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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

For the Dads

This Sunday is Father's Day in the US, so I thought it was appropriate to bring up the subject of Dads. In the early days of romance fiction, you almost never saw them. Heroines were always orphaned or somehow separated from their families and heroes almost never had chilren. The only occasion exception was the widowed hero who married his children's governess. A little more often we see the trope of a hero who wants to be a father, usually for sucession/inheritance purposes, and of course, then we developed the secret baby trope.

Things have changed though, and now in romance you can do all kinds of stuff you couldn't then. Heroes can be widowed, divorced, or even single dads who never married. (I've written stories including all of the above.) Heroes and heroines can have their father figures in the story, with any sort of relationship from idyllic to gruesome. Characters can meet a plucky youth and adopt them over the course of the story. (A major theme of my Gaslight Chronicles series.) You can have stepdads, gay dads, foster dads, granddads, and alternative father figures either as heroes or playing prominent roles. I think our genre is all the richer for opening up to the variety of relationships in the world around us.

Not everyone finds Father's Day a reason to celebrate. Not everyone has a dad, or is lucky enough to have a good one. My heart goes out to so many this time of year, for whom the occasion brings dark memories or grief. For me, though, it's a day of joy and thanks.

I have a fantastic dad. For over half a century, I have been, and always will be, Daddy's Little Girl. I'm the youngest child and the only girl, and yes, I'll admit it, I'm spoiled rotten. So are his grandsons and now his great-granddaughters. My father is 92 now, and I thank my lucky stars for his continued health. He lives nearby and we talk and visit often. This Sunday, I'll be celebrating the day with three generations of amazing fathers: my own, my husband and my son. I'll be sending love across the country to my other dad, my wonderful father-in-law.

For any of you who are loving fathers or who fill that role for any children, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Single moms, mentors, Big Brothers, whatever--thank you. For those of you grieving the loss of a father, my deepest sympathies. May his memory bring you joy. For those of you who never had the gift of a good dad, I hope some other aspect of your day brings you light and peace.

(Photos: Above:my father and myself, 1963. Right: My brother, dad, 2 sons, 2 nephews, 2 great-neices, and granddaughter, 2014, Dad's 90th birthday.)

Cindy Spencer Pape firmly believes in happily-ever-after and brings that to her writing. Multiple award-winning author of the best-selling Gaslight Chronicles, she has released almost sixty novels and stories, which blend fantasy, adventure, science fiction, suspense, history and romance. 

Cindy lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and three spoiled dogs. When not hard at work writing she can be found restoring her 1870 house, dressing up for steampunk parties and Renaissance fairs, or with her nose buried in a book.


Charmaine Gordon said...

Beautiful post, Cindy. I'm a Chicagoan, only girl in a huge family. Boys were revered back then. I learned to ski in upper Michigan with my first love, a pilot, best father ever gone too soon. Thanks for sweet memories from me in New York

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful post! I'm the oldest of five girls. My poor dad never had a chance. He's the middle of three children (older and younger sister) and both his sisters had three girls. It was quite the event when my son was born. He'd been the first boy since my father's birth in the family. My baby sister went on to give birth to a boy as well and luckily for him, he lives next to my father. They get to see each other a lot which was nice since my sister's husband served over-seas.

May you and your family have a wonderful Father's Day!

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