She snagged me as a fan with "The Red Heart of Jade" from her "Dirk and Steele" series. Luckily, there are several other D & S novels available, including "Eye of Heaven," out tomorrow, Nov. 28th.
Bellas, a warm Buongiorno, and accompanying Ni Hao, to Marjorie...
So I'm in Shanghai at the moment, having fun, working on a book. Which means I'm thinking about love. All kinds of love, really. Just this morning I saw a Pomeranian racing merrily after its owner, who was riding a bike down a busy street -- and if that's not love, I don't know what is. Ditto with parents and kids, sisters and brothers, platonic love between friiends -- and love of a more romantic nature. You know...kissy face love. Be still my heart, love. You are my sunshine, love.
Thing is, in China the demonstration of love is a tricky thing. Not the emotion of it, but just the logistics. Privacy is premium -- most folks live in very small apartments with their parents -- and public displays of affection are discouraged. So love, and the expression of it, is usually quite understated indeed. Holding hands. Sitting together on a sidewalk bench. Taking long walks. Stealing moments. And it's nice, let me tell you. Sweet.
And I wonder, sometimes, if sweetness isn't something that hasn't been left by the wayside when it comes to romance. Not in books, mind you (not always, anyway), but in movies and television. There's nothing subtle or restrained anymore. You dig someone? Well, hey -- chicka-chicka-boom-boom.
Which, despite the fact that chicka-boom (and boom-boom-boom) is exactly what I write (and here II verge on the faintly hypocritical), it seems that what I see on the screen nowadays celebrates the physical over the emotional -- which isn't necessarily bad -- but it isn't quite as powerful. Not always, anyway.
Take the X-Files, for example. Mulder and Scully hardly touched on screen for nine seasons, but was there any doubt as to their love and devotion? And would their relationship have been as powerful had they constantly been all over each other?
My guess is no. But hey, maybe I’m being too tough. What do you guys think about this?
Any favorite classic movies or television that demonstrates romantic understatement? Any favorites that live in some nice middle ground?
Three of mine are A Patch of Blue (one of the first movies made about an interracial romance – in this case between a black journalist and a poor white blind girl); Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (a marine and nun are stranded together on a Pacific island during WWII); and Roman Holiday (runaway princess falls in love with reporter). Of course, none of these films end entirely happily, but the sentiment is there.
Visit Marjorie at her website at MarjorieMLiu.com, or if you're a fan of her Dirk & Steele series, check out her other newly designed site DirkandSteele.com, narrated by Roland, the agency's foul mouthed boss. Beware spoilers, though, especially if you're ready to read EYE OF HEAVEN, which is set for release tomorrow, November 28th.
***Encore! The Dirk and Steele site is wicked cool.