11 August 2011

Mills & Boon challenge update

It's 11 August. I'm sure you're pretty much aware of that, but I mention it as it's significant. It's exactly a month since I announced my Mills & Boon challenge and exactly a month later I am announcing its termination. Yes, I've given up. Call me uncommitted, but last night I picked up my seemingly well-thumbed copy of Julie Cohen's Featured Attraction and realised with horror that I've been reading it since 20 July and am still less than halfway through. They still haven't had sex; they've had a couple of snogs but Kitty the main character is properly mixed up in the head and keeps running off whenever Jack goes near her. She's basically playing hard to get, but she doesn't seem to realise it. Frankly, I just can't be arsed. I managed to read two and a half novels: the thought of getting through the original figure of seven (one per day for a week) now seems rather silly. I'm reading some proper sauce now instead: Confessions: A Collection Of Erotic Fiction. Expect some radio silence for a while...

Images by Oli + Alex.


  1. When I was 12-ish and working my way through our small local library, I remember reading perhaps three or four off the whole-shelf-full of Mills and Boons. Then I decided that they were all the same story but just with different names and jobs for the characters.

    Life's too short to read the same thing over and over again. Yes, it would be great to write and sell one but wouldn't you want to stray from the formular? Sure that wouldn't be allowed.

    Enjoy your 'proper sauce' ...


  2. I'm so glad you've come to that conclusion. I keep telling myself it would be so much easier to write M&B than work on my 'proper' novels, but we all know that's not true. I write because I love writing and read for the same reason. So why change a good thing?


  3. If you persevere a few more pages with Featured Attraction you'll find that the two of them get locked in a derelict cinema together and Kitty can no longer run away. ;-)

    M&B books are in no way easier to write than "proper" novels. And though some M&B are very alike (they all explore the same fantasy, after all), many are very different. It's generally best to go on recommendation rather than pick up random examples.

    It comes down to the same thing as any reading choice though: if you enjoy the type of novel, you'll enjoy them, but if you're always reading against the grain, because you're forcing yourself to, you probably won't. Reading is a personal choice, and everyone has their own tastes, none of which are right or wrong. It says a lot for you as a reader that you are willing to try different things.

    Enjoy your smut and I won't be bothered if you skip ahead in Featured Attraction just to read the (several) sex scenes...or if you put it down. Thanks for picking it up in the first place.

    Julie x


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