Welcome to the Wild Rose Press Halloween Haunted Garden Blog Hop and Giveaway. Phew, what a mouthful! Oh, and welcome back if you've followed the link here from one of the lovely Roses' blogs. If you've visited before, you may remember I promised you some thoughts on the dark side of light fiction, and here they are...
I love Halloween, and all things gothic and vampiric, which surprises most people who don't know me well. After all, I don't write dark, paranormal fiction. Well, not often, anyway. I mostly write light contemporary romances, with not a ghoul or demon in sight (though I do have one, as yet unpublished, story featuring a Djinn. And even that one's faintly comic). Occasionally I have an odd outburst of creepiness, as in the case of a ghost story I wrote in which the ghosts of a family who perished in a flood came back to claim a child (mercifully, that one's somehow disappeared off my computer - maybe a poltergeist stole it). Mostly, though, my fiction is resolutely upbeat. I like everyday situations, and just-a-bit-better-than-everyday heroes and heroines, and most of all I like a happy ending.
Sounds a bit Pollyanna, right? And it would be except for one thing... a good villain. After all, without conflict there would be no story, and without a good villain, there'd be very little conflict. So, for me, there's often a kind of triangle going on in my stories, but it's not always a love triangle. Often, it's a triangle of hero, heroine and villain. In 'Desperate Bid', Sarah isn't looking for a man, she's just trying to make a go of her job as an events planner in a company which is about to go up for sale. Her big dream is to buy the company, but of course there's someone in the way, and that someone is Miles, the sleazy salesman who's certain that he deserves to be in charge and Sarah deserves to be on her way out of the door. To stand a chance of getting her dream, Sarah needs help, and that help comes from Alex, a would-be musician who's got so tired of chasing the dream that in a moment of drunken madness, he's put his life up for sale to the highest bidder. And there we have the triangle: hero, heroine, and forces of darkness...
The challenge, of course, with letting the forces of darkness loose, is that once they're out, they tend to try to take over the world. Miles has managed to take over enough of Sarah's story that several people have suggested he deserves his own book. It's hard not to be intrigued by the bad guys - why they do what they do, and whether they can be redeemed. Just think of dark, exotic Heathcliff set against the very ordinary Linton - no wonder Cathy can't resist him. Stephenie Meyer goes one better with her heroine torn, not between light and darkness, but between two dark heroes: the vampire and the werewolf. Then there's 50 Shades' Christian Grey, whose twisted desires hold such a fascination for innocent Ana. From romance to crime to horror, light fiction doesn't get far without a good dose of darkness. Which is why it makes perfect sense to me - and most of my writer friends - that I love Halloween. It just seems to surprise everyone else!
Of course, Halloween isn't just about darkness. I'm shallow enough also to enjoy the excuse for a party and lots of candy. So, to help me celebrate Halloween, why not post a comment below with what you love best about this time of year? Is it the fabulous costumes, the treats, or something else entirely? One commenter (picked at random on November the 1st) will win a pdf copy of 'Desperate Bid', and once you've commented, do hop on to the blogs below for the chance to win lots more goodies!