The Lucy and Ricky Effect is real.
It’s one of the greatest inspirations to my writing. I absolutely loved the show when I was a kid. I take as much inspiration from I Love Lucy as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Roseanne, and MacGyver. Yeah, I loved MacGyver, too.
As for Lucy and Ricky, their relationship always struck me as funny because they loved each other but Ricky was always exasperated by the situations Lucy found herself in. His reaction was often the funniest part of the episode – along with Lucy’s reaction to being caught. Lucy, for her part, couldn’t seem to stay out of trouble and didn’t really think before acting. If you pay attention, none of my heroines can stay out of trouble either.
I get messages every so often that people think some of the men I write are bullies. The ones getting the most flak are Landon, Elliot and Griffin. Some people seem to think that they boss around the females too much. I, of course, don’t see it that way.
It’s not about bossing people around to me. It’s about keeping them safe. Landon, Elliot and Griffin aren’t trying to boss around their mates as much as they’re trying to keep something terrible from happening. I’m all about the girl power and have no interest in keeping down my heroines BUT I don’t think it’s realistic for an FBI agent, cop and security expert to sit idly back and watch the women they love face off with murderers without at least commenting.
What’s funny to me is that no one ever says any of my women are bullies. While I wouldn’t call Bay a bully, I would call Aisling and Avery bullies every once in awhile (Avery more often than not, in fact). It’s just the way they’re made. Aisling grew up with all brothers and found a way to stand up for herself that’s just as loud and demanding as the people telling her to behave herself. And Avery … well … Avery is just Avery. She’s going to do what she’s going to do and think about the consequences later.
Aunt Tillie is another story. She’s a bully because she likes it. She’s ten times the bully any of my men are and no one ever complains about that. They think it’s funny (as do I).
When approaching relationships, in general I try for a solid balance of power. In truth, the women have the bulk of the power. Let’s not kid ourselves. Still, the men occasionally like to pretend they have power and that’s what leads to some of the funnier bits.
When it comes to Avery in particular, I’m not sure there’s any “real” man who would put up with her. She’s growing and learning, but she’s a pain in the ass. She could be a junior Aunt Tillie, quite frankly. Aisling tends to trend in that direction, too, but she does it because she’s always felt overshadowed by testosterone. Bay is actually fairly easy to get along with. It’s her family that causes the bulk of the drama.
Still, I don’t write the men to be bullies. I do write them to occasionally have a spine, though. If they didn’t, the fun interactions would be lacking. If everyone got along and said “Oh, sweetie, the sun rises and sets on you and I don’t care what you do” there would be no drama and I might as well end the stories now. You need drama to move the narrative along, help the characters grow and inspire laughs.
That’s just how I think, though. What do you think? Are my men bullies?
When I was a kid, I was torn between whether or not I was going to grow up and be the Incredible Hulk or Wonder Woman. I flirted with being a Jedi Knight for awhile, but I wasn't up for the intense travel associated with the gig. In my teens, I settled on being a writer -- although I had no idea the effort that would entail.