Welcome to Day 8 of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour. The question I put out to all of these authors was “What challenges do you face in writing romance in today’s society?”
Don’t forget to go over to Rosie Amber’s page and check out her page too. I’ll put the link at the bottom of this post.
Today my guest author is Cheryl Koevoet and I want to thank her for blogging with me today. Here is a little about Cheryl and her book The Carnelian Legacy.
What Challenges do you face writing romance in today’s society?
I have a confession to make. I prefer not to write contemporary love stories for the simple reason that there seem to be no rules when it comes to modern-day romance. In the liberal attitude of today’s society, a man must no longer endeavor to win a woman as his lifelong partner since any effort on his part is no longer even required. There is a great saying that adequately sums this up: “why would a man buy an ice cream truck when the popsicles are being handed out for free?” The rules of courtship, marriage and sex have changed drastically over the past hundred years. Women have lost a great deal of power they once wielded with the opposite sex. By its very definition, the word romance has become a lost art form that doesn’t even seem to fit into modern times.
Somewhere prior to the 1960’s, men and women knew their respective gender roles and how the mating game generally operated. But by the latter half of the twentieth century, it seemed like all rules had been chucked out the window in favor of women’s “equality” and “progress.” It created confusion on both sides when women wanted to be considered equal to men in every way possible, with no special treatment whatsoever. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but can it really be considered progress if it ends up being a step backwards in the long run?
Now, please don’t get me wrong here — I do believe that some very good things came out of the feminist movement such as job equality and education for women. However, at the same time, many ideals were hastily discarded without further thought of the consequences and how it might disrupt the balance of power in the male/female relationship. While I am of the strong opinion that each and every person should be treated with the same dignity as respect as the other without regards to their gender, background, race, etc., I can’t help but think something important was lost when we threw out the notion of love and respect for “the weaker sex.” Did we toss out the baby with the bathwater?
While men of ages past outwardly upheld the attitudes of living in a man’s world, there is no doubt in my mind that behind closed doors, women have always been the true masters of the universe. Publicly, women have followed the rules set by men. Privately, they have used their influence and God-given skills of persuasion to direct men without making it appear as if they were leading them. Women of today still wield some degree of this influence which manifests itself in different ways, but the lines have become increasingly blurred.
As a historical romance/alternate world author, the wind in my sails comes from writing about times past and chivalrous worlds where men and women still have a set of clear-cut guidelines about wooing, courting, and just plain “going steady.” In today’s society, these terms are rarely, if ever, used. They are looked upon as being outdated and old-fashioned. And while I do believe that romance still happens in our modern times on a very small scale, it has, in general, become the exception and not the rule.
Once in a blue moon when a man actually does open a door for me, I find it refreshing and highly endearing. I know he is not doing it for me because I cannot open the door myself, but rather, as a sign of respect and tangible proof that he cares for me and values me as a woman. By these simple gestures, men in ages past showed their affirmation toward women as delicate creatures they needed to conquer with kindness. A woman was seen as a worthwhile challenge that could only be won through great effort and perseverance. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.
By fighting for the right not be treated as something special, we as women have given up a great degree of respect and our uniqueness as a sex. At no time was this clearer to me than when I was eight months pregnant with my fourth child and not a single man was prepared to give up his seat for me on the bus. It was then I realized that it wasn’t men’s fault that society had arrived at this point – it had arisen completely from women’s necessity to be recognized as equal.
Men as a whole decided to give women what they wanted and they began to treat us as if we were no different from other men. We as women have ourselves, not men, to blame for where we have arrived in the post-modern world. But as a product of this post-modern society and as a woman enjoying the benefits of equal rights, I think that after all is said and done, I would still prefer to be wooed.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Cheryl Koevoet has lived abroad for more than twenty years. Her daily experiences of living and working in an old-world culture provide the inspiration for writing fantastical stories that enthrall, enlighten and entertain. The Carnelian Legacy is her debut novel. She currently lives in The Netherlands with her husband, four children, two cats, and the laziest greyhound on the planet
The Carnelian Legacy
After the death of her father, eighteen-year-old Marisa’s life is on the verge of imploding. With nowhere else to turn, she seeks comfort on her daily ride in the woods of Gold Hill. But when a mysterious lightning storm suddenly strikes, Marisa is hurled into the ancient alternate dimension of Carnelia where she meets the arrogant but attractive nobleman, Darian Fiore. With no hope of returning home on her own, Marisa has no other choice but to join Darian on a risky mission to negotiate peace with his cousin and archenemy, Savino da Roca.
As she struggles to survive a world teeming with monsters, maniacs and medieval knights, Marisa sees a softer side of Darian and begins to fall in love. But when she discovers he is locked into an arranged marriage, her heart shatters. After Savino falls for her charms and demands her hand in exchange for peace, Marisa is faced with an impossible choice: marry the enemy of the man she loves or betray them both and become the catalyst for a bloody war.