The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Author Spotlights Seraphina Donovan

I have a special treat for you this week. Along with the interview Seraphina Donovan will also share her ideas on The Evolution of the Romantic Heroine. If that wasn't enough of a treat she is also holding a giveaway! Yep, that's right, she will be giving away A copy of Dragons Lair. Leave a comment and she will be picking the winner on Saturday 3/17/12. A special Saint Patricks day treat.

Now get settled in and meet this on outragously talented Lady.

Do you do anything to get you into the zone to write?
For me, writing takes place in my head before I ever start putting anything on paper
r screen. The scenes will play out in my head and then after I've tweaked the
m mentally and got them going in the direction I want, I'll start actually writing. Music is
g inspiration for me though. I do specific playlists to put myself in a story.
Which authors inspire your writing?
I love Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lori Foster, Kresley Cole, Hannah Howell. In terms of Erotica, I've been reading a lot of Laurann Dohner and Jayne Rylan.
What is your favorite book, character and why?
A book that I have read and reread a dozen or more times is "Alice at Heart" by Deborah Smith, and then "A Gracious Plenty" by Sheri Reynolds. Oddly enough they
n't romance or erotica, but they have beautiful prose.
Do you prefer to write erotic or sweet?
It depends on mv mood. Somedays I like to write sweet love stories, even literary
tuff. Other days, I like to get my freak on, 101.
Which famous person, living or dead, are you drawn to?
I've always felt a strange affinity for Ann Boelyn. She was such an ambitious woman, and she paid the ultimate price for going after what she wanted. Also, she was a
n who understood exactly what she brought to the table. She didn't have the
"beauty" of many of the women at court, but she had wit and charm and knew how to
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope that I am writing full time. My dream, like so many of us, is to be able to support myself as a writer and not have to keep schlogging away at the day job.
       Finish this sentence: I know I've made it when ___________ ?
I can quit my day job! Lol. And when gorgeous cover models are approaching me
nd asking to be on my covers rather than the other way around.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Just keep writing. Take criticism, use it, make your work better and don't give up.
It sounds trite, but that's it. Just keep going.
What do you see yourself writing in the future?
I'll be doing erotica still. Some more sweet with the HEA endings, and others that
re just about that physical connection. I'll also be writing my historicals and vi
the worl
d of Regency England as much as I can.
If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
I'd be omnipotent. No bad drivers in my way, no lousy internet connections, lush
and gooey brownies that have ze
ro calories and fat and are actually good for you.
What time of the day are you at your best to write?
I have a full time job and I'm still in grad school. I write whenever I can.
Sometimes early in the morning, sometimes late at nights. Sometimes I will spend the
tire day, on the weekend, in my pj's and glued to my laptop just so I don'
t give in to
emptation and procrastinate.
And now for something completely different ...
What do you look at first with an attractive man or woman, face, body or smile?
It's different with everyone. Some people will have an amazing smile that pulls you
, with others it's the eyes, or the body, or the brain behind it all. I can say that
I have
ed men who were ridiculously attractive and I've dated other men that were not so 
much, really, but the bottom line with all of them, was that I had to be able to have a
onversation with them.
Explain your perfect day.
For me the best days are the ones that don't involve a plan at all. Wake up on your own, no alarm clock. No pressures at all. Lounge around in your pj's and read a book or watch tv. Then just head out and explore. Maybe hit a few antique stores or go to some little out of the way place for lunch.
What is the most decadent desert you can't say no to?
I love chocolate. In any form. There's a little bakery in the city where I live where
ey make homemade truffles that are to die for.
Do you have a favorite holiday what is it and what makes it special to you?
I love Halloween. It's all fun and no work. Playing dress up, getting to watch scary movies and eat candy. And you get to dress like a total slut without any repurcussions,
except for t
he hangover, of course.

The Evolution of the Romantic Heroine
The world of romance and erotica is changing dramatically. Not all that long ago,
heroines were all virgins, sex was always coerced or forced (at least initially), and they
were always startlingly beautiful, thin, and either filthy rich or dirty poor. She was either
a willful copy of Scarlett O'Hara or a simpering copy of Melanie Hamilton
Virgin or
whore has long been the mantra of literature, even literature written for women by
women. Thankfully
, times have changed.
In romance novels and erotica today, we find women of all shapes and sizes, all
socioeconomic strata, and any varied level of sexual experience. What we do find
universally now, is that the simpering heroine is a thing of the past. Even the quiet and
shy ones now have an inner diva/sex-kitten/vamp/bad-girl/ass-kicking-woman who can
rescue herself and the hero, if need be. Some are plus sized, some are even (GASP)
older than the hero. Yes, ladies, cougars are on the prowl. .. and I love it. The average
reader is not thin
, not perfect, not virginal, and has on occasion,
acted like a bitch. She
may also be over the age of thirty, forty or even fifty
. Those readers want books abou
t women who are like them, not who illustrate what they can never be ... perfect,
or about
what they never want to be again, inexperienced and clueless about their own identity.
It's a wonderful feeling to read a book about a heroine whom you identify with on a
personal level. When that heroine manages to save the day and snag the perfectly-
imperfect-and-gloriously-hung hero, it reaffirms our faith and our hope that even though
we're not fairy tale princesses who serenade bunny rabbits and bluebirds we can still
have the happy ending.
For me, on a personal level, most of my heroines are either curvy or even a little chunky.
I write them that way because I AM that way
and because I've always struggled to
identify with the super thin heroines who were dainty, delicate and got carried around by
the hero like one of Paris Hilton's purse puppies. Whether it's a past that
s less than
perfect, a body that's less than perfect, or an attitude that might benefit from medication
therapy, we owe it to ourselves as writers
and to our readers, to write books about
women who face the same doubts
, flaws,
and setbacks in life that we do. The key to
writing a compelling book isn't to write a book that's believable
but to write one that
people want to believe.
In today's romance and erotica market, the only hard and fast rule is that there are no
. Write about the type of people you want to read about and others will follow suit.

I couldn't have written this one better. Like you, I have battled the fact I have a Marylin Monroe body and starved myself most my life to be more like Twiggy, the 60's super modle. It took me untill I hit middle age to be comfotable in my skin. What a waste of time!


  1. I like that heroines are changing in the modern romance novels. I gotta be honest, when I read a contemporary romance, and the heroine is a virgin, I kinda roll my eyes. I mean, unless it's a YA novel, that just doesn't make much sense..and the average woman today, DOES have curves, women are supposed to be curvy. So, the thin, delicate, virgin heroines don't seem real at all, it's difficult (at least for me) to identify with them... The easier it is to identify with a heroine, the easier it is to get into the book...Anyhow, that's my 2 cents... Thanks for the post today! Book Savvy Babe
    booksavvybabe at gmail dot com

  2. Hi, Seraphina.

    You're a new author for me but not for long.

    I enjoyed reading this post. I agree with Book Savvy Babe about today's average woman having curves. Today's women are not "delicate little flowers" like what we used to read in romance novels.

    I think many female readers would like to find a common trait with today's heroines.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  3. Okay, guys I chose a winner as randomly as possible. I literally did eenie, meenie, minie mo. And the winner is.... BookSavvyBabe! I will be sending out your copy of Dragon's Lair tonight! Thanks so much!

    Seraphina Donavan