Posts Tagged ‘Glenys O’Connell


Do Heroines Ever Eat?

Shhh! I’m tiptoeing back into the Romantic Journey after being away on other projects for a long time. It’s very quiet here, though – where is everyone? Please come back – it’s lonely here….
But not so lonely that I can’t complain about something that has begun to irritate me more and more. I read a lot of ‘woman in jeopardy’ and romantic suspense novels, and it really bothers me how emaciated and malnourished those heroines must all be by the end of the book.
Now, maybe it’s just those few extra pounds on my rear, caused by too much computer time and too little exercise, so I could just be bitter about this, but have you ever noticed how little these usually over-active heroines ever eat?
It’s not unusual for them to have coffee for breakfast, be stalked, run off the road, shot at, sprint through miles of woodland, swim a lake, have wild sex with the hero, have a massive fight with the hero, rush home to run into the arms of a crazed kidnapper, be rescued or get themselves out of a scrape, and then remember that they’ve not eaten since coffee at breakfast the day before.
Yeah, really. I’d be chewing off my own foot, I’d be so hungry.
And what do they do then? Set up a good meal with all the foodgroups? No, it’s usually just another coffee and maybe a bit of unbuttered toast. And the coffee’s not a Tim Horton’s double-double – it’s almost always black.
How do they do it? Why do they do it?
Is it the wild sex that keeps them going? Or fear that interfers with normal digestive processes?
Sadly, I get really cranky if I miss a meal, so I guess I’m just not good heroine material. I’d be more likely to shoot the first person to annoy me, rather than solve the crime, save my skin, and bring everything to a happy ending.
So, what do you think? Should we start a campaign to provide a healthy breakfast and organic snacks for malnourished heroines?
Certainly, I’ve been reading some of the neat cozy series that are around, and a few more writers are making their heroines a bit more gastonomically realistic, so maybe there’s hope yet.
Let me know what you think – should heroines have normal meals like the rest of us, or is starvation an important part of their diet?

Glenys O’Connell admits to a love affair with food, and isn’t above a junk food meal when she’s pushed on deadline. Her heroines eat well, everything from home made macaroni tuna and cheese casserole in Judgement By Fire to an elegant three course meal at an expensive Dublin hotel, in Winters & Somers.


Writers’ Realities

I started out with every intention of writing a stunningly funny and erudite essay to make a splash for my first post on the Romantic Journey site, Well, the best laid plans of mice and writers go aft awry, to misquote Robbie Burns (a nod to Burns’ Night!) so you get this piece instead.
Sometimes I get very confused. Not just because I’m blonde, but because my writing life is split up into two different Realities.
Reality One: I write romantic suspense. Ok, so there are sometimes rather nasty, bloodthirsty scenes, but that’s par for the course. You’d sort of expect it, right? But I also weave in a lot of humor into my work (I lived in Ireland for a few years; the humor sort of rubbed off) . Romance writing almost always has a happy ending, so that reality is all warm and fuzzy and Happy Ever After,
Reality Two: This is quite different. I write non-fiction books and ghostwritten biographies and novels. Hey, I was a journalist and this is a good way to pay the bills. But at any given time I may be translating a battered wife’s memories of her brutally unhappy marriage; writing a dating manual for the unhappy and panicking lonesome souls; or using my training as a counselor to write about depression and its treatment. Soon, I may be plunged into researching and writing about Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or rewriting a semi autobiographical novel a client has poured their heart and soul into.
Can you see what I mean about my two realities being confusing?
But if my working life is confusing, imagine the plight of the journalists who travel to foreign lands to cover wars and disasters. When I was a young journalist, my big ambition was to be a foreign correspondent. I thought it would be incredibly romantic and noble. Now I’m thankful my career path took a different turn.
But I have huge admiration for my journalist colleagues who regularly put their lives and sanity in jeopardy to look deep into the Abyss on our behalf and bring back the Truth that they find there.
Next time you hear or read reports about wars or disasters, about the terrible human suffering that plagues our planet, please send up a brief prayer for the dedicated professional writers who went out and gathered that information. Ask whatever Power you believe in to keep them safe so that we can continue to see, through their eyes, the truth.
Sometimes the writing I do leaves me sleepless. Yet I cannot imagine the sights and sounds that disturb their dreams.
I’d love to hear comments about your Realities and how you deal with the confusions that inevitably arise from the balancing acts of writing, earning a living, and Real Life!


April 2020

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