Monday, 12 March 2012

Black holes and heroic professions

I’m still getting over the loss of The West Wing on my evening viewing front, and can’t quite into watching anything else yet – although I was grateful for all the recommendations I had.  When I was in London last week, I saw an advert for Castle on the Tube and was very excited to think that it had made it across the pond after all.  Apparently it’s on its third season too! Sadly, it was on a channel I’d never heard of, but maybe it’ll make its way to Freeview on of these days, and I’ll be ready for it!

In the meantime, I have been grouchily channel-hopping, with only one programme that caught my interest long enough watch it.  Bizarrely, this was a documentary about black holes.  This was a bit like The West Wing in that I was riveted without having a clue what they were talking about.
There’s something incredibly attractive about those cool theoretical physicists, all so clever and articulate about extraordinarily complex subjects.  

Mouth open in admiration, I watched them scribbling out formulae on blackboards or leaning forward eagerly to explain particle physics.  An astronomer put together a virtual telescope the size of North American continent to look for evidence that might throw Einstein’s theory of relativity into question, and then got very excited about graphs with lot of wiggly lines on them.  I was agog.  They were talking about time and space, and if only I could have grasped it, I felt as if I might had a brilliant idea.  As it was, I was just impressed.

I’ve been wondering ever since if I could have a hero who was a theoretical physicist.  The wonderful Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a great heroine who is a physicist – Dr Jane Darlington in Nobody’s Baby But Mine.  I love all her books, but that’s one of my absolute favourites. I’m ashamed to say that I’m not very adventurous with my characters’ professions, largely, I suspect, because I’m too lazy to research but now I’m inspired to try harder.

What is the most unusual profession you’ve come across in a romance?  Are there any that would be turn offs for you, or that you particularly like come to that?  I’ve still got copies of We’ll Always Have Paris to give away, so if you leave a comment and haven’t read it yet, do email me your postal address ( and I’ll do another post office run.


  1. Unusual professions/occupations I liked to read about:

    "Long time coming" by Sandra Brown (hero->astronaut)
    "In the Midnight Rain" by Ruth Wind (heroine -> biographer)
    "Heart of Fire" by Linda Howard (heroine -> archaeologist)
    "Australian Boss: Diamond Ring" by by Jennie Adams (heroine -> graphic designer for a landscaping company)
    "Hot Wheels and High Heels" by Jane Graves (heroine -> repo agent)
    "A Great Catch" by Michelle Jerott (heroine -> first mate on a ferry)

    No particular turn offs for me, although creativity is always appreciated.

  2. That's an interesting list, Natalija - and some intriguing sounding books. Thanks for the recommendations. Am off to check them out on Amazon ...

  3. Nobody's Baby But Mine is my favorite SEP book too!! :) Now I want to read it again.

    See what you've done! :P

  4. P.S. I though Kelly Hunter's hero in Her Singapore Fling was especially interesting because of his profession as a martial arts teacher. I'd never come across that one before :)

  5. Nobody's Baby stands many re-reads, Lacey! Other favourites are Dream A Little Dream, First Lady and Heaven, Texas. SEP is such a terrific story-teller, isn't she?

  6. My first degree was in physics so I always have a soft spot for the physicist hero. Anne McAllister has a particularly gorgeous one in Hired by her Husband. I'm also very fond of Christian in Laura Kinsale's magnificent Flowers from the Storm, who is a mathematician.

  7. Wow, Ros, I'm impressed! You mean you can actually understand what those blackboard scribbles mean?? And thanks for the recommendations too!