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today 6/2/16 on aobibliosphere™ [aobibliospotlight™: A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart]

Sunday, May 29, 2011

04 Masters & Mistresses of the Genre: Sylvia Massara - hopeful romantic

welcome to the Masters & Mistresses of the Genre Series featuring
Sylvia Massara:
Mistress of Contemporary Romance

I am honoured to have been selected as Mistress of Contemporary Romance. Thank you, aobibliophile, for having faith in me. Ironically, I am going through a nasty marriage break up right now, but interestingly I am already planning my next romance novel.

I would describe myself as a multi-genre author with a soft spot for romance. You see, even though I have been through three significant relationship break ups, I still believe in true love; the love that makes your heart sing and your soul soar. I believe in destiny; I believe in the “soul mate” kind of love, and believe it or not, even though right now I’m hurting from my break up, I still believe that the right man is out there for me. And until I find him, I will write about him in my novels.

Interestingly, I have used my novels as a kind of therapy for my bad luck with love. Take “The Other Boyfriend” for instance. This quirky romantic comedy is based on a significant relationship break up I suffered nine years ago. The storyline is very much as it happened; however, I did fictionalise the characters and also invented a few new ones along the way. One of them is the hero of the story—Mike Connor. Mike represented for me the ultimate love partner. He’s drop dead gorgeous and has qualities that make him an honourable man—that ever elusive “knight in shining armour” we ladies look for. My hero in “Like Casablanca” is the same. I guess you could say that all my heroes will be knights in shining armour, no matter what they look like. Although you can be sure that if I’m inventing them for my novels then they’ll be very good looking :-)

In real life, I truly believe there are knights in shining armour as well. The only difference is that these men will have flaws, like we all do. And they might not be drop-dead gorgeous like heroes in novels, but if a man is tender, secure in who he is and he acts with integrity, then that man could very well be the knight in shining armour I am seeking. I haven’t yet found him, ladies, and so I go on kissing toads, both in real life and in my novels.

What I want to say is that regardless of what is happening in real life, I will continue to create my soul mate, over and over again. The hero might not ring true with every reader, of course, but I think he will always possess certain elements to his personality that will resonate with most readers. The novel hero is “larger than life”, as he ought to be. The good thing is that I get to write these guys as I want them to be; and by writing and thinking about them more and more, one day I am sure to attract the right man into my life, based on how I’ve written him in the novels. I do believe in the “law of attraction”, as you can see.
I told aobibliophile to call me a “hopeful romantic”, and that’s what I am and always will be. So I guess there is still hope for me yet.

I now wave goodbye to the love that I was convinced was the one for me and turn my sights on what is to come. Although there is a lot of healing to do, I know I have the strength and the focus to do it—and I guess my novels are part of the healing process, too. The fact that I get to share this healing process with my readers makes me feel gratitude, for if I can reach even one reader who feels they resonate with my stories, then I would have fulfilled my post—the post of Mistress of Contemporary Romance.  

Sylvia Massara
Sylvia Massara has been writing since her early teens and has written a number of plays, screenplays and, most recently, novels. she lives in Sydney, Australia.

her favourite genre is romance/chick lit, and she has a soft spot for chicks who are on the cusp of 40 and beyond. yes, chicks still date after 40! to prove this, she's written "The Other Boyfriend" (loosely based on her own life experience while she lived briefly in Taiwan and Hong Kong). just recently, Sylvia released a third book, a romance/chick lit novel called "Like Casablanca", this is a cross between internet dating and Rick's Cafe (also loosely based on her life).

she has also written a general fiction drama, "The Soul Bearers", a story inspired by real life events and filled with hope and inspiration when overcoming life's obstacles and learning to live again.

Sylvia is the creator and host of The Lit Chick Show, a literary blog run as a virtual TV show that features authors from all genres who showcase their work. 

The Other Boyfriend

Sarah Jamison is on a mission to find a boyfriend for her lover's business partner and constant companion before her own 40-year-old hormones succumb to menopause. Her best friend comes to the rescue with an idea so crazy that it just might work. Enter the enigmatic Mike Connor, smug and full of himself. Sarah hates the man on sight, despite the fact that her body tells her otherwise. Even so, Sarah thinks that, with his help, she can finally be with Jeffrey, the man she loves, and start a family before it's too late. If this means scheming and working with the devil himself, then she will do it, all in the name of love! Instead of getting closer to her goal, however, Sarah finds herself increasingly thinking about the very man she despises the most-"the other boyfriend."

Like Casablanca

What does internet dating and Casablanca have in common? Nothing, unless you go to Rick's Cafe and find out what antiques dealer and dating blogger, Cat Ryan, is up to.

Cat's doing research for her internet dating blog gig, and the place she chooses to meet her many dates is at Rick's Cafe in Sydney. But what of its disturbingly handsome owner, Rick Blake? Cat wonders what he thinks, seeing her with a different male all the time. What’s more, why does this bother Cat so much? It’s not like she wants any involvement after her recent break up with Josh, her cheating ex. Besides, it looks like Rick is trying to get back together with his ex-wife, Denise. So Cat decides to play it safe, but her heart has different ideas.

The Soul Bearers  (although not traditional romance, this drama is about unconditional love and friendship)
Partly inspired by real life events, this is a story of courage, the gift of friendship and unconditional love. The story involves three people whose lives cross for a short period of time and the profound effect which results from their interaction.  Alex Dorian, freelance travel writer and victim of child abuse, arrives in Sydney in an attempt to exorcise the ghosts of her past.  She shares a house with Steve and the disturbing Matthew, a homosexual couple.  Alex finds herself inexplicably attracted to Matthew, and she must battle with her repressed sexuality and her fear of intimacy.

Matthew, extremely good looking and an inspiring actor/model, lives with Steve, who is dying of AIDS. Matthew has his own battle, that of dealing with the rejection of his socialite parents, and facing a future without his partner. Steve is the rock to which the troubled Matthew and Alex cling as they examine their lives and beliefs.  Steve finally dies, but his legacy lives on in the strength which both Matthew and Alex find to face their own pain. Alex learns to love again, thanks to the gift of friendship from Matthew; and in turn, with Alex’s love and support, Matthew learns to forgive the past and move on to follow his dream.

This beautifully told story explores the true meaning of unconditional love--for both one's self and for others. Readers of "The Soul Bearers" will come away with a deeper understanding of human relationships and of what it means to truly love without condition.

For more information on her books, blogs, and to see Sylvia's own interviews and book trailers, please visit her website at http://www.sylviamassara.com and at 


i would like to thank Sylvia Massara for guest posting today and to you as well for stopping by. watch out for my next master or mistress of the genre!

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