The Observer newspaper has done an article to help mark the centenary of Mills & Boon.
Overall, it is a fair article. The journalist contacted me as part of her prep work, but I am not directly quoted in the article. My lovely friend Kate Walker is. There is a reason why amongst new authors that she is considered to be a queen.
The journalist makes mention that M&B controls things as tightly as Disney land. And I have to wonder if she felt this way because none of the authors she contacted truly deviated from what M&B was saying. But you need to remember ALL the authors are writing the books because they are passionate about them. You do not write best sellers, if you are not passionate. And Harlequin Mills & Boon is all about best selling books. It is not about literary fiction. It is about commercial fiction. There is a difference. And my bank account is very grateful for the difference...
I suspect that one of the problems for the modern day journalist is that no author who is currently writing for M&B subscribes to Violet Winspear's view of heroes. This is the view that the shy spinster articulated back in 1970. I make no comment on her fantasies, but would note times have changed and many things are better understood.
Yes, I make no apologies for my heroes being strong willed. My heroines are also. A strong woman requires a strong man. Simple as that. I think it is an act of self preservation, because instinctively well adjusted women and men do not want to be bullies or to be involved in abusive relationships. Where you have a mis-matched couple -- say a very strong man with a weak vacillating woman, or a milque toast man with a ball breaker, the relationship breaks down. And ultimately it is all about the relationship, and showing relationships that will have a lasting future.
Anyway, read the article and enjoy.