn't it?]

Dec 9 2013 3:30pm

The Arranged Trope: The Convenience of a Marriage of Convenience

Today we're joined by author Dani Collins, whose More Than a Convenient Marriage? and No Longer Forbidden? have been released in a special two-for-one package this month. Dani is a long-time fan of marriage of convenience, and is here to talk about one of romance's most universal tropes. Thanks for being here, Dani!

As a reader, it was love at first sight with me and the Marriage of Convenience trope. When I first started reading romance at thirteen, category was still closing the door on sex. In the rare cases that the heroine wasn’t a virgin until she married, she had miscarried her secret baby after her affair with the hero five years ago. She, of course, was too heartbroken to give herself to anyone else until he rolled back into her life.

As an author, I can appreciate how the Marriage of Convenience was a godsend to the romance writer of the day. Today it’s hard to keep the hero and heroine out of bed until page fifty, but back then you couldn’t get them into it without a ring and how do you maintain conflict after they’ve declared their love and walked down the aisle? Enter the provisions of a will, the decree of a king, or the desperate and pregnant widow.

[Convenient, and primed for drama...]