Turning Tropes on their Ears

I have never met a trope I couldn’t twist. There’s something so satisfying about playing with the expectations of readers. Tropes, like clichés, are both useful and hazardous. They are short cuts to meaning, but come with baggage. A well placed cliché paints a colorful image in just a few words. A poorly placed one elicits groans.

Tropes are a bit more complex, but still just a short cut to reader expectations. In a romance, for example, we have an FMC and an MMC and as soon as they see each other sparks should fly – especially if one of them is using a welding torch. Oh, you weren’t expecting that kind of sparks. That’s kind of the point though. There’s also the idea that FMC and MMC are fated for each other, but I don’t roll that way. It’s never quite that simple. I’ve written the FMC to be a Fae fated to help the MMC find the woman who’s really meant for him. I’ve had MMC completely miss how beautiful the FMC is. In his defence, he’s blind and so shocked that she’s interested in him he just can’t wrap his head around it.

In The Valley Below, not yet available, I write F/F between the princess and the lowliest of peasants. By now you’ve probably guessed I didn’t rehash the Cinderella trope. Princess is the one out of place for them to meet, and she’s the one who gives up her life of luxury to live with her lover. Don’t worry about spoilers, that only gets you to chapter five. I have plenty more tropes to twist in that one.

Adelaide’s House of Ill Repute is a sweet, slow burn romance set in a BDSM club.

In My Soul I Keep Richard plays the role of Manic Pixie Dream Boy to Julie’s Woman-child.

There are so many tropes out there. So many more to twist. I’d best get back to writing. (I think I’ll write a romance between alley cats next)


Misty Carlisle turned to writing when she couldn’t find the kind of worlds she wanted to live in. She loves the freedom to twist plots and tropes and play with an audience’s expectations. Every story starts with a trope and turns it upside down. Tell her she can’t do something, and she takes it as a challenge. The world of Romance is in for a surprise. Look for upcoming books “Adelaide’s House of Ill Repute” and “My Soul I Keep”.


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