BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I Romance

I'd planned on talking about how much I love romance novels this morning, but I overslept and that kind of shot my plans. Rather than saving it for another day and risk being rushed, I decided to do it now.

I used to read everything, and if there wasn't a romance in it--or if the romance wasn't strong enough--I created one in my head. I think this was part of my training to become a writer. I'd always had people and stories running through my mind, but now I was focusing the creativity. And learning to develop a romance between two characters. What's interesting to me is that I was doing this as a very small child, I mean even with books for class that were meant to teach us how to read.

Then I found my first romance novel. I was in junior high and it was this great discovery. People were writing the kinds of stories that I wanted to read! How cool was that? Even at fifteen, I read voraciously and always had a book with me, something that set a lifelong pattern. :-)

Right now, I own over 5000 fiction books. Probably 90% of them are romance. I've read more than 4000 of them, although I didn't check the exact number. I was a reader long before I became serious about writing. A die-hard romance fan with the To Be Read pile to prove it.

That's what makes things kind of funny. I have a friend who as soon as she found out I was writing futuristic romance suggested I cut the romance and make it straight SF. Whenever I would bring up my writing, she'd always say that or something along the lines of, you know you don't always have to write romance. At one point, I completely stopped talking about my stories with her because I didn't want to have to explain again why I love writing romance.

I couldn't write anything but romance even if I tried. I love the relationship between my hero and heroine. I love watching them change and grow. My characters never change for each other. Meeting might be the catalyst that gets things going, but my characters change because things happen around them that makes them look at themselves differently. And usually once my h/h meet, all hell is breaking loose, which does tend to change people as they meet the challenge.

The same reason I love writing romance is the same reason why I love reading romance. There's nothing more enjoyable than reading a well-written book with deep characterization that has a satisfying ending. When I close a book, I want that warm, happy feeling that a good romance gives me.

Can there possibly be a better feeling than reading a book that's so good, you have to slow down to savor it? Or maybe you read faster because you can't wait to see how it ends, then as soon as you're done, you start the book all over again so you can enjoy that wonderful story all over again.

I've done both.

I read all kinds of romance. I read alpha heroes and beta heroes. I read comedies and romantic suspense and futuristic and everything in between. I read series and single title. I read books with a lot of angst and books where the problems aren't that deep. And I've loved books that fit each category.

When people ask me what kind of books I write, I never hesitate or sound apologetic. I always say, "I write romance." And so far at least, I've never had anyone make a disparaging remark.

So, yeah, I romance. Both reading it and writing it. And even though I read other genres and sometimes get frustrated, I can't see this ever changing. What's more enjoyable than reading about love?