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Saturday, September 3, 2011

ONCE UPON A TIME...


 
      Once Upon a Time there was this girl named Delilah (yes, this is about me).  She grew up feeling as if she had been born in the wrong era.  She never quite fit in with all the other children who were obsessed with dolls, video games and television.  She found herself drawn to historical clothing, swords (real ones), boys who could yield said swords (no, not THOSE swords), and boys who could fall upon their knees for their lady when she needed it most. Her father, who was a single parent, encouraged her reading and her most curious obsession with days of old, thus sparking her crazy imagination to a dangerous boiling point.
      And then...her father remarried.  Delilah quickly discovered her stepmother made Cinderella's stepmother look like Mother Theresa.  The woman, as it turns out years later, was manic depressive and wasn't diagnosed until after nine years of giving Delilah hell.
      Throughout those nine years, Delilah's need to escape her real life and fall into an era that seemed so much more magical propelled her into looking for the ultimate fairy tale. Historical romance offered that fairy tale but it was never enough given Delilah had read every single historical romance there was to read in the library.  So she started writing and threw herself into a world she could control like God (bwahaha).  It was a beautiful, sweeping world she hasn't been able to leave ever since.
      Okay...so that was the gussied up version of why I started writing historical romance.  But if there is one thing I have learned about writers it is this: we all write for a reason.  As Hemingway once said when asked what makes for a great writer, he said, "An Unhappy Childhood."  And there's a truth to that.  Something emotionally throws us into wanting to share our heartaches and joys and I have had my share of both.
      I am obsessed with history and have been for the longest time.  In particular, my fascination is for those things that were never discussed in history class.  Like what sort of contraception did women use in the 1800's?  Did they really have to be barefoot and pregnant or were there women who shook their fist at men who thought they should be barefoot and pregnant?  And what about dildos?  How long have those suckers been around?  Surely, it's not a recent invention? 
      Needless to say, these questions led to the creation of my Sex Throughout History blog, A BIT O'MUSLIN  This fascination also led to the creation of stories to reflect a history that is overlooked by society due to its scandalous nature and for the most part untold in historical romance (due to its scandalous nature).  Historical romance has been sanitized for the longest time, trying to erase REAL history and just how scandalous it was.  

      As an example, venereal disease is not really a subject usually touched on in historical romance novels. In ONCE UPON A SCANDAL, my February 2011 release, the heroine’s father is dying from syphilis. It’s not pretty and it’s utterly heartbreaking. Because we’re dealing with romance novels, many people don’t want to see the ugly side of the reality most of these women (and men) faced.  But what I've learned from my own hardships and the love I have found in my incredible husband is this: you can't understand what a happily ever after is or appreciate true love if you don't understand hardship.  And that is why I introduce my characters to the reality of life so that when love crosses their path they are swept away into a world they not only appreciate but madly love.
      That said, don't think my writing is all about overcoming depression, lol.  I have a tendency to never take myself seriously and so you'll find that even with me touching on dark subjects, I will make you spit your drink out through your nostrils in laughter.  Because that's the best way to survive life.  Laughing even when things are most dire...

Delilah Marvelle's Blog, A Bit O'Muslin

8 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Delilah,

Just checked out 'A Bit O'Muslin' and knew better before I started reading not to take a drink. Good call on my part.

I appreciate an author who can address the darker side of our lives without dragging the reader (me) into the pits of hell for any length of time. I tend not to read them as I can get to those pits without reading a book for relaxation and entertainment.

Thanks for stopping by. And I'm looking forward to your new series.

elizabethreinhardt said...

Hey Delilah!

I loved this post! My mother had tons of historical romances hanging around the house, and they were my secret sneaky passion as a kid...and we still share of love of them today! I love that you are giving us the nitty gritty of the historical world. I, too, have an intense interest in the reality beyond the fabulous clothing and practiced manners. I can't wait to check out your book and blog! Thanks! Liz

Maggie Jaimeson said...

I love your novels specifically because they address real issues and sexuality. For me, when I travel to the depths with a character it makes it so much sweeter when he/she get their happily ever after.

Being able to control worlds is the same reason I write. Though my childhood was happy and loving, there was still loss and grief. I think that is the reality of life. My novels also deal with that some of that and I love working through the darkness into the light.

Keep being dangerous, Delilah, and bringing us those wonderful historical characters!

ElaineCharton said...

I love that Hemingway quote. There is some truth in that. Your book and blog sound like fun. I will have to check them out and be sure I keep my ice tea far far away when I do. :)

Vonnie Alto said...

History has so many fascinating facets and you, Delilah, found a way to explore it. I, too, have a lot of questions about the unmentionable side of life in history. That is why your books and blog is useful to read. You pursue real history not fantasized history. I can't wait for your new series to debut.

Paty Jager said...

I agree, you have to have the reality of life in a story to show what the characters have overcome to get where they are. Of course not all my characters have dark pasts, but those that do,I think make for better reads and more to work with when writing. I love your wit and your integrity to write what needs to be told.

Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for this wonderful, heartfelt post, Delilah. I agree that the reality of everyday life in the past is fascinating. I'll throw the book against the wall if I realize an author is misrepresenting history out of laziness.

Like Maggie, I had a happy, loving childhood for which I am very thankful. I don't believe a difficult childhood is a necessity for a writer, although overcoming hardship certainly builds character. As Maggie said, we all experience love and loss, hardship and loneliness in our lives. We all grow up and realize not everyone lives the way we did growing up, whether our experience was good or bad. Hopefully, we experience all life has to offer and write about much of it in our stories, as you have so beautifully done!

DaniJo Avia said...

Delilah - I so enjoy your writing style, your characters and the little bits of history I glean from your research... utterly fascinating!
Looking forward to reading Forever mine!