Friday, September 28, 2007

Thursday Talk-Time with Sandra Marton

Today Harlequin Presents author and Pink Heart Society favourite Sandra Marton tells us all about her favourite ever category ;).

My favorite category romance novel? Okay. Here’s the truth. I can’t name one. Seriously, I really can’t… but I can tell you which category romance writer I most admire. Her name was Violet Winspear and, sadly, she’s no longer with us. But Violet’s books, and her influence on our genre, live on.

Violet was English and wrote for my very own imprint, Harlequin Presents. By the time a friend gave me a couple of Violet’s older books because, she said, she thought I might enjoy them, Violet had been writing for two decades. “Winspear’s kind of old-fashioned,” my friend said, “but, you know, there’s something to her writing…”

That ‘something’ is why Violet had a long and successful career.

I admit, she probably wouldn’t sell well today. Violet’s writing reflects an era when romance heroes were close to being bullies, and romance heroines were submissive. My heroines would laugh at her heroes and they stuff they pull; my heroes would yawn at the compliancy of her heroines. But Violet was a talented writer. Working within the constraints of the genre back then, she still managed to hint at the torment that often underlay the behavior of her heroes, the innate courage that was at the core of her apparently submissive heroines. Her work was both rich and subtle at the same time, especially when it came to sex. Maybe I should say when it came to no sex, because there is no graphic sex in Violet’s books. Instead, there’s a sexual tension so thick it’s like a London fog. It’s there, it’s real, it’s all around you. You just have to close your eyes and let it infuse your senses. Believe me, that kind of subtlety takes talent.

I love Violet’s titles, too. Devil in a Silver Room. Blue Jasmine. The Honey is Bitter. A Silken Barbarity. Romantic and sexy and irresistible, don’t you think? And they bring me to something I discovered while I was putting these thoughts together. I googled Violet’s bibliography and found she’d written a Presents called Rapture in the Desert, published in 1977, long before I’d ever heard of her or Presents. And yet, the very first manuscript I submitted to HMB, the very first they bought from me, was one I’d titled Rapture in the Sands. Fate? Coincidence? All I’m sure of is that it’s lovely to share a publisher with Violet, and even lovelier to know we shared ¾ of a title!

Sandra Marton has just completed her (gulp) 71st book for Harlequin Mills and Boon, and loves every minute she spends writing. Sandra’s newest trilogy, BILLIONAIRES’ BRIDES, is keeping readers and reviewers happy.

THE ITALIAN PRINCE’S PREGNANT BRIDE was an August release. THE GREEK PRINCE’S CHOSEN WIFE is on the stands right now, and THE SPANISH PRINCE’S VIRGIN BRIDE will be available in October.

Are you in to try and win tonnes of goodies with The PINK HEART SOCIETY TREASURE HUNT???

Today's Birthday Present for the Lil Pink Dancing Guy can be found at Anne McAllister's Blog...



  1. Violet Winspear was one of my favourites too. She and Betty Neels had a unique gift for drawing the reader into their world.

  2. Sandra, hello. Violet Winspear was one of my favourite authors, and The Honey is Bitter is such a classic. I loved that story.

    Hmm. Perhaps I might look around to buy myself a copy. I'd so love to re-read it.

    Thanks for bringing back some great memories.


  3. It's great to see that Nell and Maxine and I all loved Winspear's books. She was one of a kind, wasn't she? And purely wonderful!

    Hello to you, too, Maxine. It's nice to see you here. Are you still sailing high on the joy of being published? I'll bet you are.


  4. Sandra, yes, I'm still sailing high. And considering I've been offered a contract for 3 more Desires, I should be. :)

    Unfortunately writing doesn't leave me much time for too much reading these days. Still, I'm not complaining.