Sunday, May 25, 2008


I write futuristic romances about an alien royal family whose male members are so widely mistaken for gods, that they believe their own mystique.

Not only do they have superb predator senses (seven of them), and a few nifty and deadly paranormal abilites, but they control highly advanced technology, and also the media and the history books.

I'm allowed approximately 90,000 words, which means that a great deal of material that I would like to include gets bumped (a motor racing metaphor) in favor of the romance, the characters, whatever my subplot is, and any colorful detail that appeals to my editor.

One day, I'd like to do more than glance at Lord Acton's dictum that Power tends to corrupt. Most Romance heroes, and not a few heroines in our genre, are extremely powerful individuals. They are either born great, achieve greatness, or have greatness thrust upon them.

How many are corrupt?

If they are not corrupt, why aren't they?

Was Lord Acton unduly pessimistic? Or since the Magna Carta, have lesser beings found ways to institute and enforce checks and balances?

Personally, I like my heroes to be slightly morally questionable. That's the charm of Dominic, Lord Vidal in Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer; of Selendrile in Dragon's Bait by Vivian Vande Valde; of Tamnais Nathrach in Armed and Magical by Lisa Shearin.

When I think about the direction I'd take if I wanted to show a "god" going about his business of maintaining "the image," a big part of seeming omnipotence has to be the appearance of omniscience.

Knowledge is power.

Sun Tzu made a similar point in The Art of War.

So did George Orwell with Big Brother in 1984.


Happy Memorial Day.

Rowena Cherry


  1. "...male members are so widely mistaken for gods, that they believe their own mystique."

    Hmmm, now why does that sound so familiar?

  2. "Personally, I like my heroes to be slightly morally questionable."

    I couldn't agree more!