romance

Why Romance?

It’s Valentine’s Day today. Ironically, despite being a romance writer, I can’t stand this holiday. I heartily dislike the idea that my loved ones must be forced to tell me they love me once a year (and vice versa). Please explain why this isn’t happening naturally throughout the year? It’s a retail driven holiday that puts pressure on singles and couples alike, and it sucks.

*Off soap box.* That said, since today is (supposed to be) about love, I think it’s a good day to share my thoughts on something. With a handful of decades reading romance and now 10 years of writing it behind me, the question I still get asked most often is why romance?

I tend to answer with a couple of different reasons. Here are my top 4:

It’s my chances to put a little happiness in a world that has way too much of the opposite.

I can hardly stand to turn on the news these days. It is a rare thing that the stories don’t display a world in chaos filled with hate and violence. By writing romance–stories inherently about HOPE–I am taking the creativity God gifted me with and putting a little happiness back into the world. Out of curiosity, what are you doing to make this a better place?

It makes me happy.

I write and read romance because it…wait for it…makes me happy. I love the interaction between the characters and their growth on the page. I love seeing how finding love makes them happy. And, again, I love the HOPE. For dragon shifters and cowboys and billionaires and nerds and outgoing peole and shy people and people who are hurting alike, the opportunity is out there. Immersing myself in things that turn out beautiful and lovely is a wonderful way to spend some hours. 

Why not? Why aren’t you reading it?

Love is at the center of all relationships (or it should be). It’s at the center of making babies (or it should be). It’s not a female-only past time (guys do feel something other than lust, I hope). And it’s not just escapism for women. Not when mysteries and action/thrillers are also out there. I don’t see most men running around beating up bad guys and solving crimes. Just saying. 

So if these books are about hope and reflecting something that everyone on this planet has the capability to experience. And the have a wish to experience it (traditional forms or not). Please explain to me why more people  don’t read romance? Maybe if more people did, this would be a happier, more hopeful world than it currently is.

Finally… The voices in my head won’t shut up, so I give their mouths something to do. 😉

Come on. You always suspected writers were crazy. I’m just saying…you’re right.  To sit in front of a computer for hours/weeks/months/days/years torturing myself and my characters isn’t exactly an easy task. But I love what I do, and the people I get to meet because I do this, and the happiness it brings. So I guess I’ll continue to put up with Valentine’s Day and sing the praises of love and romance the other 364 days of the year. 

Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo

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Romance is Still Alive – #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

For all the romantic gestures I write into the world, romance to me sure as hell isn’t some prescribed holiday (ahem, Valentine’s Day). Or course, the best days ever are our wedding day and the days our children were born. But when I think of my most romantic memories, most of them are little things. A glance, a moment, being on the same page, doing things for each other.

So rather than touch on just one, I’ve made a top 10 List, counting down…

#10 – First Boyfriend

Ah, young love. My first official boyfriend (who lasted longer than a few days and went on actual dates) happened my freshman year of high school. That high of having the boy I was interest in be interested back only got better. We dressed up for the school Valentine’s dance. He gave me a silver bracelet (still have it) and my first kiss. I still smile when I pass by the spot where it happened. So sweet.

#9 – That Guy

My senior year of high school a boy I’d had a crush on years before (for a really, really, really long time), asked me out. We only dated a few months. But the romance of getting the ungettable get made me feel ah-maz-ing. He was a lot of fun, too.

#8 – Excited to See Me

I had a long term boyfriend in college (3 years – I think). There are lots of little moments in there, but the one that stands out the most is coming home from spring break in separate cars, he was a good 10 hours behind me. I went to bed thinking he wouldn’t get home until really late. I woke up to him running up the stairs to wake me up. He’d left early and hurried, just because he missed me for a few hours.

#7 – Flowers for My Table

Any time my husband does the grocery shopping, he buys flowers for our kitchen table. Just because he knows I like it.

 

 #6 – Stay

Shortly after my breakup with the college boyfriend, I dated a guy who went a long way toward making me feel human and desirable again. He was wonderful in so many ways. But my favorite was a night we were out with a bunch of mutual friends (including my ex). I was miserable and thinking of leaving when I get this text that says two words. “Don’t Go.”

#5 – Lots of Laughter

My husband and I make each other laugh. Admittedly, he’s better at it than I am because he’s funnier. But part of what I love about our romance is laughing with him. Every single day.

#4 – I Love You

My husband and I both broke up with each other once before finally figuring out we were meant to be (had a lot to do with timing). When he finally told me he loved me was the day he asked me back. He’d broken things off, and a month later asked me to meet him at Jason’s Deli. There he told me how much he missed me and that he’d fallen in love with me without even knowing. I knew that day that I’d marry that man.

#3 – Proposal

I thought he was going to break up with me. I had gone on vacation to Colorado with my family and we talked every night, but he kept having fewer and fewer things to say. He was picking me up at the airport and I thought, “He’s about to end it.” I turned the corner to find him standing there in a suit with a sign (like a limo driver) that said “Mrs. Owen?”. He proposed right there in the airport (and my man is not the public exhibition type).

#2 – To the Ends of the Earth

Of the two of us, I am the more prone to make snap decisions and do things like move. I had moved apartments something like 10 times in 5 years, during which time he’d bought and lived in the same house. People would tease me that I’d have to stay put now. Six months after we married, I got a job in another state. And that man not only supported me, he jumped on my crazy train. He did it again when I suddenly decided we needed to move home to Texas.

#1 – Pursuing a Dream

My husband is supporting this author dream of mine in every way he can. He could call it an unrealistic pursuit and (quite reasonably) request I go back to a steady job with a steady income. He could get frustrated with how my head is in the clouds 90% of the time. He could get irritated with how dishes take a back seat to getting the next scene on paper. But because he loves me, and believes in me, and supports my dreams, I get to pursue my dreams.

All my best romantic memories are thanks to my husband. Guess I’ll hang on to this one. Lol. And you’d better bet that some of these will (or already have) end up in my books. 🙂 What are in your top 10? I’d love to hear.

 


I am participating in MFRW’s 52-week blog challenge, and it’s a blog hop! If you want to see how other authors approach this topic, stroll on over to the other authors participating and find out how they deal with character profiles. Each author does it differently.

My Wishlist for GOT Happily Ever Afters

We’re coming up to the season finale of Game of Thrones, and even knowing that everyone probably dies by the end of the show, I’m still rooting for a few happily ever afters for several characters. Can’t help it–I’m a romance writer. Here’s who I’d like to see get their HEAs…

Jon / Daenerys

Yeah, yeah. Everyone saw this one coming, and the show is doing a decent (if rushed) job building it this season. So I won’t spend too much time on it. All I will say is that, like killing off Daryl in The Walking Dead, if the show creators don’t make this happen and stick (they don’t have to rule, just end up together and alive), then the women watching GOT might riot. Just saying.

*Amended post season 7 finale, because ewwwwww.

Brienne / Jaime

Let’s just kill of Cersei now and then Jamie can pull is head out of his behind. Brienne is the only one who can redeem Jaime, an almost irredeemable character (just can get over his pushing a boy out of a window).

Sam / Gilly

The relationship there is obviously solid. Let’s see them end happily with him as Lord Tarly. Jon can do it.

Arya / Gendry

He was so nice to her when she was pretending to be a boy. Now they are both grown up and obviously about to be reunited. I bet he could soften some of her edges, plus he’d be on board for helping her with that list.

Missandei / Grey Worm

Another relationship well established. They’ve both finally found freedom and purpose and each other. Let them keep it. Please!

Sansa / The Hound

That poor girl has only wanted one thing, a strong, handsome husband to take care of her. The Hound is one of my favorite redeeming characters in the show. Sansa needs someone plain spoken who obviously only wants to protect her. Classic beauty & the beast.

Others?

Unfortunately, I know I’m breaking a few hearts. I’d really love to see Tyrion end up with someone nice, but who? Ser Jorah can’t end up with Daenerys, but that’s as it should be. If Brienne doesn’t end up with Jaime, then I hope she gives in and ends up with Tormund, just because I like him. 🙂

Okay, that’s mine. GOT fans, what about you?