Okay, I am TRYING TO WRITE A NOVEL about a secret society at boarding school,
and I'm doing serious research like watching The Skulls
starring Joshua Jackson as this dude who joins this hokey secret society where the initiation rites involve sleeping in coffins
and with prostitutes
and really, it's downhill from there --
and I decide that the secret society in my novel I'm trying to write had better be VERY RIDICULOUS and all played for comedy,
because this serious and uncampy Skulls movie was bad (except, maybe when Paul Walker took his shirt off) and I don't want to write a bad book.
But I am still halfway despairing of my project, and then along comes
the gorgeous and talented Diana Peterfreund, who is on the GCC with me and has written SECRET SOCIETY GIRL, about a girl who's one of the first females ever tapped to be a memeber of a secret society at an ivy league university
-- and we know Diana went to Yale where Skull & Bones is, and she's got the inside dirt.
So Diana proves that you can write a darn good book on this very very interesting topic, and it doesn't have to suck like The Skulls did, and I am not so despairing anymore -- except I better make sure my story is radically different from hers. Which it will be because mine is very goofy-ass, whereas hers is funny but also well-researched and intelligent.
Check out her reviews:
"SECRET SOCIETY GIRL is Peterfreund's titillating debut entry in a new series featuring plucky heroine Amy Haskel, one of the select few with the dubious distinction of being among the first females "tapped" for Rose & Grave. The author, a recent Ivy League Grad herself (Yale 2001), knows the world of which she writes and every page rings with an authenticity that will have readers immediately recalling their own giddy collegiate romances, fast friendships and late-night cram sessions."
"SECRET SOCIETY GIRL is a blast! Fun and witty, with an engaging theme, heartfelt situations, intriguing dialogue, and a cast of characters that you'll be cheering for, it's a story you won't want to put down."
Diana's blog is also good fun; she posts the word counts on her various works in progress (including Secret Society Girl #2), the books she's been reading, her glamorous book parties -- and I've learned that she is a musical theater dork, which makes me love her all the more.
Sorry for all the rambling. This is an epic post. But now I give you Diana's literary boyfriend list -- which includes Odysseus! Who is never HOME! (not my idea of a boyfriend) and Colonel Wentworth (who is absolutely my idea of a boyfriend) and also, curiously, Edmund Pevensie.
A LITERARY BOYFRIEND LIST
by Diana Peterfreund
In my book, my heroine, Amy, has what she calls "A Hit List" or list of boys she's... well, you know. But since grandmothers know how to use the internet... I'm going to borrow another of my lit major heroine's traits and instead talk about all of my literary boyfriends.
1. Edmund Pevensie from the Chronicles of Narnia books. Now, most of you think of him as the petulant traitor from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, but that was just the beginning of Edmund's story. After that whole debacle, Edmund became one of the wisest and most noble characters in the series. Edmund was more interesting to me than Peter because he knew what it was to have almost lost everything and so seemed to value it more than the others, when he speaks to other characters who are teetering on the edge of making wrong choices, we don't see him as acting all holier than thou but rather, honestly trying to help a bloke from making the same mistakes he made. He was always the most practical of the four children, and you can see his thoughtful and intelligent reasoning at every crossroads in the book. He's always the one making the right decisions, from there on out. He was the only one to stand by Lucy in book two, gives solace to Eustace and keeps King Caspian from getting too hot-headed in book three, and rocks my world as an adult king in book five.
2. Gilbert Blythe from the "Anne" books. If you stopped reading Anne of Green Gables after the first book, you are missing out on one heck of a hero! The bad boy who teases Anne and pulls her hair in the first book turns into a gentle, intelligent soul who becomes one of Anne's closest friends in the second book. The third, in which both Anne and Gilbert travel to the mainland to attend college, is a gorgeous romance, in which Anne almost misses out on true love because she doesn't see wonderful wonderful Gilbert for the amazing man he is. And THEN he becomes a doctor!
3. Dionysus. Okay, say what you will about those drunken orgies, but Dionysus was there for Cretan princess Ariadne when that jerk Theseus abandoned her on Naxos. (She should have let the Minotaur eat him!) He married her, made her a goddess, was faithful (unlike most of the rest of his godly family), and put her crown in the stars. What a great husband!
4. Odysseus, from the Odyssey. Okay, he basically sleeps his way through the Greek islands, but he does eventually come back to Penelope, and man, he's a hottie, and clearly good in a crisis. He's like the Indiana Jones of ancient Greece.
5. Gwydion, from The Mists of Avalon. He grew up to be King Arthur and everything went to hell, but there was a part of him that would always remain the adolescent Gwydion that made our hearts pound just as much as Morgaine's. Too bad they were related.
6. Peregrine from M. M. Kaye's The Ordinary Princess, because he fought for Amy, and saw the acorn necklace underneath all her jewels. Plus, he's got his own kingdom, which is always worth bonus points in my book.
7. Finny from A Separate Peace. Can't even talk about this. Major tragedy in my adolescent life. I cried; oh, how I cried! I loved him!
8. Phillip Ammon from A Girl of the Limberlost, because anyone who wants a woman enough to risk brain fever is my kind of guy. It took him a while to realize what Elnora meant to him, but once he did, watch out!
9. Mr. Darcy. Duh. Who doesn't have a huge crush on him?
10. Colonel Wentworth, because if there is anyone who can knock Darcy off the top of my Austen crush pedestal, it's him and his remarkable letter-writing skills. Still makes my heart pound, and I've read it dozens of times.