Let's Talk with Nancy J. Cohen
Tripping over Tropes
This month celebrates the new trade paperback release of STARLIGHT CHILD, book #3 in The Light-Years Series. This was one of my earlier sci-fi https://nancyjcohen.com/books/romances. The story features an enemies-to-lovers theme wherein a cultural specialist with psychic powers clashes with a starship commander while on a rescue mission to save a kidnapped child.
A friends-to-lovers theme is a similar idea. Among authors, we talk about tropes, or common themes that resonate with us. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a trope is “a common or overused theme or device.” Aside from the love story in STARLIGHT CHILD, these would include the mystery of the missing child (abduction) and secretive inhabitants of an alien planet (aliens).
When I look for books to read or movies to watch, I know immediately that I’ll like a story with my favorite tropes. I adore people in disguise, royalty, fake fiancés, and marriage of convenience stories. How about a prince in disguise at a winter chalet who meets a ski instructor? When her old boyfriend shows up with an attractive young lady on his arm, our heroine grabs the stranger and claims he’s her fiancé. I love it!
Now let’s turn this one into a mystery. The old boyfriend ends up dead. Whodunit? The former girlfriend? The new squeeze? Or the prince in disguise, who dares not get exposed to the media. Don’t care for royalty? Make him a CEO, a billionaire, or whatever trope suits your fancy. I also love movies about writers, but not melancholy stories with sad endings. I’ve seen funny thrillers, comedic murder mysteries, classic romances and other wildly entertaining films featuring a writer hero or heroine.
If you combine twins or lookalikes with the people in disguise idea, you get The Prince and the Pauper, one of my favorite classics. The Scarlet Pimpernel is another secret identity story. Rags to riches, amnesia, weddings gone wrong, vacation mix-ups, and fish-out-of-water tales… we’ve read or seen all of them.
Even holidays have their own tropes – Christmas in July, Spring Flings, Holiday Miracles.
Hallmark Movies can serve as studies in popular romance tropes. They repeat the same themes over and over. Why? Because viewers love them. This applies to readers as well.
Think about the book series you enjoy. What keeps you coming back? Do you devour closed-door mysteries, or perhaps you like the enemies-to-lovers banter between the sleuth and the detective? What common themes excite you in a mystery series?
Leave a comment below for a chance to win an ebook copy of STARLIGHT CHILD in exchange for an honest review.
While you’re here, click over to enter our July contest! Giveaways this month include a book from Anna Gerard (aka Diane AS Stuckart) and Valona Jones (aka Maggie Toussaint). CLICK HERE to enter.
Want to learn more about author Nancy J Cohen? Visit her WEBSITE.
Posted in Let's Talk, with Nancy J. Cohen • Tags: book release, Book Series, Nancy J Cohen, Sci-fi, Starlight Child, The LIght Years Series, Tripping Over Tropes | 20 Comments