Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nora's Latest Loyal Fan

He's not the what you'd expect. My father is a veteran, once a sergeant in the armed forces. He's an Irish-Cherokee-Austrian son of a farming deacon from the lower, southwestern corner of Virginia that looks like it was lost in time at the turn of the century. He's big, brawny, and was so much a dead-ringer for John Wayne when he was still alive that we were stopped now and then by people looking for autographs at the mall. He has been called a gentle giant, a loose canon, and the world's coolest grandfather. His hands are huge and so calloused that he used to amuse the kids by catching hornets and holding them by the wings while they tried, in vain, to penetrate the skin of his thick, work-hardened fingers.

And he's a huge Nora Roberts fan.

Not sure when it happened. I do know that he loves telling people I'm a writer, and I love that he does. It surprised me, after years of being a critic and columnist, that he seems perfectly fine with me writing romance, even if he never gets to read it. I simply don't give out my pen name, a subject I've touched upon a few times. It allows me the freedom of never caring how far I push the envelope.

My own issues aside, when Nora Roberts' books appeared as movies for television on Lifetime, Papa became her greatest conquest. He's always been a reader, but I distinctly remember him telling my mother off, years ago, for being addicted to romance novels. He must have taken a gander between a few of those covers. He was very specific about the men in them being unrealistic. (No word on the women... at least not that I remember.) Which means he read at least part of a few Jude Deveraux or Johanna Lindsay historicals. Maybe that was where it started?

Regardless, Papa cheerfully mentioned liking Montana Sky, which he purchased on DVD at Walmart and handed to me sometime last year. After I picked my jaw up off the floor I was pleased. He also loved Angels Fall. Thinking it was a movies-only thing, I later picked up a few of her hard-covers at a sale and gave them to him in a gift bag.

He thanked me and they vanished into his bedroom. (We refer to it as "the lair.) Huh.

You know... that's about my own prejudices more than his preferences. Why shouldn't my big, tough-guy, Duke look-alike Papa like La Nora? She spins a great mystery and a satisfying love story, and for goodness sake, she sells plenty of them. It's not even remotely possible my father is all that unusual. And I certainly look at Ahmed, my beloved man unit, as all-alpha-male. But he loves Ann Bishop. And Jacqueline Carey. And he doesn't twitch if I hand him Jenna Black and say "read this, you'll love it."

So last night, when my parents and I returned home from my nephew's birthday party, it should not have made me laugh when my dad yelled down to me "don't forget Northern Lights is on tonight." In the midst of March Madness, Papa was all about Nora's Lifetime event.

Who can blame him?

4 comments ]:[ Add your comment:

Leigh Royals said...

How precious and sweet. I love the gentle giant type of men. You know, like the big burly biker called Tiny who cries.

Rita Sawyer said...

My husband watch it with me last night. He's a big burly type. 6'2" and kind of mean looking until he smiles. Anyway he was really tired after working a 12 hour shift, but said he could go to bed until he found out who the killer was. His guess was wrong by the way. We'll be watching the next 3 together too.

Sierra Wolfe said...

I love stories like this! It goes to show you can't judge a book by it's cover, or said book's fans. :D

Anonymous said...

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