Happy Valentine’s Day – Celebrating that Life is Good

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/

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Kindle Unlimited Discoveries

kindle unlimited, fantasyDragon Trials by Ava Richardson launched an enjoyable old style fantasy quest trilogy.

kindle unlimited, mystery,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.

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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.

4 Replies to “Happy Valentine’s Day – Celebrating that Life is Good”

  1. I like those little moments that mean something so much more too. 🙂 Especially those characters that seem almost irredeemable.

    Thank you for the link to your friend’s article too, Jenny. And yay to your next release. 🙂

    And oh for the day when one can say they’re a romance writer and not be looked upon as if to say ‘that’s not real writing’.

  2. You bring up an excellent point which I don’t think enough authors use to advantage.

    When I read any story, I find the thing that creates the most investment in a character is tiny, seemingly inconsequential acts of kindness. It could be nothing more than opening a door or drying her eyes, but my heart immediately gets full if the hero (or heroine) does something small, but demonstrative of who they really are inside.

    Whether in a book or real life, little acts of kindness speak volumes. And it makes the sender feel just as warm as the receiver.

    1. Yes! I love especially the big bad or emotionally distant hero who suddenly reaches out with kindness. It’s like a promise to the reader that his journey to love will be fabulous.