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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Themes vs. Preaching

Please welcome guest blogger Robin D. Owens

Every book should (WILL) have themes, probably both societal and individual. Gangs of boys can turn feral. A class system with great discrepancy can lead to violence. A class system can encourage a sense of entitlement. Power corrupts.

Bad things happen to everyone, learn to deal with that which happens to you, grow. Everyone needs help, don't be afraid to ask. Know thyself.

Those are some of the themes I've explored, but, hopefully, I haven't preached about them. Preaching, for me, includes rants on something, whether it is the value of romance novels or the complete failure of the U.S. judicial system or just a heavy-hand on the "considering women secondary to men is bad." I've read all of those.

Even when I agreed with the ideas, I've felt uncomfortable, and I've been pitched out of the story. For me, of course, that is the one and only rule: Don't pitch someone out of your story.

I've actually stopped reading some authors because I don't want to see the rant one more time.

Of COURSE you have the right to write passionately of your beliefs, but recognize that your audience may not go along with you, and they have the right not to finish the book. Also, your readers may ascribe to you the beliefs that a CHARACTER has, true or false.

I have strong political beliefs. I don't voice them in my books or here. I want to keep every single one of my readers...I want MORE readers. I already know that the society of Celta, with its belief in a male and female deity (and my characters decide whether they pray to the Lady and Lord or the Lord and Lady -- and in what instances) can be uncomfortable for people.

If I make you feel and think, that's good, but I consider myself an entertainer -- taking you away to another place for a few hours so you can forget your [plumbing/car] problems. So, for me, educating you about romance novels or violence or slavery is not the main thrust of my work.

I would say that writers who do this limit their audience, and for me that isn't something I want to do.

May you enjoy your entertainment today. Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again,

RITA® Award Winning novelist Robin D. Owens credits the telepathic cat with attitude in selling her first futuristic/fantasy romance, HeartMate, published in December 2001. Since then she has written ten books in the series.

Her five book Luna series included average American women Summoned into another dimension to save a world. Her new Luna book, Enchanted No More, January 2011 is a paranormal romantic fantasy.

She is profoundly thankful to be recipient of the RITA Award, the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year award, the Colorado Romance Writers’ Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2010 Best Paranormal and Best of the Best Daphne Du Maurier Award.

Website: http://www.robindowens.com
Blog: On Writing & Publishing http://robindowens.blogspot.com
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Enchanted No More

As one of the last surviving Mistweavers, half-blood Jenni knows what it's like to be caught between two worlds: the faery and the human. But the time has come to choose. The Lightfolk require her unique talent for balancing the elements to fend off a dangerous enemy—and rescue her missing brother.

Only for Rothly will Jenni deal with those who destroyed her life. Only for him will she agree to work with her ex-lover, Tage, and revisit the darkest corners of her soul. For a reckoning is at hand, and she alone has the power to hold back the forces of dark….


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post.

I can't stand preachy books. They really drive me bonkers. Subtle themes and stories with allegories---those are nice. :)

Bella Street said...

Amen! I'm always shocked when an author reveals strong political persuasions. You're guaranteed to tick off about half of your readers. I read, like you said, for entertainment and really don't want a political treatise while I'm reading fiction.

FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

Thanks! And because I wanted to point you to my blog on Copy Edit Info for the Reader and Writer, I had to tone down my rant on Word (since I use Wordperfect and working in e-edits in Word is difficult for me). :)

Anyway a page of my copy edits (not this book) is up on my blog, so you can see it.


Karen Ender said...


I love your Heart series. Will you be coming out with more of them?

Karen Ender

FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

Thanks, Karen. Heart Search will be out in August. I just finished a collection of stories/novellas running from 16K to 53K (four of them), that I think will be published in December. That will be called Hearts & Swords.

There are pics of the covers on my blog, but I am not up to date with my website.

Thanks again,