Author Topic: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style  (Read 6661 times)

Texas16

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Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« on: July 18, 2007, 11:01:10 PM »
Back when I was in college, at the end of every semester when finals were over, I'd go buy several used Harlequin romance novels.  Then, with some popcorn, diet Coke and my books, I'd lounge around for a couple days in my jammies, scruffy hair and no make-up, reading my Harlequins 'til I was bleary-eyed.  They were a perfect decompression tool:  predictable, non-challenging, I didn't have to retain a single detail for a research paper, and there was no discussion group.  On Harlequin days, my boyfriend at the time knew not to bother even calling: this was my time to lock out the world, forget that Constantinople (now Istanbul, not Constantinople, been a long time gone) was sacked by the Turks in 1453, or the rules of use for German conjunctions in the subjunctive case and their associated pronouns, blah, blah, blah.  It was a time for “…and they lived happily ever after.”  There you have it:  another guilty secret revealed. 

Recently I was given four NASCAR-themed Harlequin romance novels, and I was so curious about the novels that I couldn't help but read one last evening and start on the second.  Not so coincidentally, I met a Harlequin romance author last week as well.  Very sweet lady, and very enthusiastic about NASCAR.  She tells me that NASCAR is very picky about plot lines in the books, and I see lots of evidence in just the one book I read that the author must have a veritable rulebook to follow when writing.  Templates, too, probably.  For obvious reasons, no real drivers, owners or sponsors were mentioned in the book that I read, although I understand Carl Edwards has given his stamp of approval to use his name as one of the characters.  There was, however, a very aggressive fictional driver named Tony Stevens--a not-so-subtle homage to reality’s very own Tony Stewart.

Since I’ve met only one author and have read only one book by a different author, I’m not really in any position to suggest that the writers generally don’t know enough about NASCAR to be producing these stories.  On the one hand, I was impressed with how much was packed into the book, but on the other I still have to wonder if the author of the novel wrote it like I did so many of my college papers—skim the research material, read the intro and conclusion paragraphs of each chapter, look for a few key words, use some really awesome quotes, and hope for the best.  I never could decide one way or another, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume each of the writers is as informed about NASCAR as the average ardent fan. 

I doubt I’ll become a regular reader of this genre, NASCAR-themed or not.  That is not a condemnation of those who read these; they’re just not my preferred style.  And it certainly isn’t a condemnation of those who write the novels.  Several of my co-workers have suggested I give it a shot.  I’m very aware of my own literary failings:  in addition to having no imagination whatsoever, I can’t write dialog worth diddly squat.  What I can say about these books, is that they’re introducing female characters who play dominant roles in the racing industry—as engine-builders, administrators, even competitors.  The women aren’t portrayed as bimbos and pit lizards but as intelligent, constructive members of the racing community.  I’d like to think this is becoming a trend in reality and not just relegated to another work of fiction.

Anybody need some light reading?  I’ll soon have four to pass along.
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#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2007, 11:07:10 PM »
Those sound interesting. I have about 30 old Harlequin's lying around (none of the sports themed) but I'd be happy to swap some with you.

caboolarue

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2007, 12:17:57 AM »
Not a Harlequin kind of girl here.  I did read most of the Left Behind Series, it scared me so bad I had to stop reading them.  I like to read Biographies about politicians, before I vote for them, like that makes a difference, they're still crooked, and reading about them makes it worse.  And absolutely nothing to do with Nascar but oh well.

Signspotter#19

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2007, 05:17:22 PM »
Not a Harlequin kind of girl here.  I did read most of the Left Behind Series, it scared me so bad I had to stop reading them.  I like to read Biographies about politicians, before I vote for them, like that makes a difference, they're still crooked, and reading about them makes it worse.  And absolutely nothing to do with Nascar but oh well.

Not a Harlequin kinda gal here either but I'll bet between us ladies on Nascardiac we could write a damn good one! ;)
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caboolarue

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2007, 05:25:12 PM »
Oh yeah.  Shoot, with my experiences I've had, I could probably write 3 or 4 different books, or maybe several series.  I've had several people ask me to, but I'm not one to put my personal life in words for the whole world to read, if you know what I mean.

#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2007, 07:41:07 PM »
Not a Harlequin kinda gal here either but I'll bet between us ladies on Nascardiac we could write a damn good one! ;)

Or one hell of a series of books! I think it would be more like a few novels if we got together and started writing. lol
Either from experiences or fantasies, we all seem to have pretty vivid imaginations. Cab knows how my imagination works, hee hee

caboolarue

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2007, 07:45:18 PM »
Oh yeah, we could write a book on her imagination alone and let me tell ya one word XXX. Is that a word :-[ well you know what I mean.  ;D

#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2007, 09:19:47 PM »
LMAO! And that was my imagination while asleep! :D :D :D :D

Signspotter#19

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2007, 09:30:15 PM »
Sounds like we got us a new career in the making! ;D
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#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2007, 09:31:26 PM »
Given the "sexiest man" thread, should we name the series "Smut by the women of Nascardiac"? ;D

Signspotter#19

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2007, 09:33:33 PM »
Given the "sexiest man" thread, should we name the series "Smut by the women of Nascardiac"? ;D

It's kinda fitting, I think!
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caboolarue

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2007, 09:38:24 PM »
Now, we have to keep this very quiet we wouldn't want anyone getting ahold of our creative writing.  As I have a feeling this will be as big as Harry Potter Series. :)

#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2007, 09:39:31 PM »
No ideas posted here, have to PM each other and we can tease the guys with vague references. LMAO!

Signspotter#19

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2007, 09:40:17 PM »
No ideas posted here, have to PM each other and we can tease the guys with vague references. LMAO!

Good idea!
"Everyone's invited to the Barn for bologna burgers next Saturday night"

canuck speed freak

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2007, 09:48:28 PM »
Not fair!
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#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2007, 09:49:34 PM »
hee hee ;D

Signspotter#19

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2007, 10:24:30 PM »
We can incorporate all of our 5 bucket picks in the stories. We wouldn't be worth sh@* when we finish the books. But....it will be worth it! ;)
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#1Jimmiefan

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2007, 11:02:51 PM »
Oh hell, I don't even know if we could finish that story in a reasonable period of time. We'd be hittin' the showers of cold water constantly! ;D  Hmmm...but our S/O's would like the benefits though! lol

canuck speed freak

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2007, 12:19:04 AM »
Oh hell, I don't even know if we could finish that story in a reasonable period of time. We'd be hittin' the showers of cold water constantly! ;D  Hmmm...but our S/O's would like the benefits though! lol
Thats right. Keep on writing ladies.
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Texas16

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Re: Harlequin Romance NASCAR style
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2007, 05:27:23 PM »
I finished the 4th one that I had a couple evenings ago.
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Actually, I was quite impressed with the final one.  It was a male writer, and he seemed to know lots of rules and regs.  The problem was, it seemed as if he were just writing from a list of rules & regs & buzz words for which he had a definition.  At every track he discussed, he talked about using the draft.  He didn't clearly distinguish between the draft and a bump-draft, and he had someone bump-drafting in the corners.  Oh lordy, wouldn't Slammin' Stewie have a field day with that!  But what got me actually re-reading a few sentences was when he talked about using the draft at Phoenix.  Probably I'm just reading these wrong, and possibly I'm as uninformed as this guy is, but is the draft really a big issue at Phoenix?  The guy said something really funny about Martinsville, tho' I can't remember what it was.  And as best I can tell, none of the teams mentioned in any of the books have more than two cars--always just the primary and the back-up car.  One person talked about wrecking the primary but not being worried about the other races because they'd be able to use the back-up while the primary was being repaired.  Anyway, some problems that I noted, but all in all typical Harlequin and not too mentally-taxing after a long day at work.
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