Why Write Romance?

So I read this article yesterday on nymag.com. Historical novelist Eloisa James is interviewed and she has some great things to say about being a romance writer. That inspired me to write a little bit about why I choose to write romance.

First off, I’m a feminist.

Does that matter? Yes!

I decided to write romance novels because I like that romance novels are (for the most part) written for women, by women. Like rom-coms, melodramas, chick-lit, and soap operas, romance novels are often considered ‘not artistic’ or ‘less than’ because of this fact.  50 Shades of Grey and Twilight are just the latest punching bags in the long history of women’s lit and romance punching bags, but I think it’s unfair to make these two hugely successful outliers the ‘end all be all’ of romance. There are a TON of romance novels, with lots of different characters, storylines, and messages. As we true romance fanatics know, 50 Shades is not indicative of all romance, period. But since women are the ones buying and reading romance, I do think it’s important that there be some actual feminist thought contained behind all those bodice-ripping pages.

Straight up: I wrote Kiss of Ice because I was fed up with the types of heroines that were being written in romance. I was tired of the Bellas and Anastasia Steeles. There’s obviously something attractive about those types of weak heroines for a large portion of the population, but I am not one of those readers. I like a bitchy heroine, an active heroine, a difficult heroine, a smart heroine, a heroine that knows what she wants and goes for it. I like a heroine that’s not perfect and not sweet.  And I like a male hero who likes a difficult, smart, feisty, not-perfect heroine. I like the fight. I like the banter. I like the power shifts that happen. I like the clash of two people on an equal playing field.

That’s the important part: in the end, they’re equals. By the end of Kiss of Fire, Toni and O’Donovan are equals. Christophe and Annata are equals. One isn’t more powerful or any more ‘right’ in their relationship. One doesn’t dominate the other. There’s a shifting of power and a back and forth as they fall in love and they figure out how to be together, but in the end, the struggle makes it all worth it. That’s how I think relationships should be. I like when my heroes and heroines are a team. And, of course, I like the happily ever after of two people who are meant to be together. Who wouldn’t?

Not all my heroines are bitchy… but they are all complex and three-dimensional, because that’s how human beings are. Their lives are enriched by being in love, but the love doesn’t take over everything. They’re all successful and self-actualized in their own right. I like writing, and reading, about women like that. (P.S. I’m always looking for stories with heroines like that, so if you know any, comment below!)

Lastly, I decided to write romance because I couldn’t NOT write romance. Most of my writerly persuasions and inclinations lean toward romance. When I write scripts, I tend to keep the romance front and center as well, although I’ve written mostly action and horror scripts. I can’t help it! I love a good love story. By ‘good love story’, I mean a love story full of drama and stakes and real connection between two characters. When watching a movie or reading a book, I can’t stand when I’m supposed to believe that two characters are in love because I’m told that they’re in love. I want to see them fall in love. I want to see that moment when they realize that they can’t live without each other. I want to see that moment of heartbreak when they can’t be together even though they want to be. I love that shizz. I eat it up with a spoon!

Ahem.

Basically, I love the possibilities of the genre. I don’t fangirl everything that’s out there. Not gonna lie, I’m a harsh critic. But I live for that moment when I find a great book and a new author to stalk.

So why do I write romance? Because I love it!

To any other authors out there, why do you write romance?

 

 

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Wanna win a free copy of KISS OF ICE?

Anybody in the mood for a contest? I know I am!

I am giving away TWO free copies of the brand-spanking new KISS OF ICE audiobook!

You want to join? As Toni would say, it’s as easy as pie.

Find my page on Facebook and click the GIVEAWAY tab:Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 1.59.33 PM

or click here  to join via Rafflecopter.

When the contest ends on June 1st, I’ll notify the two winners and give you the information you need to access your free download.ohmy

 

KISS OF ICE Audiobook Available Now

KISS OF ICE_AUDIOBOOKKiss of Ice, my first novel, is now available on Audible.com… here! It’s also available on Amazon. I worked with a great narrator, Lynn Barrington, and the total running time is 8 hours 35 minutes.

It’ll be available for iTunes soon as well.

If you’re planning a big summertime road trip, (like I am) listening to audiobooks is a great way to pass the time. Just sayin’. 🙂

 

 

Follow the Red Arrow…

Wanna get an email the minute I have new release out? Go to my Amazon author page and click this little ‘like’ button:amazon_arrow

Then you’ll be up-to-date! How cool is that?

In other news, Stone Cold Knockout is coming in mid-late June 2014. I’ll let you know when I have an exact release date (I’m aiming for the 15th-20th). I am loving writing about Gennifer and Mikhail! They are two kick-ass characters who are so much fun together.

oh_yeah

Mikhail is a Russian alpha with a shady past (and a teeny bit of a violent streak, but he’s working on it!). Gennifer is a tough Bronx chick who loves and fights with equal passion.  They’re both blind-sided by how much they grow to care for each other, but then some crazy shizz goes down and…. well, you’ll just have to read it to find out 🙂

I always find myself smiling like a dope when I’m sitting at my laptop reading over the previous day’s writing because I love them so much. Can’t wait ’til it’s all done so I can get it out to you guys. Here’s the SNEAK PEEK, if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

KISS OF ICE Audiobook Coming Soon!

Hey guys,

Just wanted to share a quick bit of exciting news… I just approved the Kiss of Ice audiobook! Soon (within 10-14 days, they tell me) it’ll be up for sale on audible.com, iTunes, and elsewhere.

KISS OF ICE audiobook cover!

I’m not much of an audiobook person, but I know a lot of people are. This experience was definitely interesting to say the least, and it was kind of a lot to figure out. I went through ACX, which is Amazon’s program to match up writers/publishers with voice talents. I found a great talent, and the whole process took about two months.

But now it’s done! Whew.

I’ll let you know more info when I have it!