Romance tropes and settings I love

Hi! Easter is here and we’re having a few extra days off work, at least in my part of the world. Whether you celebrate this holiday or not, I hope you’re having a great weekend. I’m going to read lots of books and watch movies, and of course eat chocolate. That’s one of the best things about Easter, after all.

Today, I wanted to talk about the romance tropes and settings that I can’t get enough of. Some of them I’ve used in my own writing, but not all (so far). Here are some tropes that always catch my interest when I’m book-hunting:

  • Enemies to Lovers – I can’t grow tired of this one, and I’ve used it myself in Wavesongs and At His Mercy.
  • Forbidden Love – A trope I’ve loved ever since I started reading Virginia Andrews’ books when I was far too young. I don’t find those particular romances as charming nowadays as I did back then, though… 
  • Forced Proximity
  • May-December – A trope I used in At His Mercy (and, to an extent, in Wavesongs).
  • Prisoner – Goes well with Enemies to Lovers.

If a book ticks one or more of these boxes, there’s a good chance that I’ll buy it. That chance is even bigger if the story is a historical romance. Of course I read contemporary romance, too, but I’ve always loved historical stories. My favorite settings/time periods are:

  • The Viking Age – This one might be my favorite. I guess I’m a bit partial to Vikings since I’m Scandinavian, but there are so many great things about this time period.
  • Medieval Europe – I recently read a great Swedish romance that took place during the time of the Black Death. I never thought I’d see that, not with a HEA ending, but the author totally made it work. I’d love to read more books like that!
  • Ancient Greece – Greek mythology, of course, has a lot to offer if you’re into M/M romance. I love reading about Ancient Greece in general, and I’m ecstatic whenever I find a good romance set during that period.
  • Pre-historic – Does M/M pre-historic romance exist at all? I haven’t found it yet, but oh, how I want to.

If you’ve got any book recs for me based on the things I’ve listed here, please let me know. I love discovering new books and authors!

What are your favorite tropes and settings?

Book Fair

Today I’m off to Sweden’s largest book fair, Bokmässan. It’s honestly just like Christmas for book lovers, and I’m really excited about it. The fair lasts for four days but I will only be going today – which is a bit depressing, since there’s so much I would have liked to listen to. I don’t care much about the big names, tbh, but I have my usual set of fave lgbt and/or horror writers who will be there. Let’s see if I can make it without buying any books this year – I always make that promise to myself and I never keep it. 

This week I’ve written a few short stories, btw. I’ve realised I crave actual writing and storytelling on a regular basis, or I get restless and depressed. Doing outlining and research just doesn’t give me the same sense of accomplishment. Now I can go back to my research books with some new energy!

About reading

book-1149031_1280How often do you have time to read? I try to read as many books as I can, but my to-read-list is always full of new titles, new authors, classics I feel like I should have read by now… I wish I didn’t always have to choose between reading and writing – I need to do both, but writing will always be my first priority and afterwards I’ll give the pile of library books on the nightstand guilty looks because I’m too tired when I finally go to bed. But reading is so amazing. I’m always encouraging people around me to read and nothing makes me happier when someone actually listens and finds a book he/she likes.

Right now, I’m halfway through The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. Amsterdam, 17th century, secrets and mysteries, and stunningly beautiful writing. The kind of novel that wants me to give up even trying to write stories because compared to this book, anything I’ve written is… well. But it’s such a great novel and if you enjoy historical fiction, you should absolutely give it a try.

Margit Sandemo

Idag tänkte jag skriva lite om en av de författare som har inspirerat mig absolut mest, nämligen Margit Sandemo. Hon är mest känd för Sagan om Isfolket (på bilden ser ni två av mina favoritböcker i serien <3), men har också skrivit serier som Häxmästaren och Legenden om Ljusets Rike, samt mängder av fristående romaner. Sandemo är den sortens författare som många anser att man inte borde läsa, hon hör inte direkt till finkulturen – men just därför älskar jag henne desto mer. Hon gör verkligen sin egen grej helt och hållet och det är så häftigt, sen är böckerna inte särskilt välskrivna men det gör liksom ingenting. Det som gör att hennes berättelser fångar mig, och får mig att vilja läsa dem om och om igen, är att hon har en sådan total berättarglädje och sådan uppenbar kärlek till sina karaktärer. Det märks verkligen i varje bok hon skriver att hon sprudlar av historier och idéer, och att hon har så otroligt roligt. Jag är väldigt känslig för när böcker är illa skrivna och det är klart att det finns gott om partier i Sandemos böcker där jag önskar att förlaget hade redigerat bort lite slarvfel åtminstone, men det gör liksom ingenting. Jag ser visserligen alla plot holes, schabloner, dålig representation av homosexualitet (tyvärr, och det är också det sämsta med hennes böcker) och så vidare, men det är alltid underordnat spänningen, mysterierna, alla karaktärer som man älskar så vansinnigt mycket. Det är riktigt bra gjort, att lyckas skapa karaktärer och världar som berör läsarna så! Om jag lyckades skapa ens en karaktär i mitt liv som fick någon att känna så som jag gör för mina Isfolks-favoriter, så skulle jag vara mer än nöjd.

I thought I’d write a bit about one of my greatest sources of inspiration today, namely Norwegian writer Margit Sandemo. She’s famous for the epic book series Legend of the Ice People (the image shows two of my favourite books in the series <3), but has also written other series as well as many stand-alone novels. Sandemo is the kind of writer a lot of people think you shouldn’t read, her books aren’t seen as good literature – but that just makes me love her even more. She really does just whatever she wants and that’s so cool it doesn’t matter that the books aren’t very well-written. What captivates me, and makes me want to read her books over and over, is that she obviously loves telling stories, and adores her characters. It’s easy to tell, no matter which book you read, that she has so many stories and ideas, and that she’s having so much fun. I’m very sensitive about badly written books and there are parts of Sandemo’s books where I would have wished the publisher had hired a good proof-reader, but it doesn’t really matter. Yes, I can see all the plot holes, the twodimensional side characters, the bad representation of homosexuality (sadly, and this is the worst thing about her books) and so on, but I’m always won over by the excitement, the mysteries, all the characters that I love eternally. It takes true talent, to create worlds and characters that can move readers like that! If I manage to create even one character in my life who can make anyone feel the way I feel about my favourite Sandemo characters, I’ll be more than content.