Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel!
Today we are welcoming Killian McRae to the blog. She is visiting to talk about her book, A Love By Any Meausure. Killian is touring the blogs to promote her latest book and she has dropped by here to share some thoughts with us. Let’s welcome Killain!
The Anatomy of Angst: Why I make “A Love by Any Measure” hurt
The good thing about writing this guest post which will appear near the end of the tour is that I’ve had a chance to gage first reactions to “A Love by Any Measure” from a variety of readers. Many of them have been complimentary, and I am humbled by such offerings. No author can ever hope to write a book which is universally loved by all, however. One does hope that where a reader does not connect with a book, it was simply a matter of preference and taste and not with a technical or thematic issue with the book itself. Hopes, anyhow. Realistically, however, a writer has to expect and be prepared for the criticism that will follow.
Let’s be serious, I’m a big girl. I don’t get offended when someone doesn’t like my book. But as an author who researches vigorously and as a person of integrity, I do feel the need to respond to one criticism made in recent weeks: the choice to make my characters in my historical romance behave in a way that some find debasing, manipulative, self-centered, or mutually destructive.
“ALBAM,” as I call it, isn’t for everyone. It isn’t a Disney-like fairy tale or a classic bodice ripper full of fiery loins and heaving bosoms. There is a very sensual, at times semi-erotic undercurrent, but this is not a “rompmance.” It isn’t about two people falling in love despite a few inconvenient roadblocks and then easily bridging those differences to have lots and lots of sex. [I wish to state here that I have nothing against this formula, and have enjoyed a few books myself which used it.] ALBAM is a historical romance, but the emphasis is on the historical.
My hero is an English lord, my heroine, an Irish peasant. In 1860’s Ireland, these two people come from worlds not only of conflicting values, but in direct conflict with each other. This is the era of “Irish need not apply” in the U.S., of the discussion of the “Irish question” in the English parliament where lords debated whether or not the Irish could even be considered human. Joining lovers in this climate is no easy task. Further, I made my characters complex, such that they both defend and scrutinize the cultures from which they come. If they could not question themselves, there would be no way for them realistically to accept each other.
ALBAM is not a happy-go-lusty read specifically because it pays great respect to the era in which it is set. This is not a light romance with a few petticoats thrown in. It is a realistic portrayal of the realities Maeve and August would have dealt with. The most endearing love stories are those where the consequences are highest, where the challenges the most epic. If I am going to deliver heaven to my characters in the end first, I demand that they pay a passage through hell to earn it. I want the reader to deal with all the longing, frustration, betrayal, resolution, and surrender demanded of my characters. It’s not a journey for all, but it is a journey that, in the end, is well rewarded.
I’d like to thank Killian for dropping by and sharing some information with us about her book. Feel free to drop by her blog and say hi, follower on twitter and friend her on Facebook, and buy her book 🙂