We’re so pleased to have author Jenny Holiday joining us today on the virtual blog tour for her new novel, Infamous, from Riptide Publishing. She’s here to talk realism/unrealism and is also offering a great giveaway, so be sure to check out those details below.
In Praise of “Unrealistic” Secondary Characters
If you read romance, you’re probably familiar with and sick to death of the criticism it seems to attract from outsiders. One evergreen complaint is that it’s not “realistic.”
I have to admit, I’m somewhat sympathetic to this argument—but not for the reasons the critics intend. The crappy version of this argument is that romance somehow conditions its readers (often, though not exclusively, women) to have unrealistic expectations. Like, we’re somehow going to start expecting everything to be hearts and flowers and good-looking people.
The flip side of this argument, is that yes, romance does condition us to have expectations. Note that I didn’t say unrealistic expectations. Romance, when done well, can model a lot of great things: respect, consent, mutual pleasure. If that’s unrealistic, I’m all for it. If enough people read this stuff, maybe we could evolve our way into a world where it isn’t unrealistic.
But I also think that this works for secondary characters, too. My new book, Infamous, features a bisexual closeted rock star named Jesse. He’s the frontman of Jesse and the Joyride. He develops a friendship with a gay man named Hunter, and his bandmates don’t blink an eye. Billy, the Joyride’s bassist, who is not the brightest bulb, is particularly even keel about Jesse’s new best friend. He decides that the band should work on getting some gay groupies so that Hunter can come out on the prowl with them.
And when the shit hits the fan and Jesse decides to come out, putting the band’s contract with their powerful manager in jeopardy, the band literally stands beside him. Billy leads the charge, standing up at a conference table and, as Jesse is having trouble getting the words out, saying, casually, “Jesse likes dick now.”
Would this happen? Probably not. Alas.
But you know what? I don’t really care. Give me high expectations for romantic and sexual relationships and give me unconditionally supportive friends.
Bring on the “unrealistic” romance!
About the Book
All that up-and-coming musician Jesse Jamison has ever wanted is to be on the cover of Rolling Stone. When a gossip website nearly catches him kissing someone who isn’t his famous girlfriend—and also isn’t a girl—he considers the near miss a wake-up call. There’s a lot riding on his image as the super-straight rocker, and if he wants to realize his dreams, he’ll need to toe the line. Luckily, he’s into women too. Problem solved.
After a decade pretending to be his ex’s roommate, pediatrician Hunter Wyatt is done hiding. He might not know how to date in the Grindr world, how to make friends in a strange city, or whether his new job in Toronto is a mistake. But he does know that no one is worth the closet. Not even the world’s sexiest rock star.
As Jesse’s charity work at Hunter’s hospital brings the two closer together, a bromance develops. Soon, Hunter is all Jesse can think about. But when it comes down to a choice between Hunter and his career, he’s not sure he’s brave enough to follow his heart.
About the Author
Jenny Holiday started writing in fourth grade, when her aging-hippie teacher, between Pete Seeger songs, gave the kids notebooks and told them to write stories. Jenny’s featured poltergeist, alien invasions, or serial killers who managed to murder everyone except her and her mom. She showed early promise as a romance writer, though, because nearly every story had a happy ending: fictional Jenny woke up to find that the story had been a dream, and that her best friend, father, and sister had not, in fact, been axe-murdered. Today she is a USA Today bestselling author of historical and contemporary romance. She lives in London, Ontario.
To celebrate the release of Infamous, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 2, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!