Why Write a Romance Novel?

I get this question a lot, especially from people who know me well. Wait, you say – they KNOW you and ask that question. Yes. You see, I’m the anti-girly-girl. I’m a tomboy who hates anything remotely domestic. If you need help with a dinner party, I can call a caterer. If you need help building a deck, I’ll be there with an excellent selection of personally-owned power tools. And then there’s the practical side of me. What can I say, I come from a practical family. You know, the kind that if someone dies in the middle of the night, they wait until the next morning to call because there was nothing you could do anyway…that kind of practical.

But romances are hearts and flowers and birds singy and gooey, right?

Not necessarily. And my single title romances certainly didn’t feature the defenseless heroine waiting to be rescued by the strong man. They featured strong women who fell in love because they met their equal in a man. To me, a great romance novel is about empowering women, not making them the helpless maiden. A great romance is about a heroine who is NOT looking for a hero but finds him anyway.

Now, I say that with the caveat that I write blended romances, in that I write a combination of romance and mystery, so it’s easy to create a stressful/dangerous situation and make the heroine face it along with her man. And I twist my hero and heroine every which way possible before the end of the book.

Which brings me to the main reason I write and read romance – the end: Happily Ever After. If you want to call your book a romance, the happily ever after is required. Otherwise, you may be writing women’s fiction, but you’re not writing a romance. And I love the happily ever after part. I love knowing when I pick up a book that no matter what the hero and heroine go through, no one’s going to die at the end. They will ride off into the figurative sunset.

Real life is so stressful. If I want a dose of reality, I’ll turn on the news for my daily depression. But when I’m reading, I want to escape…to a place where everything ends in love.

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