When I joined OCC in 1988, I knew very little about writing romance. One of the first Special Events I attended was a day long workshop at the Fullerton Library taught by Ann Maxwell, aka Elizabeth Lowell. It was an amazing overview of writing romance fiction.
One of the things she said that stuck in my mind was how important it was to tap into the reader's romantic fantasies. She went on to list some of the more popular fantasies, like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, the Guardian fantasy, and the captive story. That day I decided I wanted to write a captive story, and eventually decided to set it against the backdrop of the French & Indian War where frontier settlers were taken hostage by war parties led by French officers.
The captive story is an old one, with roots in the Greek myth of Persephone in the Underworld, and in reality. Among tribal societies, marriage by capture was not uncommon, a pre-scientific method of enlarging the gene pool. In our own time, the Stockholm Syndrome has been observed, in which hostages begin to identify with their captors. Though "marriage by capture" is no longer practiced, the story still resonates in the collective unconscious.
That book became Rogue's Hostage, which was a finalist in a number of contests including the Orange Rose and was eventually published by Amber Quill Press in 2003. In a few weeks it is getting a new incarnation as an indie book with a sensual new cover designed by OCC's talented Lex Valentine.
This is the book of my heart and I'd never have finished and published it without the wonderful educational programs and the support of my friends at OCCRWA.
What is your favorite romance fantasy?