When does my Barbara Cartland life kick in?

If you’ve been reading romance as long as I have, you’ll be familiar with the sassy Barbara Cartland. Although this wonderful dame is no longer with us, she was one of the authors who really paved the way for the rest of us with her tales of blushing maidens and handsome noblemen.

Barbara-Cartland

Surely you’ve seen her pictures. The fluffy pink gowns. The fluffy little dogs. The properties in the English countryside. Sigh. Barbara had the life.

As I gaze at her powdered image I do sometimes wonder if the life of today’s modern romance author has paled in comparison. Where’s the glamour? Where are the diamonds? Where is my bouffant hairdo?

I think the romance authors of today need to seize on this idea and create a Cartland-esque existence for themselves.

Take today, for example. Thanks to the recent snowstorm, I was outside at 7:30am shoveling the driveway while my capable sons warmed themselves inside. Somehow I can’t help but think Barbara would have had someone to clear her drive for her. A butler or valet or someone named Jeeves.

I hold down another job, as many of today’s authors do. I actually like my other job so I won’t complain about it, but do you think Barbara stocked shelves at the local Walgreens when she wasn’t writing? I doubt it.

And then there’s the wardrobe. It seems to me every romance author ought to receive several silky gowns when they publish their first book. I’m more likely to sit around in my flannel PJ’s. Comfy, yes, but do I feel like a diva of drama? No.

So what am I going to do? Well, I’m going to ditch my black pencil skirts, ballet flats and neutral makeup. I’m going to fire up my curling iron and put a tutu on my cat. And the next time my family expects me to serve them dinner after a full day of work, I’m going to look around, bat my eyelashes and say, “Ask Jeeves. I’m writing.”

I’ll let you know how it goes. Now where’s my pink boa?

19 thoughts on “When does my Barbara Cartland life kick in?

  1. Pingback: When does my Barbara Cartland life kick in? | Author Brooke Lynn Berry

  2. It may interest you to know, in her early years Dame Cartland had a hat shop to supplement her meager writing income. It “foundered, not least because the boss was so often away, tripping the light fantastic, probably wearing one of her own hats.” (The Telegraph, May 22, 2000) So, you are very much in keeping with her legacy by having day job. And best of luck with putting that tutu on your cat!

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    • LOL, thanks DawnMarie! I’m glad to hear it wasn’t all glitz and glam. I guess I was referring more to her post-hatshop success. 😉 She was an awesome lady, quick witted and always with a smart comment. I loved her.

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  3. LOL Rosanna! You are too funny! I have to say I never heard of Barbara Cartland. I say don’t ditch your black pencil skirts, ballet flats and neutral makeup, it is who you are, change is good but only if it feels right to you. I hope you will get a Jeeves one day, until then just keep on writing the awesome yummy books.

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    • LOL, thanks Eniko. You should really try one of Dame Barbara’s books one day. They are dated now but it’s fun to see how much romance has evolved. May you get a Jeeves one day, too!

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  4. I say just start calling all the humans in your house Jeeves and put them to work whenever you need or want something. I don’t sit around in silky things all the time but I do have a lot of silky sleepwear. Is that at least a start to Dame Cartland’s life?

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  5. I inhaled the Cartland books — my mom bought them and then I read them after she did. Very tame when compared to today’s romance books, but they filled that need for romance. As for the black pencil skirts, ballet flats, and neutral make-up, stick with what’s comfortable — you look marvelous the way you are. And the boys need to learn to shovel the driveway– just because. 🙂 xoxoxo

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  6. So happy to have another Barbra Cartland fan. I have always devoured these books, still do. Have several on my kindle and on my desk. Unfortunately, life didn’t end for her as wonderfully as it was in her heyday. I believe she died pretty steeply in debt, but she was and always will be the Grande Dame of Romance. Now where’s that book….

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