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.
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?