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Meet Pat Ballard:
Queen of Rubenesque Romance Novels
by Lisa Klobucar
Regular Contributor at (Sept 12, 2007)

Elegant Plus is pleased to have author Pat Ballard share some of her work and wisdom with us. Pat has written such novels as, Abigail’s Revenge and A Worthy Heir. Her central female characters are BBW’s. Pat, who is the self proclaimed, “Queen of Rubenesque Romances” writes witty, romantic tales of men and women who struggle and fall in love. If you are looking for a time out, these are novels that are the perfect escape.

BBW Romance author, Pat Ballard
Romance author, Pat Ballard, in her office Plus-Size Lingerie Shopping Directory >> Plus-Size Dresses Shopping Directory >>

EP: In Abigail’s Revenge, the central character, Abigail is a plus-size woman. You have the male character Desh, describe her rounded, full frame and her beauty, “…don’t ever be ashamed of your beauty. Don’t run from it. You are a beautiful woman.”

Do you feel that larger women tend to shy away from their curves, their beauty over all?

PB: I think, in most cases, it’s very hard for larger women to accept and believe that they can be beautiful. On a daily basis, we’re told that we can’t be beautiful if we aren’t tall, thin and young.

EP: When writing Abigail’s Revenge, did you have someone in mind for the character of Abigail or was she a product of a fertile and active imagination?

PB: Abigail was mostly a product of my imagination. I wrote the prologue of Abigail’s Revenge one day, just “playing around” with a different writing style. Just to prove that I could write in a more “mysterious” voice than I usually do. I liked the prologue, so I sent it to several reading friends and their reaction was very strong. So I decided to tell Abigail’s story.

EP: The characters within Abigail’s Revenge are rather startled to see Abigail’s new larger frame. Yet, Abigail feels good being a larger woman and makes no apologies for her larger voluptuous figure. Do you feel that Plus-size women need to take a stand for themselves and accept who they are size and all?

PB: Abigail knew a lot of hunger in her childhood, so when she was sent to prison and started having regular meals, her body sought and found its natural fullness. So Abigail couldn’t grasp the concept that she should make herself hungry again by dieting just to be skinny like she used to be. And that’s the point I was trying to bring out to my readers. Each of us has our own mold that our bodies fight to maintain. When we diet, 99% of us gain it right back if we aren’t hungry. So, yes, each of us should accept the size we are, look the world in the face and say, “Hello! This is me! I’m not apologizing for who I am. And I’m not changing who I am just because society thinks I should.”

EP: The lead female characters in, Abigail’s Revenge and A Worthy Heir are plus-size women who face personal and emotional obstacles by other characters within the book due to their size. Do you feel that larger women are treated in a similar fashion say within the workplace, their homes, or in general by society overall?

PB: Yes. I use these other characters in my books to bring out the issues that larger women face. I always have the “opposition” character that I use as the mouthpiece of what we hear and have to deal with every day in our society.

EP: Your books have an underlying tone of self-acceptance and even on your website you have, “10 Steps to Loving your Body”. Do you feel that in today’s thin-centric society it is important for women of any size to wave their self acceptance banners and proclaim, “I like who I am?”

PB: In two of my books, Nobody’s Perfect and A Worthy Heir, my heroines come into the story as self-confident women. There’s a lot of “me” in those heroines. In three of my books, His Brother’s Child, Wanted: One Groom and Abigail’s Revenge, I’ve brought the heroines into the story not quite as confident. The reason I did this is because I wanted to address some of the issues that most of us have had to deal with, or are still dealing with when it comes to self-acceptance. But what I try to accomplish at the end of my books is to have all my heroines, and hopefully the reader, feeling so good about themselves that they want to walk out into the street and shout, “Hey world! I like me just the way I am!” No matter what size they are. My goal is to remind all women… of any and every size that we’re okay just the way we are.

EP: What inspired you to write about larger characters in your novels? Do you feel that any of your characters are a personal reflection of yourself?

PB: I discovered romance novels when I was a teenager. My favorite author, at the time, was Emily Loring. I loved her books because they weren’t just romance novels. They also had wonderful “life-messages” written into the story. I knew I wanted to write novels, but I wanted my novels to have a message that would make the reader feel better about themselves when they’d finished my book(s). But at the time, and until I was 33 years old, I was busy starving myself, trying to stay thin.

After I stopped dieting and decided to love whatever body that developed from eating healthily and exercising moderately, I realized that there was no representation of us “big girls” in the media, movies, or books. Then, one day, that proverbial light bulb went off over my head… romance novels with Big Beautiful Heroines. I immediately started my first novel with a Big Beautiful Heroine, Nobody’s Perfect.

Actually, I think all my heroines have a little of me in them. After all, they’re seeing the world through my eyes.

EP: Do you have any words of wisdom or self encouragement you would like to pass onto other women who read your books?

PB: Just like a snowflake, each one of us is unique. Each one of us is a one-of-a-kind work of art. There never has been, nor will there ever be another individual like us. So we don’t have the right not to love ourselves.

Browse Pat Ballard's books on-line at Pearlsong Press.

In addition to romance novels Pat is working on her first non-fiction book, 10 Steps To Loving Your Body, that should be in print by late spring or early summer. If you would like to know more about Pat Ballard and other works by her, please visit her blog, The Queen's Proclamation.



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Key words: Pat Ballard, romance novels, plus-size heroines, body image, authors, novelists, writiers, self-esteem, size acceptance, body image, plus-size women