Ask A Wench—October 2019

Anne here, wishing all our Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving, or Joyeux Action de Graces.  (photo Ruth P. Peterkin – Fotolia) Happy-Thanksgiving

I'm also hosting our monthly "Ask a Wench" feature, and this month the question we're responding to is: "Do you have any particular subjects or themes you often return to in your novels?"

Pat here: I do not set out to write themes, but if a reviewer asks me for the theme of my newest release, after some consideration, I’ll almost always say it’s a search for justice. And yes, I include the fight against prejudice under that heading, because that’s always a huge part of my books. Usually, it’s women seeking fair treatment.

Lady-justice-2388500_640In my Magic series, I give this a fantasy spin by making my women psychic—so rather than being treated badly just for their sex, they’re treated badly because they’re weird, which covers a lot of territory, including being female.

My men are almost always seeking justice for someone or something. I usually have a mystery/action element requiring a villain to be brought to justice, whether that person is a lawyer who defrauds, a contractor who cheats, or a killer to be caught. But in my latest series, there’s an underlying element of economic injustice, because that’s so much on my mind with the news these days. A writer’s mind is a sponge—it’s difficult for us to avoid absorbing the real world!

Nicola here: My timeslip novels tend to be inspired by “lost” figures from history, usually women who were so often a footnote in a male-dominated narrative or whose stories have been told in a particular way. I like shining a different light on them. A good example is Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, whose story I wrote in House of Shadows.

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The Romance of Christmas

Cbk2006'Tis the season, and though Charlie and Billy aren't yet in their Christmas clothes this year, I found myself thinking about the appeal of Christmas romances. I hope you don't groan that it's too early, but they're already hitting the bestseller lists. No other genre creates as many Christmas themed stories. That's my observation, at least. Am I wrong? I think it's because Christmas and romance are so in tune.

I'm not talking about the religious festival, but the social celebration, which is often shared by non-Christians and atheists. It's not an unsullied celebration. Some of us aren't happy with the commercialism, and the whole business of sending cards and buying presents can become a burden. Often on the women of the family, yes? The family gatherings can highlight stresses and open old wounds, or at the least oblige people to behave well around people they don't like. I don't think that's a bad thing. It's the sort of behaviour that keeps the world together. Cardpagkageboy

It's a peak time for suicide, however, especially for the outcasts and lonely, for whom the hype about happy families becomes unbearable. 

However, for many of us it is an uplifting time, and romances seem to fit with it.

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