Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Alaskan Mystique

This is one of those weeks when I feel like I am inundated by romances set in the Alaskan wilderness. Everywhere I look, I seem to be tripping across books about bush pilots and mountain men looking for love (with a delicate city girl from the lower-48, of course).

Maybe I'm a pessimist, maybe I'm over-protective or too possessive of my state, but as a life-long resident of Seward's Folly, I avoid those books like the plague, convinced they will get everything wrong. The books could be awesome, the research flawless, but I can't take that chance because if they aren't, the mistakes would drive me nuts.

I hate it when lower-48 authors try to capitalize on the selling point that is the Alaskan mystique. Because, let's face it, the Alaskan mystique has nothing to do with the real Alaska. And that drives me straight up the wall.

This is how cowboys in Montana feel about cowboy romance, isn't it? If you know too much about the reality of anything, you can't read the fantasy of it without cringing, can you? I guess my crankiness stems from the sudden popularity of my reality.

And the fact that if I wrote about what living up here is really like, I have a sneaking suspicion it wouldn't sell.

Though maybe the crankiness has something to do with the fact that I banged my knee up something fierce while picking salmonberries in the mountains today. Time to switch my heat pack back to an ice pack if I want to be able to walk tomorrow.

Rant complete.

Can you read about the fantasization (yeah, I just made that a word) of your reality? Do you have any settings/themes that you avoid because you know too much about them?


Kali said...

What's worse - the details that authors get wrong or the assumption that Alaskan girls aren't worth falling in love with? Because really, there's not that many extra men floating around up here (even less of the attractive AND intelligent variety) that we can spare to lose them to imported women.

Or, we need to start an exchange program...we'll accept perfect girls as imports if we can add some perfect men to the inventory and export some of the less endowed men.

I tend to avoid books centered around anything I know too much about (Alaska, cars, camping...). But I have a perverse fascination with books centered around things I know a little about (The Tudors).

Vivi Andrews said...

I think part of the reason I love paranormals and books set in the future is that I don't get hung up on accuracy because the world is built by the writer. Just as long as the writer remembers to follow his own rules, I'm a happy camper.