23 July 2011

Unconventional Love

Love is a many splendid thing. All we need is love.

Well, that's what the songs say anyhow. Love is a lucrative business as well. I mean, look at Valentine's Day (and Sweetest Day for us midwesterners). Valentine's Day is the most important day for love of the entire year--a whole day set aside for spoiling the ones you love with flowers and candy and mushy cards, dinners and nights out.

People fall in and out of love every day in a rhythm seemingly dictated by the tides. That realism is important for writers, because we can't ignore the fact we live in a country with a 50% divorce rate. There's a reason why we have so many romance books where the hero or heroine are divorced and finding love again, or why the heroine is finally ready to find love after a horrible relationship finally fizzled out. The psychology behind love is also interesting. One theory I remember is that "love" is a chemical reaction, basically a huge helping of dopamine (the feel-good hormone), and people get addicted to that fix, thereby "falling in love" or becoming addicted to it.

In Duality, I'm playing with love, too. It's not a romance, but it is a love story. My theory posits that while a person's memories of her loved one are forgotten, the feeling--or dopamine reaction--isn't, meaning it's impossible to erase love (romantic, right?).The juxtaposition, for anyone unfamiliar with Duality, is that my main character's DNA has been combined with a panther's, so she's not entirely human. Her loved one, however, is the only one who still sees her that way. There's a lot behind that (spoilery stuff), but that's kind of what I'm working with. Not even I see her as human anymore, yet this man does and sees her as a gift.

(However, because of the DNA issue, there can't be any lovey stuff without it getting weird. So love story, but not romance.)

One of my favorite unconventional love stories is one I read recently by Leanna Renee Heiber-- The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker. The heroine, Percy, is albino, which in Victorian London means she may as well have had panther DNA. Percy is meek, withdrawn, and unsure of herself because everyone has always treated her as a freak of nature. Yet the strong, vibrant yet melancholy Alexi *le swoon* falls completely, madly in love with her, seeing her as more than she even sees herself. It's a transcendent love. A beautiful love. A love I can totally support.

What are your favorite love stories, conventional or unconventional?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I've found out that I'm hideously addicted to cheesy high school romance books. Two sets though that I would pass along would be "Hush, Hush" by Becca Fitzpatrick and "Fallen" by Lauren Kate. The first is the story of a ridiculously awesome guardian angel falling for a high school girl. The second is about a group of angels, one of which is cursed to keep falling in love with the same girl over and over again. She's reincarnated, lives to be about 17, doesn't remember anything when meeting him, falls for him, and ends up bursting into flames time and time again. It's an interesting little tale. I'm currently awaiting new books for both storylines. I could throw you others as well, but ya know.

Since these involve angels and what not, I'm gonna go 'unconventional'. Haha.