Thursday, February 6, 2014

Why I Write Romance ***GUEST POST***

Romance has always been my genre of choice, but it can be a little difficult to see why. I’m not married, don’t have a boyfriend, and have never been on a date. While I’m always looking for a good romantic novel, the books I usually gravitate towards are classics and those where romance is secondary or non-existent (The Lord of the Rings and The Screwtape Letters are favorites).
Even so, most of my stories involve romance.
Why? The short answer is “because there isn’t enough of it.”
There are some wonderful romance books – don’t get me wrong. Especially in recent years, authors have been helping to fill the gap I keenly felt as I was growing up. Perhaps they always were, and I just wasn’t looking in the right places.
Whatever the reason, my choices were classics or “inspirational romance” (like the Love Inspired) series. I will always love the former, and I enjoyed the first few books of the latter…then they started to feel like the same story, different words. Mostly, they didn’t feel realistic.
That is the gap I’m writing to fill: realistic, Christian romance. Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I think that mix of terms could use some definition clarification.
Realistic: Love takes work. It may begin with attraction, but it continues with commitment, and it doesn’t end with a wedding. Love is an internal struggle and it requires selflessness. It can be simple – but, of course, we’re humans and often like to make it more complex than it needs to be. All of that plays into the romance in my books.
Christian: For me, the fact that I love Papa comes through naturally as I write. I couldn’t avoid it if I tried. Sometimes it comes out as very obvious (“Let’s pray”) and sometimes it’s more subtle (the characters are Christians in my mind, but that doesn’t necessarily make it onto the page; hopefully it’s shown in their words and actions). Regardless, I write with the idea that a young reader could find my book. I write words my future children could read.
Romance isn’t the only genre that lacks well-written, modern books. Thankfully other authors have stepped in to fill the gaps in fantasy, science fiction, poetry, and so many other areas I’m “not qualified” to write. (Really, it’s that I’d rather read than write those books.)
I also believe there is a lack of fiction that focuses on teen and young adult friendships. That’s one I would like to help fill. My current writing project, Coffeehouse Conversations, is a series centered around a young lady in college. I’m keeping romance out of at least the first book in an attempt to broaden my themes.

Still, romance will always be my favorite. I’m a hopeful romantic, after all.

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I finished my first short story when I was eight, and my mom had it bound into a book. From that point on, publishing became my dream. I now have three novels and two short stories published – more soon to come!

In 2012, I began my editing and publishing company, Rivershore Books. I now have three secondary proofreaders, a backup graphic artist, and an illustrator working with me, and the business continues to grow.

My goal is to honor God in my writing and encourage other authors to do the same with their own.

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