Friday, July 16, 2010

A Very Interesting Book from a Writer’s POV!

SOS: Convenient Husband Required

Liz Fielding

Harlequin Romance, 2010, 251 pages, Large Print

What do you do after you’ve written over sixty books? You get even more creative. Instead of one romance theme, combine several.

Great Summer Reading!

I found “SOS: Convenient Husband Required” to be a zesty summer read. While I am sure that romance fans will be delighted with the book, I found it even more interesting from a writer’s POV.

The theme is part ‘baby on the doorstep’ (desktop), part ‘poor boy to rich boy’, part Jane Austen-style entailment caused ‘marriage of convenience’ (to be sure Jane Austen is mentioned in the book – a mention I feel sure is meant for other authors) and for good measure there’s a touch of ‘thriller- adventure’ to give the story a dash of life and death drama.

A Little Inside Baseball

In addition to being a poly-themed story, there is also something else going on of interest to writers. The author writes that her editor wanted a major character changed in the book and that she had only two weeks to essentially rewrite the book! It seems the editor wanted to change the ex-girlfriend of the hero who leaves a baby on the doorstep, to the hero’s sister who leaves the baby on the doorstep. (It seems when you are an ‘old’ pro, editors think you can do just about anything!)

One More Ingredient to the Pot

While the story is largely a ‘marriage of convenience’, as the title suggests, the hero and heroine are ‘hot-to-trot’ right from the start with both wanting a real marriage. "OK", I kept wondering, “Where’s the conflict going to come from?” Simple. The conflict comes from areas you don't expect. (I think this is an author having fun. It’s sure fun to read. You think not? Wait to you read the wacky wedding scene. I don’t think there is another like it in all the genre.)

England to Las Vegas

The author has traveled and lived all over the world. So you can always expect her romance characters to travel. Fortunately, they always seem to have up to date passports. The story goes from England to Las Vegas. (There are some stops in South America.) The thing is, it all works. The story is always interesting and enjoyable.

Clear the Buffer!

I think “SOS: Convenient Husband Required” makes a great book for a stressed author to read. It will clear the creative ‘buffer’. (This is computer talk.) It is also instructive to learn how the author made her major revisions. Frankly, I can't see how the book could have possibly been written with the ex-girlfriend character in place. That would be an interseting book, too!)

Add Some Zest to your Summer Reading! Highly Recommended!


  1. Thanks, Vince. Maybe I should mention that although in my first draft the baby belonged to the hero's "ex", it wasn't his baby! But you're right - it works much better this way.

  2. Hi Liz:

    Thanks for coming by. I have to admit I had two theories about the ex-girlfriend: the baby was the hero’s and the mother died in child birth. In this case I think it would be very hard to show how the heroine could be very happy with this – even if it were a marriage of convenience. The other option was for the baby to be someone else’s and the mother died, probably in an accident, and the hero was too noble to order a DNA test. Even here I don’t see this as making the heroine very happy – unless it turns out she is unable to have children. This would probably be a ‘theme too far’. : )

    I just couldn’t make this ex-girlfriend theme work – even just in my mind. Image actually having to write it!

    In any event the story works and I don’t think anyone could detect that the book had a major rewrite.

    BTW: I hope you can do another “Escape” story. Few authors are in a better position to write this theme than you are.