Guest Post

Guest Post: “How My HP Ship Fandom Inspired the YA Romances I Write” by Chris Cannon

Blackmail Boyfriend Chris Cannon

Hello, my name is Chris Cannon, and I have a Harry Potter Romance-Fandom confession. I desperately wanted Ginny Weasley and Draco Malfoy to end up together. Yes, I know Harry was the hero, but he could’ve married any number of girls. Draco was the spoiled rich brat who was raised believing his father was brilliant and that Ginny’s father was an eccentric fool. Her family was dirt poor, and it would have been beneath him to even consider dating a Weasley. Think of all the wonderful conflict that would’ve caused.

Ginny could’ve taught Draco that everything he’d been raised to believe was wrong. She could’ve redeemed him. She had six older brothers who hated him and everything his family believed. Six! He would’ve had to fight his way through all six and convince them that he loved their little sister. Draco and Ginny would have been a match made in hell, and it would have been awesome.

I think that’s where my fascination with the normal-girl-dating-the-wealthy-boy and the little-sister-dating-her-brother’s-enemy tropes started, and it’s why I’ve written two romantic comedies featuring these tropes.

In Blackmail Boyfriend, Bryce Colton’s reputation as a playboy precedes him, and Haley Patterson’s brothers try to discourage Bryce from dating their sister by threatening to feed him, feet first, through a wood chipper. (Next best thing to hexing someone if you’re not a wizard.)

Haley and Bryce don’t always see eye to eye because of their different upbringings. Bryce’s country club family is more concerned with appearances and what people think, while Haley’s blue collar family focuses on working to pay the bills and instilling a good work ethic in their kids. These distinctions allowed me to create ample conflict between both Haley and Bryce, of course, but also between other characters within their own families.

In The Boyfriend Bet, when Zoe Cain’s brother gives her an ultimatum, she kisses his nemesis, Grant Evertide, out of spite. To Zoe’s surprise, the kiss isn’t a one-time thing. For Grant, it’s a win-win situation because he likes Zoe, and he has a new and entertaining way to annoy her older brother.

Zoe’s brother claims he’s just trying to protect, to keep her from becoming the Ringer. An oh-so-charming tradition where a snob dates a hick until they hook up, and then he dumps her. Grants swears he isn’t involved in the stupid bet. She threatens to neuter him with hedge clippers if he’s lying.

Of course, Zoe’s conflicts (and her attempts at resolving them) don’t just stop with Bryce. She kissed Grant out of spite in the first place, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that if Zoe lived in Harry Potter’s universe, she definitely would’ve been sneaking her brother some Puking Pastilles from Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. Since she, unfortunately, didn’t have access to magical pranking tools, she did the next best thing when she was younger – put hair remover in his shampoo. I can’t help, but laugh when I think of him walking around without any hair or eyebrows.

In real life and in fiction, there are many obstacles to finding your happily ever after. Rooting for characters to find the magic of love, even when it seems very unlikely or even impossible, is the goal of reading and writing romance. But sometimes, the obstacles, such as the opposites attract trope, make the journey so much better…in my opinion. What are your favorite tropes?


Award winning author Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures and snarky contemporary romance.

Chris can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and ChrisCannonAuthor.com.

 

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