Why I Write Romance Novels

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.

romance-novel-1404853006USd

Image credit: Marina Shemesh

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.

Advertisements

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Day 2 has hit. I’ve only written a few hundred words, but I’m okay with this (especially since yesterday I had already exceeded the minimum for today as well). I have to function in this world, making a living, cooking, cleaning, blah, blah, blah…can’t entirely stop everything for NaNo, much as I’d love to.

Thus far, I’ve figured out where my lead character and her husband live, what the premise behind the mystery is and a few key factors in what isn’t the mystery. I could very easily be going about this all wrong, but I’m okay with that. Exploring the writing of a new genre is supposed to be filled with errors, mistakes, inconveniences and new discoveries. I have the feeling that will definitely happen a lot in this one.

I haven’t quite found the narrator’s voice, nor the exact location of where the story is taking place. I’ve picked a generic region of the country, even a large town to focus things around, but, yeah…nothing beyond that.

What discoveries are you making in your novel this year?

NaNoWriMo Has Begun!

Here we go people! It’s November 1, and it’s time for our 50,000 words! The world needs our novels, as NaNo says, and now it’s time to let them shine!

This year, I’m taking on a whole new genre from anything remotely ever written by me before. With brand new characters, a totally new setting, and lots of crazy humor happening–at least, that’s the goal.

I’m excited to take on a new genre. But, I will still have that element of music here. I can’t help myself.

And to start things off for my butt-kicking, Krav Maga instructor turned bounty hunter/jazz singer leading lady, here’s the theme from Cowboy Bebop (don’t judge it by the name, seriously!).