Last night, at writer’s group, we discussed with the group, what projects we’re working on. And as I opened up about the historical fiction that I so dearly love and have recently gotten back into writing, we discussed the aspects of romance in novels, especially in Christian novels.
Despite technically being labeled a “Christian romance novelist,” I hate, no despise, the romance genre. Why? Because 99% of it is graphic garbage, that focuses on the shallow end of lust. The entire group agreed.
So the question came up of what makes my work different, and how I can justify writing it if I hate the genre so much.
The answer: I use romance to tell a story, I don’t use a story to tell romance.
That might seem a subtle difference, but it’s really not. In fact, it’s the most significant difference that exists in any genre. When your plot devices are used to tell a story, they work. When a story is used to portray a plot device, well, there is no story.
I use romance to tell the story of people. Nearly all of my fiction is biographical. Whether it’s the story of a girl in love with a rock star, like in Nobody’s Girl, or my first heroine, an abused child who ran away from home and fell in love with her rescuer, their romances tell the story that’s at the core of my being. The stories all come back to the one and only message I live for: the salvation offered in Jesus Christ to all.
My characters are often marginalized and betrayed by the people that they should be able to trust. They live through broken relationships, often abusive lives, and never have things easy in any department of life. Why? Because I can relate to them. I’ve been betrayed, abandoned, rejected, unwanted, abused, forgotten and ignored. And, since you’re alive, you have experienced most, if not all, of these tragedies yourself.
And romance is one things that nearly every human being on the planet has in common. We all want one–a beautiful, glorious, earth-stopping love story that changes us and everyone around us.
And that, dear readers, is why I use human love to depict heavenly love through earthly situations and struggles.