After I finished writing my second novel, Bluey’s Café, I decided to develop a career as a romance novelist. Why? I spent my teenage years reading romance novels. I could read a Mills and Boon in two hours, and they saved me from the boredom of secondary school. For whatever people might think of this genre, the truth is that it’s the best selling genre of all. People want love. They need love. If they don’t have it in their lives, then they want to live it through someone else. And even if their relationship is brilliant, it can’t hurt to enjoy the pleasure of sharing in someone else’s love journey, can it?
My dilemma as a romance writer is this: when I met my husband, Paul, it was ‘I’ve known you forever at first sight’. We literally moved in with each other next day. We simply ‘knew’. There was no long engagement, nor dancing around the dating scene for months on end. Nope, not us. We knew we had ‘found’ each other, and immediately wanted to create a family.
Now, I’m rather fond of our love at first sight/you’re-my-soul-mate story, but this just doesn’t work in romance novels (well, I let it work in my novel Bluey’s Café). A romance novel needs drama and tension and hurdles to overcome. Sheesh, aren’t there enough of those in life anyway? Can’t they just get together like Paul and I did, and then face the drama, shoulder to shoulder? Nope!
Our romance novel lovers have to face challenges before they get together, and then they live happily ever after. Romance lovers don’t have dramas once we’ve finally hooked them up!
I began my first novel specifically for the romance market on May 16th this year. Since then, my days have revolved around the stories in my head, and the drama of the characters. I’ve almost finished writing my fourth novel of this sort. I have ideas for an assortment of novels, but for now, the romance ones have taken centre stage in my writing head. They are what get me bouncing out of bed each morning before sunrise. It is my duty to take these characters beyond their egos and into the arms of love.