Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pam Rosenthal GuestBlog: Love, Sex, Power, and Knowledge

CONTEST!!! One commenting Bella will win one of Pam's fab novels (courtesy of Pam)! Buona fortuna!
Her novel, "Almost A Gentleman," changed the way I looked at erotic romance, and I feel honored Pam Rosenthal is visiting us today. But before I make this sound like we must bow before her, let me tell you that Pam is every bit as accessible as her stories and characters.

Which is good, because this is the day to talk erotic romance and erotica-- maybe even continue our discussion of euphamism -- with one of the best writers going who happens to write both. So please give Pam a warm Bella welcome...

Hi everyone, and thanks for having me, Michelle. What amazingly wide-ranging discussions you have here. And as a closet nerd, I adored the Back to School Week postings.

Or maybe the nerdiness isn’t so closeted. Because I haven’t exactly kept it a secret, how sexy I think reading is.

My early erotic novels (w/a Molly Weatherfield) are about an outspoken and outrageously well-read San Francisco bike messenger, who finds herself in a dark demimonde of power sex. Carrie isn’t sure where any of this is leading, but, as she tells us, “I felt as though I was in the middle of reading – of living – this epic story, and it was all I could do to keep turning the pages fast enough.”

And my first romance heroine, Marie-Laure, in The Bookseller’s Daughter, falls in love with Joseph when she reads the erotic fiction he’s written. Actually, she reads it a little too astutely for his taste – he’s frightened, angered, and of course fascinated that she’s learned more about him than he thought he was telling.

For me, love and sex are always joined in narrative, and narrative is a double helix of power and knowledge, curiosity and desire. Romance fiction is so popular, I believe, because our own most cherished personal stories are the stories of how we ourselves fell in love.

Who is this terribly attractive person, we asked ourselves. Can we get him to reveal a little more about himself? Hmmm, might be dangerous – do we really want to know, and do we really want to risk revealing our selves in return?

And even when we weren’t sure we wanted to keep “reading,” could we have stopped?

What a good erotic romance does is portray this power struggle, this game of show and tell, hide and seek -- in bed, and out in the world as well.

The best compliment a reader ever paid me was saying that reading Almost a Gentleman was like walking in on my characters making love, even when they weren’t.

But I also want to achieve the mirror image of that erotic voyeurism: during the most extreme, most physical scenes, I want the reader to see two people learning each other’s most private, cherished stories.

Call it intimacy. In any case, I think that’s what I was trying to portray in my just-released erotic historical romance, The Slightest Provocation, the story of a contentious couple who wrestle each other down to some very intimate basics. (The gorgeous cover does really suggest my heroine Mary. But to suggest my hero Kit – well, you could always try Ewan McGregor.)

So tell me. How does it work for you? Does the simple act of turning the pages to find out what happens next have an erotic charge? And what does love (and/or sex) have to do with the pleasures of a good story?


Encore! "The Slightest Provocation" has been out just a short time and already has spent 3 weeks on the B & N Bestseller List!
Encore due! Pam writes erotica as Molly Weatherfield, whose novel, "Carrie's Story" was chosen one of's 25 Sexiest Books Ever
Encore tre! Visit Pam and join Pam as she begins group blogging at (great for us historical fans!)


Stacy~ said...

Pam, welcome! So glad you could be here.

I'm fascinated by what you wrote because I believe in a lot of what you say. I believe that a lot of the reason I read romance, besides the HEA, is because of that "charge". So yes, as I'm turning the pages, I feel it, even when the couple is conversing. I want to feel that chemistry, that little zing knowing that they are so into each other and aware of what the other person is doing even when they are in the same room but not necessarily within each other's company. I feel that heightened sense of awareness myself.

Pam, you hit on it when you mentioned how Marie-Laure "learns" about Joseph through his writing. That's how I believe we truly get to know someone: through their words and through their actions. Maybe not necessary what they say, but how they say it, or even what isn't said. And the written word is probably much more soul-baring than we realize, and reveals more of who we are.

I think love is relevant to a good story because deep down, it's what all or most of us are looking for if we haven't already found it. In some way, we want to be loved, and romantic love is usually the most sought out. Good sex is the icing on the cake because that is a form of intimacy between couples and a very freeing expression of our feelings for them. Think about how much more trusting and alive you are with someone you love, who loves you back. True, there are some people out there who are able to "let go" under many different circumstances. I just don't think I am one of them.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Pam! Welcome! We're glad you're here, and looking forward to talking about the terrific topic you've put forth.

Stacy, you've started our day off just right, expanding on what we hear most romance readers say about why they read it.

I recently read a short romance author, and it was zinging, I mean the story was funny, dialogue great, but there. was. no. passion. And I was so looking forward to it. It was like: oh, we should fit a kiss in here. gee, that was great, I think I love him.

Then we went back and resolved the plot with a hopeful ending.

ew. I think the innocent Regencies and Inspies are more honest than that. We don't get led up to the stream, etc. w/them, cause we get the form. But to write contemp, seemingly promise something (not necessarily hot), then slide by with no oomph -- that disappoints me.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, and anytime anyone wants to listen, I'm happy to praise "Almost a Gentleman..."

Kati said...

Welcome Pam - I've never read anything by you, but Michelle has gushed enough about Almost a Gentleman, that I've added you to my to be bought list.

What an interesting topic! I think that in romance and erotic romance, the journey is half the fun. I love books where I'm practically screaming in my head, "KISS HER ALREADY!" I think that some authors really excel at it. Linda Howard is my favorite example. I think half the time, I'm as turned on by the tension before anything happens, as I am when it happens. But if the author does it right, that first love scene is like a pressure valve releasing. You kind of sigh in relief.

I think this should be true in erotic romance too. It's just that the sex is more inventive (although I've read some pretty darn inventive love scenes in straight romance. Raspberries anyone?!), and generally hotter.

I look forward to reading this discussion because we have some really terrific erotic romance authors who are Bellas.

Either way Pam, thanks so much for joining us, I'm looking forward to today!

Julie in Ohio said...

Welcome, Pam!!
I'm pretty new to erotic romance. I've only read 2-3 of them. I need a story to get a "charge". I need to get to know the couple before they have sex. They don't need to be in love but desire would be nice. I like to get into their heads and see what makes them tick. Once I've gotten to know them and the tension is there, I feel let down if there is no action.
Michelle said it best about inspies. :o)
I don't always need the graphic descriptions but to just know that the hero/heroine's fight was not for nothing is sometimes good.
I've just read a couple of books that were just real heartwarming. You knew that they made love but it wasn't written in detail and I found it kind of refreshing.

Please don't get me wrong. I do love me some hot and steamy, too. Give me a good romance of any kind and I'm a happy camper... :P

Pam Rosenthal said...

Stacy, I absolutely agree with you about that heightened sense of awareness. I find that one of the most fun challenges of erotic writing -- all the different ways you can perceive that someone is looking at you. Another challenge is to create a continuum between the sort of deeply intimate exchanges that go on before, during, and after "explicit sex." My friend, erotic romance writer Janer Mullany, said that for her the hottest scene in Almost a Gentleman is when the heroine, who's been masquerading as a man, takes off her neckcloth in the presence of the hero, and in some ways I agree -- she shows that she trusts him with her secret, she reveals her physical vulnerability, but at the same time she engages in an aggressive act of erotic display. I love finding ways to show that the achievement of physical intimacy opens the doors to other complications -- in this case, the characters' very intimate strengths and weaknesses.

As for what Julie said, I'm still experimenting with what I think I have to tell the reader before a couple can have sex. In Carrie's Story (which wasn't a romance), the couple agrees to meet for way-out bondage sex 3 times a week, and emotions aren't part of the deal. And yet it's clear that they learn more and more about each other's lives as the book progresses, and WANT to know more. The reader only gets it through Carrie's p.o.v, but I hope it's clear that Jonathan's doing the same thing. I found all that wondering marvelously romantic -- and by the end of the book I'd begun to wonder how close I'd come to writing a romance novel after all.

Jennifer Y. said...

Welcome Pam! Your books sound great!

Julie took the words out of my mouth...I could have written that comment...LOL.

Unknown said...

I love Pam's books, and I love reading what she has to say about writing and erotica. It's always so damn smart!

I wish I could say that I think that deeply about my own writing, but the truth is I don't. *shame-faced blush*

Pam (and my film professors in college) taught me to really think about the power of sight, about the control excepted by one person seeing/watching another, about the interplay of sexual tension that underlies the exchange of something as simple as a glance.

I guess I just love the depth of her books.

Julie in Ohio said...

"Julie took the words out of my mouth...I could have written that comment..."

LOL! Jennifer, I'm so sorry you have the same rambling problem... :P

Kalen- I, too, enjoy reading what authors have to say about writing and what they've written. The way an author's mind works is facinating. :o)

Pam Rosenthal said...

Kalen, my husband studied (and for a while taught) film history. And taught me an enormous amount about movies along the way. Gotta tell him about your post -- just another way that he's been my most important teacher.

Unknown said...

I was lucky enough to bump into Pam at the RWA conference (just by Starbucks, Pam if you remember!)We are both members of the Beau Monde Regency chapter and we recognized eachother's badges.
I'd already read all Pam's historicals and loved them. She was the author who convinced me to keep on writing my own erotic historicals when things weren't looking too promising in the market.
I love the historical feel of her books, the long drawn out sensuality and the sex scenes you can almost reach in and touch.
Can't wait to read the new one!
(Kate D)

Pam Rosenthal said...

Hey Kate, I remember how pleasant it was to meet you and chat -- and I'm delighted that I said something encouraging (must be because I meant it). Hope you enjoy my new one.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Pam, re your "Im not telling, Michelle:" you're a cheeky wench, and that's all's I'm saying.

The scene you describe in AAG is EXACTLY one of the scenes that make me love the book. I can't tell you exactly why, because I dont' want to spoil it.

Oh, but I love David, one of my favorite heroes ever. He's so innately kind and honorable and accepting, and a very earthy, carnal man.

It's lovely, Kate, isn't it -- how just a few moments spent with someone who "gets" what we love can move us forward and even change our lives.

And, Kalen, I hadn't thought of e.r. in terms of "photorealism" as it were, but I can tell you that the texture of Pam's erotic scenes and elements do transfer in that sense. I have to think more about that. Great comment.

JulieO, I didn't realize you enjoyed hearing about craft from writers. Most GuestBloggers enjoy coming here to chat "reader to reader," rather than about writing. But I would love for you to "pick their brains," as it were.

But, please, try not to make us look too nerdy. We're still trying to live down "Back to School Week."

sharon said...

I love your books Pam!. They have opened up new vistas for me in reading and understanding romance and especially the erotic historicals which I love. Thanks so much.

ellie said...

Your books have always fascinated me and it is wonderful how you capture the essence of the human emotions. The feelings are so real and the scenes amazingly beautiful.

alissa said...

Your work has provided me with hours of pure enjoyment. I appreciate the great emotional and heartfelt romances.

pearl said...

When I heard that you were going to blog today I knew that I had to be here. It is an honor to read and enjoy your novels. They are the best of romance and give me the feelings that I have been missing.

Julie in Ohio said...

Being the vocabularily challenged person that I am, I find it interesting to hear how a story came about or what made certain characters come to life. *shrug*

I don't know if there are questions there to be asked but anything that Pam wants to add, I would enjoy listening to. :o)

Karin Tabke said...

'I love Pam's books, and I love reading what she has to say about writing and erotica. It's always so damn smart!

I wish I could say that I think that deeply about my own writing, but the truth is I don't. *shame-faced blush*'

Kalen, I feel exactly the same! Pam, you inspire me to look deeper at my own writing.

Pam Rosenthal said...

ooh, this is fun -- thanks all. I love the nerd stuff but praise never hurts. My own theory of what makes me tick is a few crossed wires between the brain and other nerve endings. Or maybe it's because nerds get to spend so much quality time with their own fantasies. But then, maybe all writers feel those things.

Doreen DeSalvo said...

Pam, it's wonderful as always to hear your thoughts on writing, romance, and life. I'm humbled by your generosity in sharing your experience with us.

On a petty note -- heh heh -- I just have to make everyone jealous by telling them that as I type this, I'm sitting across from Pam, noshing on barbecued chicken and chatting about poetry and science fiction.

Bliss to all,
Doreen DeSalvo

Billie L said...

For me the best part of a good romance is being able to put myself into the story and feel the emotions of the story instead of it just being something written on paper.

Pam Rosenthal said...

Doreen, you hoyden you, that doesn't deserve a (written) answer!

Billie, I think you're spot-on about being able to put yourself in the story. Which I think is a very profound thing, in fact, my last post on my own blog (called Almost a Blog -- at was about that exact topic. Because that was what Susan Elizabeth Phillips talked about at a wonderful workshop at Romance Writers of America's National Conference last summer. In fact, as I sit (across from Doreen) I'm working on an elaborate outline I'm writing of SEP's Ain't She Sweet, right now hands-down my favorite romance novel (yes, I surprised myself by loving a contemporary so much, not so speak of one with a heroine named "Sugar" -- tho actually it was Doreen who said that first).

One of the tasks I've set myself for the next few months (besides work on the next novel and phone people to get to the polls on election day) is to understand how SEP put together such a big brash gorgeous beauty of a book. And it has something to do with putting the reader in the story.

Pam Rosenthal said...

oops the link is wrong it's


Doreen DeSalvo said...

I have to post a bit about "Ain't She Sweet."

A few years ago when I first heard the awesome Dennis Palumbo ( speak, one of the things he stressed was that the more specific you make the details of a character's life, the more readers will be able to extrapolate the characters' experience to their own lives. As Dennis said, "You don't have to grow up poor in Ireland to relate to the issues of the kids in 'Angela's Ashes'."

I felt that way about the characters in Ain't She Sweet. The details were so specific, it helped me thoroughly understand what made the characters tick. I'll never forget the reference to the "great potato salad rivalry" at the local church's Sunday potluck.

Back to work now...

Stacy~ said...

"Oh, but I love David, one of my favorite heroes ever. He's so innately kind and honorable and accepting, and a very earthy, carnal man."

Michelle, I find this statement intriguing for many reasons. It really makes me want to find out why he is the way you say he is. Breaking it down a little, I love that part about being accepting. Wouldn't you say it's true that a lot of times when you are intimate with someone that you truly connect with on a deeper level, it's natural to be more accepting of what their partner enjoys, and to be more of a participant?

The writing that goes deeper - giving us the flavor of the story and making us feel like we are right there in the moment - those are the most effective. And there must be a plot, an actual story to accompany the love scenes because otherwise it's a flat, cold, boring experience. There must also be emotion in the scenes, true feeling, in order for me to become committed to the story. It can't be an easy thing for an writer to convey, and I really respect the authors who do try to look deeper into their writing and encourage this bond between their characters. It's evident in the way the writing has improved over time. MaryKate mentioned Linda Howard, and I'll add Suzanne Brockmann - I'm a fan of both and realize that neither one really has explicit and particularly long love scenes, but they are very effective and full of tension and emotion. Those scenes can flip my switch quicker than a 10-page sex scene filled with the mechanics of the act but not the feelings. Interesting stuff, isn't it?

Pam Rosenthal said...

Acceptance is the word, ladies. And I hope this story behind it doesn't kill it. Maybe a year before I wrote AAG, I took a relaxation class, and we did some very deep guided meditation. And one of the lines of the meditation was, "exactly as you are." And when I first heard it, I began to weep at the idea of being OK exactly as I am, and how rarely I feel that way. And it came back to the surface when I have David telling Phoebe he loves her and will love her, "exactly as you are."

As for non-explicit moments being sexy, when I go home (we're still in a cafe) I'm gonna look up a line from a Julia Quinn book (not usually considered high on the erotic scale) that turns me to jelly.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Well, Stace, David doesn't freak out, when he's first attracted to Pheobe. And he's got more than just the expected noblesse oblige, in the way it was bastardized by the ton, he's part of his tenants' lives, really enjoys the Plow Day, etc.

He's left a long line of folks in his wake, often not of his class, with whom he's had good experiences and whom feel good about their experiences with him.

Now, carnally, I have one word I think states it perfectly:


Have you read the novel? I can't remember. There's an Old Flame review at under Old Flames archive. And note, the rating should have been 4.5.

Ah, a cafe is it, Doreen? Here in the Midwest, it is decidedly not cafe weather...

Ciao to all you lovelies who've stopped by to visit! You add so much.

Julie in Ohio said...

Pam, I am a great fan of Julia Quinn. Which book is it from? I may be able to help you... :P

Acceptance of ourselves is something that we as women have the hardest time at. I think I need to try that meditation class you were in. :o)

"Ain't She Sweet" is the only book by SEP that I have read but I adore it. Sugar Beth is the most unique heroine that I've read to date. I love to hate to love her. I come from a small town and could relate to the fact that news gets spread quickly and you know EVERYBODY. It's nice but at the same time very confining.

Pam, which heroine was your most unique one? And what made her so?

Manda Collins said...

Hi Bellas! Been missing you guys and trying to pop in in the evenings, but usually they part is pretty much over by the time I make it over here.

Pam, I love, love, loved ALMOST A GENTLEMAN. And not only did I buy The Slightest Provocation, I bought it twice. (Forgot I ordered it from Powells and bought it at B&N too. Powell's order arrived next day.) Haven't had a chance to read it yet--waiting for a day of uninterrupted reading so I can savor it:) Completely agree about the erotic nature of the text itself. The act of reading itself, putting off the reading of the "finish" until the very's very sexual. Think of all those romance novels with love scenes where the hero makes the heroine wait for the "climax." That's why I never peek at the end. I want to enjoy it fully:)

Tooting my own horn a little, Bellas, but I made the top then this week in the Avonfanlit contest! And I got awesome comments from Julia Quinn and Eloisa James. Doesn't look like I'll get it (one of the entries got THREE author endorsements), but it's pretty cool. Mine is TO THE LETTER if you want to check it out.

Miss you guys! Glad you're here!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Felicitazione, Manda! You ROCK! If Julia Quinn likes you, Bella, you're sumthin else! We're so pround of you.

FanLit is very cool, and, Bellas, you can go to to check it out.

And, Manda, you won;t believe how good TSP is...

Playground Monitor said...

MIA here today because of a lunch commitment and trying to finish up a short story before I leave town tomorrow. And I'm celebrating that my son and his wife closed on their very first house today. It's a little 1920's brick bungalow in a neighborhood that's revitalizing. I've already offered them half the stuff in my mini-storage building so I can get rid of it! LOL!

Since I'm not a huge reader of erotica, I don't have anything to add, but I've enjoyed reading the comments. One learns a lot just by sitting back and reading.


Manda Collins said...

Thanks, Michelle!

And if TSP is that good, maybe I'll read both my copies!!!

Pam, meant to say I adore the cover of TSP. It's elegant and beautiful. That portrait is also on the cover of my copy of Venetia Murray's A DIVINE MADNESS, a history of the Regency period. Just lovely.

Oh, and Michelle, don't worry about nerdiness from Back to School Week! You are one of those rare flowers who can be comfortable in both the "real" world and the academic world. And you make people on both sides of the spectrum comfortable here. Which is why we love you!

*Waves* Hey, Julie, Mary Kate, Stacy! Where's Rach and Amy? Where's Vivi?

Julie in Ohio said...


Hey, Manda!! We've missed ya, Bella!

It sounds like I need to find a copy of TSP or AAG.
I hate to be behind everyone else in my reading... :P

Manda Collins said...

Hey Jules!!
{{{Waves back at Julie}}}

Stacy~ said...

Hey Manda! Loved your chapter - now where's the rest of it, hmmm??? Seriously, I want this story.

So in addition to wanting to read AAG, I now feel the need to finish reading Manda's story. The life of a reader is such a good one :)

Janet Mullany said...

Pam, just a comment that I think what you did structurally with The Slightest Provocation was fascinating and quite daring for the genre, where you bent the rules of time/space so that the story is not a continued narrative, but demands that the reader put the pieces together.

I think the art of storytelling is erotic in itself--so much is based on timing and choices and capturing the imagination of the one who is listening/reading. I loved the Arabian Nights motif in Carrie's Story, where Carrie and Jonathan spun off stories from each other.

But back to The Slightest Provocation--go and buy it now, everyone. It's amazing. Kit and Mary will really stick in your head!


Manda Collins said...

Yay! Thanks, Stace. Alas that chapter may never be finished if the results turn out the way I expect tomorrow...

Bad thing about Avonfanlit--299 stories about the same hero/heroine, only 1 of which gets an ending at all, let alone a HEA..

Wierd thing, I submitted three this round--the one they picked was (I thought) my weakest one. *shrugs* Go figure.

Dang, I forgot about the marathon word vers: tffmoeqb

The fine fellow moved over every quiet bit.

Vivi Anna said...

Hello my Bellas!!! I've been head deep into a new project that I just can't stop thinking about...

Besides you're all being philosophical and making me think too much....LOL

I never think about where my writing comes from or how I craft a scene..I just write it, what comes out comes out...:-) And usually that includes some HAWT sex scenes...can't help it, it's just the way my brain works!!

Oh, and I'm having a discussion about my cover controversy over on my blog...

I got a replacement cover for INFERNO which is due out at the end of November, and I wasn't told about it, it was a fluke I found out...they changed it completely, going away from the comic book look....

Pam Rosenthal said...

Mandacoll, that's fabulous news! Huge congrats on the Avon fanlit.

As for my gorgeous cover, the even better thing about it was that when I didn't quite love NAL's first choice, they let me suggest my own. I chose 3 paintings from my period, and this one was my (and my editor's) second choice. But I had never expected a publisher to be so interested in what *I* thought.

Thanks so much for the great comments about TSP -- and I'm also grateful to my editor for letting me tell the story "daringly," as Janet said.

As for the JQ quote, it's from On the Way to the Wedding, and it's a tiny thing -- something Anthony's wife Kate says to Gregory. I know the gist of what she says, but I want the exact words. Does that ring a bell, Julie?

Manda Collins said...

Pam, that is so refreshing about your cover. Just think if more publishers and editors listened to their author's opinions--covers would actually reflect the text inside of them;)

Pam Rosenthal said...

It wasn't even so much a matter of the content, Manda, as the tone. Hmmm, I said (re their first choice of cover), it's lovely, but it doesn't look English. It looks French. Whereas what we've got now is by Sir Thomas Lawrence, as English a portrait painter who ever lived, and painted very near the year my book takes place.

As for the little Quinn quote (well, I don't know if it'll grab anyone besides me, and it seems it needs a bit of context, but here goes)...

Anthony seemed to have developed a remarkable talent for avoiding most of the social functions of the house party. Gregory had seen him only twice aside from their interview the night he arrived.
"Where is the scintillating Lord Bridgerton?" he asked.
"Oh, somewhere. I don't know. We'll find each other at the end of the day, that is all that matters." Kate turned to him with a remarkably serene smile.

I find the notion of "finding each other at the end of the day" a very beautiful description of a happy, satisfying marriage.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

We are fans of JulieQ here also, Pam, and most of us, I suspect, are sighing along with you at that exchange.

And I think at that point in Anthony and Kate's marriage, they'd certainly matured through those parts of a relationship that test its mettle and cause a husband and wife to express love more deeply, but in simpler, mature ways.

I so want to make comparisons to TSP, but I don't want to give away too many details. It's so marvelous; very seductive!

Pam Rosenthal said...

I'm so glad you feel that way, Michelle, since, as Janet said, the story is told in a way that's uncommon for romance -- I wanted to show how the past (which in my couple's case is very passionate and very painful) lives on in the present, and how a mature love can heal some of that pain. When my husband was reading the manuscript, he said, "well, there was a place where you got ME to cry." And the part he cried at was the part I cried at when I wrote it. I won't be giving much plot away if I say that it's when Kit muses that perhaps, "we owe a debt of honor to our poor, flawed, frightened and deluded younger selves, to become the people we should have been, if only we could have."

And in answer to Julie's question about my most unique heroine (I woke up in the middle of the night realizing that I hadn't answered it. Sorry!): I guess it's Mary from The Slightest Provocation. But not so much Mary as Mary and Kit together, because I show so much of the "poor, flawed, frightened and deluded" aspects of them in their wild-child youths (which might be partly why I loved Ain't She Sweet so much).

Barrie Abalard said...

Hi, Pam!

Enjoyed your blog post. Heck, I enjoy everything you write. :-) No wonder "The Slightest Provocation" has been on the B&N list for weeks. It's in my reading stack...

Best wishes,


Julie in Ohio said...

Thank you for answering my question, Pam. I love hearing author's take on their own characters.

I adore that scene in "On The Way To The Wedding". Kate has a way of stealing any scene she is in. :o)

Thanks for coming over to play with us, Pam. I hope you come back again. :o)

Unknown said...

Ooooooooo, I go away and so much interesting stuff happens over here! I started TSP last night (love it) when the book I was reading finally bored me to tears by p. 140 (it's one of the beloved "classics" of romance that I sought out as part of my genre education—yeah, I'm a college geek—and I don’t understand why everyone loves it so much *sigh*).

Anyway, back to Pam, who writes what my friends call “the thinking woman’s romance novel” which I just think is just so apt. There’s a big discussion over on Smart Bitches about the constraints of the genre requirements stifling good writing and intelligent plots and to those maintaining that position I give them PAM ROSENTHAL and a big raspberry!

Jennifer Y. said...

Great chat! I didn't play much, but enjoyed reading the comments. Pam, your books sound great...I will have to look for them.

Pam Rosenthal said...

Thanks so much, Michelle and Bellas (chatty and silent alike) for having me. It's been great.

Kati said...

Hi Bellas! Where's our Queen B today?

Anonymous said...

I guess I have never given my reading that much thought. I have a feeling that I'm not as intuitive and sensitized as other people can be. I seem to see more of the surface of things and it may be possible that I don't dig enough below it to find out other things that might be there.

I find it similar to people that I know who've definitely had paranormal experiences: a friend who saw my father sitting in his usual chair after he died, or getting "messages of illness and the like" from the clock, given to her by her father, which no longer worked but gonged when she was needed back in England. My mother too had some of the same experiences in "smaller", less defined, way.

I've often wished I could dig beneath the surface but for some reason, like my father, I stay on the upper, more visible layer of happenings.

But your comments definitely make me think. Thanks for the insightful remarks, even if I can't quite follow them. It's so very interesting to discover how other people see things.

robynl said...

I think love is relevant to a good story because deep down, it's what we want. I prefer the couple to be in 'love' before they have sex. Sometimes it's a treat to read about them 'making love' but knowing this only by what is said and not the 'long description' of the act, so to speak.
Thanks for being here.

Pam Rosenthal said...

Hi Ranurgis, I've read quite a few of your insightful comments at Fog City Divas. I think everybody's sense of what's on the surface and what's underneath is different. "Obvious" really is in the eye of the beholder -- and it is one of life's great pleasures to get a chance to "see" in a way that we usually don't.

And robynl, I started out writing erotica that wasn't about love, and even though I think my erotica had lots of fun scenes between people who didn't love each other, love caught up with me in the end. Which was part of the reason I found myself writing romance. Not necessarily because I believe it HAS to be that way for everybody, but because my stories seem to look for love, whether I mean them to or not. And thank you for being there too.