There are several questions authors are asked regularly, so we either give the same old answer or we’re constantly on the lookout for a new and interesting reply. Like this question for example: Where do you get your ideas?
Trust me, there isn’t a writer who isn’t rolling her internal eyeballs and groaning at this question. Well, I get my ideas from brownies. Did you bring any?
When are you going to write a real book?
Excuse me? When they stop paying me so well to write these fake ones.
No, I mean why do you write romance?
Big question. No quick answer. I write romance for the same reason I’ve read romance for so many years. For the same reason that first one awakened something inside me to the vast possibilities and challenging scenarios in this genre. I love romances. I love losing myself in the emotional adventures of two diverse characters, destined to be together.
Before you scoff and call me a Pollyanna, I assure you I’m enough in tune with reality to lock my doors and warn my children of strangers. I watch the news and I see the state of our world. But what do we have if we don’t have hope?
Romance is all about hope.
Several years ago I received the most memorable letter I’ve ever received from a reader. She told me how much she’d enjoyed my book, how she identified with the characters and how she’d cried for the heroine. Like the character in my story, she’d been stalked and beaten by someone who should have loved her. Unlike my character however, the reader has permanent nerve damage to her arm. Her story touched me so deeply that I wept.
This dear person’s true life story forced me to consider what I was doing. I sat at my desk thinking how shallow my work is. I mean, I make all this stuff up! I order peoples’ lives about and manipulate them to suit my plots — but it’s all fiction. While I sit in my comfortable climate controlled office with every possible convenience at my fingertips, sipping cup after cup of coffee and tea and munching M&Ms, out there in the world are people experiencing devastating hurts and losses and traumas.
In that light, what I do seems so inconsequential.
That thinking lasted about, oh, ten minutes. And then it came to me — I realized why this young reader had been touched so profoundly by my story. She said she hoped that some day she would meet a man like my hero, a man who would love her that same way. She had hope.
Romance is about hope.
We invest our time in the characters in these stories because we know that no matter what dilemmas befall them, no matter what obstacles they face or which conflicts arise, in the end love will conquer all; good will win over evil; and a happily-ever-after will prevail. Each of us hopes there is a special someone out there, a special man or woman who will love us unconditionally and fill that place created in our heart just for them. Romance brings our hopes to life.
Through these stories of love and commitment, we experience the fulfillment of the human dream. What better reason do we need to love romance than a desire to be swept away between the pages of a book filled with excitement and expectation? I write romance because I want to share the same sweeping emotions with my readers that have been shared with me by my favorite writers. I want to feel. I want to experience the excitement of falling in love over and over, of facing my fears and winning over seemingly impossible odds.
I write romance because I believe in it.
Why do you read it?