Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Art of Romance

The creative discipline needed to write an engaging romance is not unlike that needed to sketch or paint. Both require an initial idea, a firm outline of basis for the creation, and hours of patience in order to get it right.

I love romances set in the art world, whether the artist is a main character, a supporting character, or rather just a vehicle to bring my hero and heroine together. A beautiful painting. like a well-written romance, should appeal to your emotions.

In my 1920's novella, The Muse, my hero is an artist. The heroine his muse. The Muse was also my first foray into erotic romance and, like any first, it holds a special place in my heart. While in the final stages of edits, cover art, and blurbs, it became important to me that the cover convey a sense of artistry. I wanted it to make a statement about not only my hero and heroine but also the third person in their naughty ménage à trois.

I believe the cover artist, the mega-talented Fiona Jayde, got it absolutely perfect...sepia coloring with a minute splash of red to make it pop. Definitely one of my personal favorites among my dozens of covers.

Decadence, freedom and illegal activities…

Everything a sheltered debutante in the mid-1920s could want. When Hyde Park socialite Susan Leland meets up with Evan Forrester for the second time, she makes no excuses for their first meeting—an auto accident in which she broke the young artist’s wrist. She finds the handsome Evan both infuriating and intriguing, yet not quite as intriguing as sultry torch singer Holly Winters, a performer at Susan’s favorite supper club.

A chance to make amends…

By posing nude for Evan to paint. When Susan balks, Evan, not wanting to deal with an innocent, sends her away but not before the arrival of his next model, Holly Winters. As Susan’s preparing to leave, the beautiful and talented singer convinces her to come back the next day—so they can pose together.

Will Susan find happiness in the arms of Evan Forrester—or another?

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In my current work in progress, I also use art, or in this case an art gallery, as a setting for a steamy tryst between my main characters. What better place to practice a little "exhibitionism" than at an art exhibit.
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 It's very easy to garner inspiration from classic paintings. One of my favorites is The Stolen Kiss (1788) by French painter Jean Honore Fragonard. It tells the story of a young woman who has escaped from a family gathering to steal a few moments with the young man she loves. As a writer, I can imagine a handful of plots from this one scene.

Another favorite is Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by German painter Casper David Friedrich. Painted in 1819, it conjures up a feeling of lost love and romantic ghosts. If you've ever wanted inspiration for a ghostly romance, this should give it to you.

I'm fortunate to have a family filled with artists. Not me, of course. I'm lucky to be able to draw a straight line with a ruler. However, my eldest son and eldest granddaughter have both been given this wonderful gift.

I'd love to hear from the visitors to this blog. Do you enjoy a visit to the art gallery? Do you have a favorite artist? Concept? Time period?

Until next month, stay happy, healthy and well read.

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