Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ann Christopher GuestBlog: Sexify Their Love?

Contest!!! Ann’s giving 3 LCBs a copy each of her hot new novel, “Risk!”

I e-met Ann Christopher when she sent me her debut novel, "Trouble," and instantly became a fan of the book, and the woman. She's kind and smart -- and pretty, too -- and a Bella , to boot! Ann's hot new novel, "Risk," is out, and she's here to celebrate it by bringing to light a topic lots of romance fans are afraid to discuss, for fear, I think of the Veddy Serious Litooratour Police taking away our Serious Nerd Girl cards. Please, give Ann a warm Bella buongiorno, and prepare for things to heat up from there...

Good morning, Bellas! I’m so thrilled to be here because I want to talk about a topic that I’ve been thinking about for a looooonnng time.

Sex scenes in love stories are very important, IMHO. I don’t feel like I can truly get to know a couple, and gauge their chances for everlasting happiness, if the bedroom door is slammed in my face and the consummation takes place without my supervision. That just feels … incomplete. Unsatisfying. Lots of readers, I think, feel the same way.

So when it came time to write the first love scene in my current book, Risk, I knew I had to turn up the heat and pull out all the stops. Justus the bad boy and Angela the control freak have been battling for custody of their orphaned niece. They felt a fierce attraction when they first met ten years ago, and that passion has simmered, grown, and has to explode. Knowing these things about these characters, I knew that their first love scene would be quick and hot, that they probably wouldn’t make it to a bedroom, and that they probably wouldn’t get all their clothes off. And guess what? They didn’t. But Justus and Angela, and, by extension, the reader, have the, ah, satisfaction of burning off all that tension together. What could be better?

This brings me to my topic for the day. I’ve read many of the classic love stories—Rebecca, Wuthering Heights, and Sense & Sensibility, for example--and I can’t think of any offhand that contain an explicit love scene. When I reread them now, after many years as a romance reader, I still find them wonderful, of course, but a little … frustrating. Unfinished, even. As though an essential ingredient is missing. So here’s my question: if I could pull out a magic wand and wave it around, should we add sex scenes to the classics? In other words, should we sexify their love?

I can’t be the only one who’s ever wondered what happened in the bedroom that night Rhett carried Scarlett up the stairs. They’d been drinking, they were both angry, he wanted to humiliate her, and Scarlett woke up the next morning all warm and tingly. What the hell happened before the sun came up? Why didn’t Margaret Mitchell tell us?

What about Darcy and Elizabeth? What was their wedding night like? Or Rochester and Jane—you KNOW Rochester had some moves in the bedroom. One of my favorites is Victoria Holt’s The Devil on Horseback, the tale of Minelle the English companion, and the Comte, the arrogant French nobleman, on the eve of the Revolution. Their story is explosive within the G-rated confines of Holt’s book. What would it have been like with a little sex scene (or two) thrown in? What did all these couples say to each other in the bedroom? What did they DO?

So how about it? Are the classics fine without the sex, or should we wave that wand and add it in? Am I talking sacrilege? Would this be a truly bad idea, like colorizing movie classics? If we should wave the wand, which love scenes between which classic lovers would you most like to see? Don’t be shy. I’m giving away 3 copies of Risk to commenters today.

Visit Ann at AnnChristopher.com !

56 comments:

ev said...

Oh, gods first again.

I am not sure about tampering with the classics. i like 'em the way they are now.

and there are some on going stories that I wouldn't want to see an author start adding sex scenes to either.

I am not all about the sex in the books. Sometimes it is needed and others it isn't, IMHO and my taste. That doesnt' mean everyone is the same way. Sometimes, I just skim over them- depends on my mood, the author and the story. LOL

Julie in Ohio said...

Mornin', Ann and Bellas!!

That's a tough question. I would say "yes" to the "have you ever wondered what happened after Rhett carried Scarlett upstairs" question but I don't know if I *need* the details. They were an explosive pair so you know that transferred to the bedroom. :o)
I would have liked to have gotten to know Darcy and Elizabeth better and Rochester and Jane would've been spicy, but I think as a whole, I'm content to let them go.

There are some stories that I need the satifaction of knowing the how's, why's and where's. I like the complete picture as much as the next red blooded Bella but when I comes to the classics, I think they are great as they are. That's what makes them classic.

amy*skf said...

Ack! Ann, what a good question--Hollywood sort of does the job for some of the classics, yes?

I agree with Julie--I would have liked a bit more of Darcy and Elizabeth...But then again my imagination is pretty darn good.

And now we have so many good sex/love scenes in so many good books.

Ann, I don't know if you're going to get a straight answer.

amy*skf said...

And a big hello to all the Bellas--I've been out of commission--life and computer.

I hope I can visit more today.

Cherie said...

Welcome Ann! Interesting topic.
I don't think the classics should be tampered with. They are successful the way they are. Why mess with a good thing. Also, why not keep it so that a young girl can watch it as well. I have enough trouble finding movies that I would not be afraid for my little ones to watch as it is. I want to expose my kids to the classics without exposing them to anything they are not ready to see. I don't have a problem with sex scenes in a book but only if they are not used to disguise a weak plot. If the plot is weak then that makes me feel cheated.

Cherie Japp

Julie in Ohio said...

Amy-- Computers. Can't live with them, can't wait to smash them to smithereens... :P

Caroline Linden said...

OK, I would pay to see Clark Gable take off his shirt in GWTW.

But I don't think adding sex to the classics would improve them. First, there's the power of suggestion. When Rhett carries Scarlett up the stairs and she's pounding on his back, and then the next morning she's singing to herself and smiling, well, I think we can guess it was a hot night in Atlanta.

Second, most of the classics rely on some mystery about the characters. GWTW is all from Scarlett's point of view, as is Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, etc. To show those heroes making love would be to strip them bare (metaphorically and, um, literally. It's the metaphorical that bothers me). I kinda like having to fill in the blanks myself on Darcy and Rochester. What really goes through his mind when he watches the heroine? Why did he fall in love with her?

So my answer is no. But I really like that first love scene in RISK. You shouldn't stop writing sex, Ann. :-)

Melissa said...

I wouldn't want to mess with the classics. They are fine the way they are. I write "traditionals" or "sweet" romances for Harlequin though so I'm probably not the best person to ask!

Gram said...

Welcome Ann,
Let's not change the classics. We can use our imaginations about what is left out. If we change them they are not the same books we knew and loved.

Playground Monitor said...

I'm with the majority here -- don't tamper with the classics.

But anything written today... that's another matter. I agree that the sex scenes give the reader real insight into the hero and heroine -- the hero especially for me because that's where we see how he really treats a lady. Does he make sure she's satisfied - truly satisfied - and not just deliver a WBTYM (wham, bam, thank you ma'am).

Marilyn

Ann Christopher said...

Hi, everyone!

Wow! Looks like Ev, Julie in Ohio, Cherie ... pretty much everyone who's posted so far wants to leave the classics alone. Cherie, I like your point about young girls being able to read them. I first GWTW when I was in 5th grade, and I DEFINITELY didn't need an explicit sex scene then.

But come on ... don't you feel the teensiest bit disappointed/frustrated? Just between us romance readers...?

Caroline, you're right about that element of mystery. Would we be so entralled with Rochester and Rhett is we knew what they were thinking? Maybe not. And thanks for the compliment about the love scene in RISK. ;)

Ann

Ann Christopher said...

Playground Monitor/Marilyn--

I'm REALLY hoping none of the heroes we've mentioned are WBTYMers!!! They're not in my imagination, anyway!

Ann

Julie in Ohio said...

Michelle-- I think Marilyn just added another one for the lexicon: WBTYM. That's a great one...

Ann-- Maybe at first jolt, I'm a bit disappointed but let's factor in the time period of when these stories were *written*. The love was there but their extracurricular activities were not to be mentioned. Heck, most of time hand holding was not allowed for public display. Also, these books were written for women and women weren't supposed to know about things like sex. Wasn't alot of poetry that we consider classic and romantic today, forbidden fruit when they were initially published?

And that's my opinion, for what it's worth... :o)

robynl said...

I say 'no' and leave it as is. One can use their imagination and one usually knows what happened anyways-not down to the littlest details, of course, but generally one knows.

JENNA said...

Wow! I read GWTW in 6th grade. VERY glad there were no sex scenes. In that story especially. I mean, yes we want to know about Rhett...but her first 2 husbands? I'd rather not.

Now that story would be rife with sex. I mean, Rhett's best friend was a hooker. But, by removing it all, it's better for it.

Madame Bovary...that's one that should have it. I didn't get the symbolism of the carriage until college! You know, now I'm thinking it would add something to P&P as well. Hmmm.

GREAT QUESTION!!

Carol said...

I love the classics just the way they are. Gone With the Wind is my favorite romance book and I didn't need the details to enjoy it. I wish more books today were written like the classics that we love.

Eve Silver (Eve Kenin) said...

The classics are hot as is. There's an implied sensuality that works for the time and context. Which isn't to say that I don't like a hot story...I just wouldn't like to see the tales we know and love changed. And speaking of hot, let's talk about the name of Ann's hero, Justus. Mmmm...Justus...

Vivi Anna said...

I've always wondered what books are considered classics and why? Is it because they're old?

I havent' read any of those mentioned. Couldn't be bothered with all the new great stuff coming out.

Do you think in 40 years, Hell Kat will become a classic?

Jennifer Y. said...

I recently got a copy of RISK and can't wait to read it.

I think the classics are fine as is. It leaves it up to the reader to imagine things as they want them.

Monica Burns said...

Morning Bellas, the boss just went to lunch and I had to come get my fix, and lo and behold...we're talking SEX!! Woot!

Hi Ann, I hear ya! I would LOVE to know exactly what Rhett did to change Scarlett into that satisfied woman the morning after. but more importantly, I want to know how HE was feeling the morning after (and off the top of my head I don't even remember what comes next in the story). I want to know what HE was experiencing during the love making.

As for Rochester and Jane...YES! YES! YES! He has to be my fav all-time classic romantic hero. Passionate to the point of making me quiver all over. I'm betting his lovemaking would have been unbelievably fantastic. If I had to rewrite that book, I'd only include one sex scene, and it would take place the night Jane saves Edward from the fire. Oy!

I understand others not wanting to mess with the classics. I know I hate it when food manufacturers mess with the flavors of my favorite products. ARRRRGH LOL

But I also understand what Ann is saying about wanting more. Not because the book isn't great, but because changes in society SINCE those works were written have made sex acceptable in romance. The tagline I use on my site is something I firmly believe is Sex Without Romance is like a cookie without milk. That Ahh....sensation is missing. For me, the reverse of that statement it just equally true. Romance without the spice just doesn't give me a complete well-rounded picture of the characters. I want to see them at their most vulnerable, their most intimate. Sex allows a writer to explore the character at a deeper level.

As for kids, sex in romance, etc. I truly believe that the forbidden is more attractive than the known. I remember reading Woodiwiss under the lunch table in 9th or 10th grade and hunting for the sex scenes. It was taboo, and so naturally I had to read and experience the book. I also remember a book called Caravan my Mom had. I wasn't allowed to read it because it had a sex scene. So when Mom was gone, I read that book standing at the book case so I could put it down at a second's notice. I'm betting if she'd just said it wasn't any good, I'd never have picked it up. Then again, I was a voracious reader. LOL

However, I do believe there are degrees to what we need to expose kids too, and I firmly believe that's the PARENT's responsibility and decision. Not everyone will have the same level/degree of comfort with certain topics in literature. For example there's the recent use of the word scrotum in a children's book that has librarians taking it off the shelves. Some people are comfortable with it, others aren't.

I respect those who aren't comfortable with certain levels of sex, religion, etc. in their reads. That's what makes romance so wonderful IMHO, we've got it all. There's such a HUGE variety of romance that readers can find just about anything under the stars. From no sex to hot sex and everything in between, I think readers of all ages can experience romance in positive ways.

Just an interesting closing point, my GYN takes my bookmarks and brochures for handing out to her patients that come in with marital problems related to sex. She counsels them that as women we're cerebral creatures when it comes to sex. We need the emotional aspects to get "turned on." Guys on the other hands only have to see our naked bodies and they're ready to roll. LOL

Monica

Monica Burns said...

Well hell, I should have made a post on my own bloody blog. LOL Sorry for the dissertation.

Monica *blushing*

pearl said...

Classics are alluring as they are. I always loved the classics for how they are written and the beauty of the writing, the characters and the vivid descriptions.

sharon said...

Don't mess with perfection. The classics are a law unto themselves. I am always enthralled with these novels and enjoyed them when I was younger. They represent a certain era and capture it beautifully.

katie said...

I don't think you should mess with the classics. I let my imagination run wild back in the day. I probably wouldn't be able to read them then anyway.

Mona said...

Hi Anne, I think classics are fine the way they are. That's what makes them classics. It's another time when people talk, dress and made movies differently. Not having to see a love scene though you know what would be happening behind a close door is more like what designers say about women's clothes. Women are mysteries if they go naked the mystery is gone.

Anonymous said...

Karen B:

I like leaving it to my imagination - and I have a good one!

Maureen said...

Hi Ann!

Congratulations on your new book. I know what you're saying about the closed bedroom door but I think we couldn't change those classic books but it is fun imagining what we would put in those scenes.

orannia said...

Mornin' Michelle, Ann and Bellas,

Congratulations on the new book Ann - hopefully it will make its way to New Zealand because it sounds goooood :)

I think I'm going to fence sit on this question, although I am probably leaning towards leaving the classics as they are. Writing evolves as people and cultures evolve, and for when they were written...well, wasn't P&P a bit racy for its time?

orannia

CrystalG said...

Yes, I have wondered what happened between the classic characters.
I say leave the classics as they are and let the imagination run wild.

Ann Christopher said...

Hi, again--

Jenna--you're ABSOLUTELY right about us not needing to see what happened with Scarlett's first two husbands. Can you imagine a scene with her in bed with Frank Kennedy and his whiskers? Yeeeeechhhh!

Vivi Anna--I'm assuming ALL our books will one day be classics--especially Eve's new Shomi book with the cool cover! ;)

Monica Burns--thank goodness you're here! Finally someone who agrees with me!

I have no problems imagining these characters making love--inserting tab A into slot B and all that--but what about the EMOTION? What do they SAY to each other during the act? That's what I most wish we could see.

Here's an allied question--how do we feel about "sequels" written by other authors, where the story continues and the characters have sex? I'm thinking of SCARLETT (which I couldn't get through--just too weird) and MR. DARCY TAKES A WIFE (pretty good) and MRS. DeWINTER (pretty good but a little slow).

Are these books okay, or sacrilege?

Ann

Kalen Hughes said...

I clearly don't want anyone going back and writing love scenes for the classics, but I do kind of miss them. And I'll be the first to admit that when I sat down to write my first book, my goal was to write a Heyer-esque novel with sex . . . and let me tell you the editor rejections for the MS were fast and furious. LOL!

LizeeS said...

Hi Bellas - and welcome Ann! This topic is so pertinent even though It’s also just plain interesting and fun. So many smart and thoughtful opinions always fly around this site!!

IMHO, I think the key here is that we shouldn't want to change anything (past or present) that is what it is. A book should remain as the author intended it: her (or his) version of what makes good romance.

I have to fall into the camp (Ev I think you said it first) that feels you don't need to have explicit sex in every book to understand your heroine or hero in depth. That understanding comes from the author's skill in showing us the characters' emotions - not in knowing explicitly how they reacted to consummating their love.

Not that well-written sex isn’t perfectly wonderful!!

Guess it’s a little like music videos – sometimes (not always—there are some amazing videos out there!) once you see the picture someone else makes for you, the song changes forever. Some of my favorite music is the stuff where I’ve woven my own interpretation and it’s forever my own version of “waking up next to Rhett.”

Monica Burns said...

Ann, I'm all for sequels IF they're done right. Not everyone gets it right. Scarlett is a GREAT example. I truly believe that MM is the only author who understood Scarlett well enough to write a sequel. (Are you going to RT? We should hook up for a chat. *grin*)

Monica

Playground Monitor said...

I think Marilyn just added another one for the lexicon: WBTYM. That's a great one...

*snicker*


I think this brings up a good question: What will be the classics of the 21st century? And I'm not talking high-brow "Veddy Serious Litooratour" but rather the GWTW's of this century.

Marilyn

catslady said...

I say leave them alone lol. I think there's room out there for books with and books without. I buy both. I guess I just don't like the thought of messing with anything that already was a winner. That's why I normally hate movies after I've read the book.

Monica Burns said...

Harry Potter was the first thing that came to mind Marilyn. It's not a romance (although there is a little), but I think that series is already a classic.

Monica

alissa said...

when I choose a classic I enjoy the novel, because it is special and written for that era and has all the ingredients that I am looking for and it is enthralling and wonderful. I get lost within the pages and nothing should ever change it. It cannot be improved upon since it is the best there is.

joelle said...

Classics are the genuine article and they have endured and will be read forever. Their enjoyment lies in the writing, the exceptional characters and the majesty of the era.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Heya, Bellas, and welcome, Ann! I'm so glad we're talkin sex again, cause I was worried I was talkin about it too much for a while and backed off. Thank gawd you've nudged us back on track, Ann!

I was reading through everything, lovin it per ujz, and when I read from Ann exactly what I've been thinking all day til I could get here to write:

how do we feel about "sequels" written by other authors, where the story continues and the characters have sex

Yes! Says me! I've love/d fantasizing about the classics, and I love how everyone's talking about their own ability to fantasize being strong. I've already mentioned how greatly a sensual relationship between the h/hn of Blackbird Pond figured into my tween/early adolescent fantasies (decidedly tame)

But I adore writers who are brassy enough to take on the classics, which is why I loved Mr. Darcy. Writing, schmIting. It was about Linda Berdoll saying: Colin Firth is hawt and wet and I want to imagine him as a romance novel hero. I love. her. for. that. iconoclastic. 'tude. She had fun with it, and, clearly, so did lots and lots of readers who bought the thing.

But, I understand her door was broken down in the middle of the night by the Lit Police searching for that Nerd Girl card...

It's really interesting to think about what are going to be considered "classics" from our period, and lots of romance writers pay homage to that when they joke about lurid novels in their Regencies, etc. And great points today, too, about comfort level w/ sex w/in a society affecting the writing. But what about the double standard w/in Edwardian/Victorian society, for example, when we see artists and writers addressing the true sexual climate?

Now, I love me some hot romance, and I agree with whomever said it's primo as long as it doesn't cover for lack of plot. Cause even great erotic writing in any genre can't be salve for a stinky story.

kerri1973 said...

Hi Ann and all the lovely bellas! I totally think that we should sexify the classics. While I consider myself and "old fashioned" kind of girl in most respects, I just don't get into the old movies where they kiss and then fade to black and it is over. No! No! No! I want to see more. I never did agree with the concept that "less is more". Great to see you on the blog! Happy Hump Day to everyone!

Teresa said...

I also agree to leave the classics as they are. I say don't tamper with what is already great writing leave it all up to your imagination! With that said that is how I feel about the classics although look forward to good sex scenes in the books nowadays.

Ann Christopher said...

Hi, again--

Monica Burns, I won't be at RT, but I'm thinking I need to try to go next year b/c I've heard such good things about it!

Michelle, I knew you'd mention BLACKBIRD POND before the day was out!

Kerri1973--I think you make no. 3 in the camp to sexify the classics. Woo-hoo! We're rolling now!

Modern classics (we're wandering far afield now, but I don't care!)--I have to agree with whoever chose Harry Potter. And I'll add the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and also TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and THE KITE RUNNER. But I'm having a tough time thinking of a love story...

Back on topic--what about Heathcliff and Cathy? A hero THAT tortured had to be doing some interesting things out on the moors. Did they even have sex? Can't remember.

Oh, and let's add Anna and Vronsky to my list...

Ann

Kate said...

DeEfinitely Elizabeth and Darcy-altho that's been done, hasn't it?

Personally, I'd love to see most of the Georgette Heyer heroes getting it on, especially Damarel and the Duke of Avon (but not together-I think)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

LO-flippin-L, Kate! But there may be Heyer slash, I'm not sure.

Oh, Ann, you and my Bellas know me well -- I do love me some Nat, the Cap'n's son. sigh... I can just see him, slappin at those wet breeches after he dives into the bay, thinking he's saving Kit, who doesn't need saving...

You know what's funny about the P&P thing. I loved the A&E version, but was soooo disappointed w/ that uncomfortable kiss at the end. Yet, in the new version, I wasn't crazed for the earthy kind of sensuality -- it just seemed so not Austen. So I guess I'm a purist in keeping the classics classic, but happily encouraging someone to riff on them while making it clear they're riffing, not just giving an MTV version. Ya know what I mean?

Ann Christopher said...

The new version, Michelle? Do you mean the one with Keira Knightley? Cause, I gotta tell you, I LOVED that movie. The scene in the gazebo in the rain just gives me thrilling goosebumps...

Ann

Adriana said...

Good evening Bellas, I'm late getting on the page, as usual, but I'm in agreement ~ I like the classics just the way they are, and they sure left plenty of room for the imagination, which is part of what made/makes them delicious. I confess to re-reading the entire Jane Austen collection every so often. Does that make me a nerd?.

I haven't read any of the "sequels" and not sure I want to, since I like what my own imagination does, but if I did, where should I start? What's anyone's favorite?

Sex scenes in contemporary romance novels, on the other hand -- gotta love it, when it's done well, and for me, when it's character driven and part of the arc of the plot. Well, or just plain fun, can't go wrong there, either.

Adriana

ev said...

I think I know why I don't want there to be sex scenes in the classics- bacause the purple prose that would be used would kill me.

Stacy~ said...

You know, I was always rather disappointed not to see more of Rhett's & Scarlett's night together. I understand that at that time, it wouldn't have worked, but man, to go from the passionate trip up the stairs, then to Scarlett's glow the next morning...yeah well call me a voyeur, but I felt a bit cheated.
We didn't need endless sex scenes in the movie, but one little glimpse of the bedroom - Rhett tearing off her dressing gown, Scarlett ripping the buttons off Rhett's shirt - oh my. (fanning myself)

The only complaint about the A&E version of Pride & Prejudice is that the kiss was so chaste. Darcy harbors these intensely passionate feelings and finally Elizabeth returns them, well, there should have definitely been a hot kiss! I love the Knightly version, but felt it sped through too fast, but definitely there were memorable scenes.

Hate, hate, HATE sequels not written by the original author. All those stories after GWTW don't interest me in the least, no matter who much hot lovin' takes place. I also don't like alternative interpretations of another author's work. It feels tainted to me.

Ann, you sure touched on a topic we all feel passionate about. I'm intrigued by everyone's reactions.

Monica Burns said...

I'm with Ann on lovin' Kiera's P&P. I really enjoyed A&E's version but I still can't get over that hand shot. SOOOOO sensual. And that rainy scene in the Grecian temple and then out in the field when they say I love you. *sigh*

Stacy, I think you hit it on the head...Darcy has all this fiery passion for Lizzie and then WHAT! That's it!?! C'mon film director! Give me something just a little bit hotter, I mean they did have sex then. Look how many sibs Lizzie had. LOL

Monica Burns said...

Michelle, I meant to say something earlier. You always have the hottest guys on the blog, but you have some really BEAUTIFUL women. That picture of Ann's is perfect for a heroine.

Ann, I'm so envious of your beauty!

Mon

KimW said...

One of my favorite historical movies is Dangerous Beauty and there's a hot, hot scene in that one. It could have been written without it but then I would have missed seeing Rufus Sewell in the buff. lol So I say, add it in. I'd like to see a little more of Rhett or Darcy.

Ann Christopher said...

Well, Bellas, it's time for me to call it a night. Thank you so much for all the thoughtful comments. Monica Burns, thanks for the lovely compliment.

I had a ball today, if you couldn't tell! I've randomly chosen the following 3 people to win a copy of RISK:

Ev;
Julie in Ohio; and
Mona.

Please send your snail mail addresses to me via the contact page at annchristopher.com.

Michelle, thank you so much for having me!

Have a great night--
Ann

Playground Monitor said...

Damn! Ev's been winning everything. *g*

I have to agree about TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD being a modern classic. And to think Harper Lee only wrote that one book. But what a book! We're proud to claim her here in Alabama.

Marilyn

Julie in Ohio said...

Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!!!

I can't wait to read Risk. It sounds just YUMMY!! :o)

Amanda Brice said...

Actually, isn't there a gook out now called MR. DARCY TAKES A WIFE? I haven't read it, but supposedly it's one author's imagination about what happens after Darcy and Lizzie get married.

Amanda Brice said...

Ann, I'm all for sequels IF they're done right. Not everyone gets it right. Scarlett is a GREAT example. I truly believe that MM is the only author who understood Scarlett well enough to write a sequel.

Yeah, SCARLETT was disappointing and I agree that Margaret Mitchell was the only author who truly understood Scarlett enough.

Anyway, not "sequels" to classic novels, but what's everyone's take on remakes? I'm currently plotting out a YA coming-of-age story that would update a classic novel (set in 1860s) for the early 2000s.

One of my fave movies is the late 90s "Great Expectations" with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke, which sets Dickens' classic in Florida in the 80s and NYC in the 90s. Another fave movie of mine is "Clueless" which is obviously Sense & Sensibility, as well as "Bridget Jones' Diary" which is an updated P&P.

What do we think about that? Is it tampering with the classics? Should we leave well enough alone?