I write romance novels. When I tell people that, especially guys, they’re a bit stuck for something to say. Over the years, their discomfort has prompted me to think about what I write and why. At the heart of it is something simple and powerful, and true to all storytelling. I write about relationships.
We exist in a web of relationships. Some are casual. A few are intense. Some are destructive. Others are life-affirming and supportive.
In a romance novel, the focus is on the romantic-love relationship. How do people fall in love? Why do they fall in love? How do they negotiate the highs and lows of building a relationship? Will they run? Will they open up? And in a romance novel we all know that they HAVE to open up for the relationship to grow. In a novel, great risk brings great reward.
On Valentine’s Day, as in a romance novel, the focus is on the romantic-love relationship, but there are so many other relationships that we participate in that we ought to celebrate. In a novel, those are the relationships that an author uses to reveal aspects of the hero or heroine. How does he or she treat other people? How do they let other people treat them? How do they see themselves? We reveal ourselves in our relationships.
Every relationship contributes to whether our day is good or dull.
So it’s not sexy, and it’s not red roses and and chocolate, but this Valentine’s Day I’m going to focus just a little more on being kind to people. Every relationship glows a bit when kindness is added.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
One More Week till Fantastical Island Releases!
I’m so excited. Publishing a new book is fun! Stressful and rollercoaster-ish, but absolutely wonderful. If you want to pre-order Fantastical Island so it appears magically on your kindle next Tuesday, the link is: https://www.amazon.com/Fantastical-Island-Old-School-Book-ebook/dp/B01N56RZ7Z/
Kindle Unlimited Discoveries
Dragon Trials by Ava Richardson launched an enjoyable old style fantasy quest trilogy.
Whereas Mary Burton wrote a scary thriller of the kind I remember from the 1990s. The Shark had a neat twist at the end.
And just out today (I wonder if author CE Wilson chose Valentine’s Day especially) is a new young adult dystopian romance, Cruel and Unusual.
Why Do We Write Romance Novels
Elizabeth Reid Boyd is a good friend and a clever, insightful author. She has a dual identity: academic by day, romance author by night. For Valentine’s Day she was invited to write on romance fiction, and has done so wittily on the contradictions and complexity of juggling her two identities. Actually, I think she did something more. I think her article, To The Mattresses: A Defence of Romance Fiction, reveals the satisfaction romance writing gives exactly because, unlike what its critics might claim, it doesn’t shy away from big issues.
When we tell a story, we share with each other the possibilities open to us all.