Tuesday, June 2, 2015

YOU CAN'T ESCAPE THEM - DEATH, SEX AND TAXES - MARGARET TANNER


SEX, DEATH AND TAXES – MARGARET TANNER

Everyone has to pay taxes; no government on earth is going to let their citizens get away without paying taxes. Taxes on your salary, business tax, death taxes, you name it, they will tax it. Even the humble hamburger doesn't escape the clutches of the tax man.

In romance novels, we don’t talk about taxes. I don’t recall ever having read anything about tax collection.

Sex – yes in all its forms, sweet and tender, just a kiss or two. Hot and spicy, no shutting the bedroom door here, and the really hot stuff that Margaret Tanner doesn’t write. I do commend the talented authors who do, and pull it off so successfully in their erotic romances.

Death – In novels, I consider death to be a great tool in creating emotion and upping the drama. I don’t mean having the hero and heroine die, but the villains and secondary characters. Of course, near death experiences for heroes or heroines is always good.

I have been thinking about this in regards to my stories. I write historical fiction with romantic elements, so death is probably easier to include in these stories. Harder to justify in contemporary romance, unless it is some villain who is hell bent on harming the heroine and to save her life, he has to go.

In bygone days, death in childbirth was quite common. People died of snakebite/disease/illness because they were miles from medical assistance or could not afford to pay for it. Bank robbers, stage coach robbers, cattle rustlers etc. the sheriff could quite legitimately shoot these criminals down without fear of reprisal from their peers, or condemnation from the public.

In war, on the field of battle, soldiers die or are wounded, so we happily accept this in historical romance. We probably shed a tear or two for the gallant warrior and the staunch heroine who waits in vain for him to return. We wouldn’t throw the book against the wall because of this. We just sigh with contentment when another dashing soldier rides into the life of our heroine and she finally gets her happily ever after ending.

I have to confess that in all my novels there is some sex of the medium to hot variety and someone must die. Never a main character, of course, but someone invariably has to go, usually a baddie, but not always so.

As for taxes, I never mention the word in my novels unless it is to say – the heat became very taxing.

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My novel, Falsely Accused, published by Books We Love, has recently won the Historical Section of the Easy Chair Writing Competition. Yes, there is a death or two in this story, but hey, the 1820’s were wild and violent days in a young colony.

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