Friday, November 16, 2007

Why I Love SuperRomance by CJ Carmichael

Join us in welcoming SuperRomance author CJ Carmichael for her first appearance on The Pink Heart Society. It's her debut post, and we want to invite her back already!!


The World of Superromance...

The first time I read a Superromance I knew I was reading a romance...but I also felt the story delivered a little something “more.”

By “more” I mean...characters who felt real and complex...a vivid sense of the community where the story took place...layers to the storytelling which added depth to the romance...and, hey, best of all, darn good writing!

I read that book over 10 years ago. (The author was Bobby Hutchinson. Sorry, I can’t remember the title.) Bobby’s book made me want to read more Superromances. It also made me want to write Superromances!

It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve now written more than twenty of them. And read a lot more than that. Ten years later...and the love affair continues.

Real, Complex Characters

I like to say (and often do) that Superromances are stories that could happen to you or someone you know. They are about ordinary women in extraordinary circumstances.

Want some examples?

How about Susan Sarandon in Shall We Dance? She’s a great example, because, first of all, she’s a little older than your typical romantic heroine, and Superromance is one place where you can find heroines of varied ages, from their twenties to forties (and occasionally older.)

Other great things about Susan Sarandon? She’s smart. She has a strong sense of herself. Proactive. And most of all...she’s real and complex.

Other good examples... Renee Zellweger in Jerry Maguire...Iben Hjejle in High Fidelity...Janeane Garofalo in The Truth About Cats and Dogs...Diane Lane in Must Love Dogs.

Which brings me to the Superromance Hero...these are guys you’d love to lock glances with across a crowded room. But they are also guys you could spend a lifetime with and not end up wanting to kill them. They are the leading men in the above mentioned movies...



Richard Gere in Shall We Dance? is the loyal, loving husband who feels something is missing in his life;

Tom Cruise is Jerry Maguire-- the successful sports agent who needs to learn it’s not about “show me the money” but “show me the love;”

John Cusack, commitment-phobic in High Fidelity..., is the healing widower in Must Love Dogs.

Vivid Sense of Community

I like stories with a strong sense of place/setting. For instance, one of the things I loved best about the Gilmore Girls was the charming small town feel of “Stars Hollow”-- a community that centered around Luke’s Diner and the town Gazebo.

Small towns are a popular setting for Superromances, but you’ll also find Superromances set in large cities, farms, mountains and places as far removed as Alaska and Australia.

Though the settings themselves are varied, one thing you can count on is that through the story these places become real to you. The stories draw you in, give you the sights, smells and the feel of a place.

Recently I went on a research trip to New England. I took this picture trying to capture the beauty of the architecture intermingled with the fall foliage.

Isn’t it charming? Don’t you just want to live there?

Well, we can’t all live in New England in the fall...but we can read about people who do! My last Superromance, and my upcoming trilogy, are all set in the New England communities of Squam Lake and Hartford.

Tone


Superromance offers such a wide scope of stories, which makes it a fascinating line for both readers and writers. Over the years I’ve written many “Hearth and Home” stories like For A Baby, Love And The Single Mom and Star-Crossed Parents . I’ve also tried my hand at romantic suspense with a late-night radio host (Seattle After Midnight ), and action and adventure with the avalanche control team in Roger’s Pass (The Sister Would Know).

You will find Superromances that are funny, romantic comedies...

You will find Superromances that are exciting, fast-paced adventure/mysteries...

You will find Superromances that tear at your heart, engage all your emotions, make you forget about your dentist appointment at 2:00...

But what they all have in common? Good writing, honest, real emotion...and an ending that leaves you feeling that all is right with the world.

Keep reading and enjoying! And thank you to Donna A. for inviting me here...it’s been fun!

Warm Wishes from C.J. Carmichael (Come say “hi” at http://www.cjcarmichael.com/. And enter my contest!)

Coming in February, Dad Next Door...the first book in C.J.’s Three Good Men trilogy from Superromance.




9 comments:

  1. Thanks, C.J., for a great post about one of my favourite lines.
    Love your stories, by the way :).

    Jane

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  2. Thanks C.J. for a wonderful post. And I am looking forward to a romance set in Hartford--my hometown!

    Kate Hewitt.

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  3. CJ, what a beautiful cover! I'm a sucker for fall foilage. You, and other writers like you, are an inspiration to those who are still newbies in this wonderful, creative business.
    I loved your examples of heroines and heroes. I thought it was spot on. I love strong sexy women and the men who fall in love with them.

    Keep up the good work!

    Kimberly Van Meter

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  4. How lovely to see you on the PH blog, CJ! Great post and I'll be hunting down your Three Good Men trilogy. It sounds too good to miss.

    Love, Liz

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  5. *grins broadly*

    A fave author talking about a fave line...and I'm lucky enough to have gotten to know CJ through our RWA chapter!

    Most of all I love the film examples! I LOVED Sarandon in Shall We Dance btw.

    Thanks for coming, CJ!

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  6. The SuperRomance line is one of the two lines that I always read every book every month. And I enjoy every one of them.

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  7. Yay--Lots of us love Supers! I guess I must be in the right place... with discerning readers like Jane, Ellen and Kate, and even a fellow Super author (Hi Kim!)

    Liz, you remain one of my inspirations. Your books plus me equaled an instant love affair.

    Donna, thanks again for the invite. I'm so glad you joined our chapter--I'm learning as much from you (like blogging!) as you may be from me.

    Cheers everyone!
    CJ

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  8. My favorite line and the one I hope to write for. This is the best I've heard it described. Thanks for a great post. And a good book. I enjoyed "Star-Crossed Parents", my first CJ Carmichael. I'll have to look for others.

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  9. Hey Patricia,
    Supers is very open to new writers. Read lots and write lots. It's simple advice, but it worked for me and I hope it works for you, too!
    Good Luck!
    CJ

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