Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Camy Tang on Historical Fiction and A Free Book!

Today Asian chick-lit author Camy Tang has stopped by to talk about one of her favorite topics--historical fiction, sometimes referred to as "bodice rippers." I might've read one or two in my day... It's hard to resist them when the people on the cover are so life-like. The females always remind me of myself--10 inch waist, perfect bod, long wavy hair. And beautifully matched to a total hunk. Yep, sooo reminds me of my own life...

And for some fun news, if you'd like to win Camy's new book, Only Uni, leave a comment on today's blog, and we'll draw for Camy's hottest release! You will totally want this book!

Anyway, take it away, Camy.

Jenny is probably going to regret letting me guest blog today, because I’m going to talk about a common interest we have, mainstream historical romance novels.

True Bodice Rippers are the novels with the cover art so graphically sexual that one must be reduced to high school again and create brown paper bag book covers to preserve one’s dignity, especially when waiting in the car to pick up one’s child from school.

The women are often portrayed with heaving white bosoms spilling out of scanty silk dresses, or sometimes without clothes at all and just a tantalizing length of back. Usually with lots of leg showing.

Men are also half-dressed, usually shirtless or with white shirts torn open to reveal rock-hard pecs and abs (no steroids used on those hard-bodies, no sirree).

Such cover art, while intended to induce women to rip the books from the shelves and stack them on the checkout counter, is not appropriate for little Emma’s 2nd grade teacher to see Mom reading in the car.

However, cover art does not a Bodice Ripper make.

Whether sporting a lurid cover, or hidden by a half-step covered in discreet flowers or lace, or not sporting a swoon-worthy hunk at all (how disappointing), historical romance novels all carry the same things within their pages—sweeping stories with feisty heroines, strong heroes, and romance.

Anyway, I love a good historical romance to while away a rainy afternoon/evening/early morning hours because I can’t put the darn thing down. There’s something about a different time period, different societal constraints, different dresses (I’d love a Regency dress, all satin and lace and embroidery) that sweeps me away and gives me that fizzy, bubbling, happy-satisfied feeling at the end.

So, while I don’t necessarily advocate doing away with the brown paper book cover (think of Emma’s 2nd grade teacher, after all), let’s be free and honest in our love of mass market novels. Give me a good Bodice Ripper anyday.

Camy Tang is the loud Asian chick who writes loud Asian chick lit. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind. Visit her website at for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away five boxes of books and 25 copies of her latest release, ONLY UNI.

  posted at 5:48 AM  

At 8:18 PM, Anonymous Edge said...

Ooh, ooh, pick me! *jumps up and down frantically, waving arms over head*. And thank goodness for mutual disgust of bodice-ripper covers.

At 8:18 PM, Anonymous Edge said...

Ooh, ooh, pick me! *jumps up and down frantically, waving arms over head*. And thank goodness for mutual disgust of bodice-ripper covers.

At 9:57 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Haha. Reading that definitely made me want to go curl up with some good historical fiction. But what I'd like to dig into even more than that right now? Only Uni!!

At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Rhonda said...

Looks like a great book. Can't wait to read it.

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Edge said...

Oops -- didn't mean to post that comment twice. :-)

At 10:21 AM, Blogger Jessica Epps said...

I love a good book! Jen, thanks for recommending other great witty authors!

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Gracie said...

That was great, Camy. Although I don't read alot of romance, what I've read of your work is great. The chick-lit element always has me cracking up. Please enter me in this contest!

At 1:55 PM, Blogger umstbspecial said...

I don't equate historical fiction with bodice rippers. Bodice rippers are really just literary porn. That's their distinction.

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Camy Tang said...

Thanks for having me here, Jen! I know I was a bit racier than you typically have things around here. :)


At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Bethany said...

:) i wanna enter!! :D

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Michelle Gregory said...

Gotta love those covers - they're so much fun to make fun of. And that's just what I'm doing in a current chick lit MS.


At 4:20 PM, Blogger Cherie J said...

Would love to enter the drawing for this book.


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About Me

Jenny B. Jones

Arkansas, US

I am a teacher in one of the largest high schools in the state. I'm also a writer of Young Adult novels and am currently working on a brand new series. Book three in the Katie Parker Production series, The Big Picture, will hit shelves in April 2008. Stay tuned!

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