It's true. I've killed off at least 10 - 12 people.
"Ten or twelve?" I hear you say. "Don't you even know how many people you've killed?"
I shrug my shoulders carelessly. There are at least a dozen. (And a puppy, but that's another story. It was on the first page of a book, but some people still haven't forgiven me for it , she says with a guilty glance at Anne McAllister.
But I'm not the only serial killer -- most romance writers are serial killers.
So many of us kill off our hero or heroine's parents. Often both. I think romances star the highest proportion of orphans than any other genre.
Certainly most of my heroines are orphans. I do it not for any deep-seated hatred of parents, but because I want my heroines to have nobody to turn to except the hero. I want them standing on their own two feet, battling against the odds, and just when a girl most needs a hero, along comes one of my gorgeous men, and whether she wants help or not, he's there for her.
I love it, and if I have to kill off their parents before the story starts, so be it.
Sometimes I haven't completely orphaned them -- in several of my books my heroines have had fathers, at least for a time. Mostly they're not very good fathers -- they're sometimes cold and unforgiving types, or weak men, remittance men, gamblers, and they've usually left the heroine in a difficult situation.
And this brings me to the point of this blog. People often wonder if I take my characters from life at all, and I've written so many rotten fathers than I've had a few comments from people asking if my father was A Bad Man. LOL.
So this is Dad's birthday and I'm here to set the record straight, as he's not here to defend himself. He died five years ago, and I still miss him heaps.
He was strict but fair, an affectionate and loving father, and he and my mother fell in love at first sight and stayed that way until the day he died. I was the baby of the family by a long way, and my friends were amazed to wander into our kitchen to get a drink or a snack, only to find my parents kissing -- even though by then they were OLD! LOL. Even when they really were old, they still kissed and held hands like teenagers.
I always loved to watch him and my mother dance together. They loved to dance and they moved as one person. One of my last memories was helping Dad to his feet so he could have one last dance with Mum.
Dad was sick for a long time before he died, and the night after he died, I made a book of his life, to be given out at the funeral, putting together a heap of photos from recent ones to when he was a boy. Making that book renewed so many memories and gave me back the dad I'd grown up with, and the dad of my adulthood, as well as the old, sick dad I'd known for the last years. It was a gift to me and my family, as well as a tribute to him and his life.
Not long after that I wrote this piece [http://www.annegracie.com/anne/journal.htm#easter] on my website.
So I'd hate you to think the fathers of my heroines had any relation to my actual father. And I'd love to hear about your father: what's a special memory you'll treasure?