Friday, February 10, 2017

Orphans! Who Doesn't Love a Good Orphan Story?

For a short time when I was a kid, I wondered if I really belonged with my family. Okay, sometimes, I still wonder but now I have good reasons. My family... don't get me started.
I'm the little one on the right.

But as a young child, I fantasized that maybe, it was possible, that I was a fairy princess accidentally abandoned in a flower field and discovered by the mortals now raising me as their own.
With Grandma, and my older sister. Still waiting for those powers to kick in.

Unfortunately, appearances were too hard to deny. I have my dad's crooked smile and my mom's chin, and look enough like my older sister to be mistaken for her. I had to face the facts that I was where I belonged, a mere mortal, and my magical powers weren't simply lying dormant until I came of age. Darn!

But the idea of the orphan heroine still appeals to me. One of my early favorites was Sarah Crewe in Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess, an early influence in what became my Edwardian set Thornbrook Park.

I fell in love with Jane Eyre on first reading, at age ten. I still love Jane enough that I wrote Jane Slayre once the mash-up craze took off following Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. But of course, the idea behind PP & Z actually came from Quirk Books publisher Jason Rekulak (featured in the New York Times the other day with a shout out to Jane Slayre, yay!).

And of course, the Harry Potter series. An orphan, with magic! Be still my heart.

Yes, I love a good orphan story. How about you? Do you love orphans? Or maybe you prefer arranged marriages? Kidnapping? Damsels saving guys from distress? What are your favorite romance tropes? 


  1. I love variety so I enjoy most of them. As a child my older sister convinced me I was adopted which is hysterical because I look just like her and my mom :)

    1. I think people who did not have adoption fantasies were probably tricked by siblings just like this into adoption fears. :) When it comes down to it, family is family and biology isn't always involved.