Now, my true confession; I don’t write romance. I do write about love, but my love stories take part in the gritty reality of life. Perhaps that’s because my characters start in dark places—the death of a husband, incarceration in a psychiatric hospital, or just hanging on to the bottom rung of the social ladder. They already know that the fantasy of perfect love is not for them. Instead they can only hope that relationship will work, that twenty or thirty years hence they will still be holding hands and waking up in the same bed.
Some of my characters make it; some don’t. That, too, is part of real love. The art of storytelling makes it difficult for the reader to know who will make it, and whose relationships will end painfully. Will it be the widow and the college professor drawn together by the excitement of ideas? Will it be the young couple—him teaching her to drive, them going for a first horseback ride together? Perhaps it will be the quadriplegic and the aide who has helped him in the painful course of rehabilitation. What about the psychiatric patient who waits outside the door of a catatonic peer, and she pregnant from a late-night, anonymous rape? Or the bar owner and his middle-aged regular? These are the people and the loves that I explore: Struggling people with no great fantasies. But then isn’t that who we all really are?
A synopsis is something most authors hate to write, yet it is the most important tool you have at your disposal. It’s a lot harder to write a synopsis than it is to write a novel, but if you want a publisher to notice it, you just have to do it. The good thing is that you can use it in your marketing afterwards. You’re going to need a description of the story anyhow.
Way out of Line is not a traditional romance. I’ve always known this, and my publisher knew it but she decided to take a chance on it and since I already write romantic suspense, that’s what we called it.
It definitely is a love story, but in a true romance novel, the primary female character is the most important person in the novel, and the story revolves around her and her interactions with the hunky male character, who is always really gorgeous.
According to Psychology Today, romance novels to women are like porn to men.
They say women who read romance novels make love with their partners 74% more often than women who don’t, have more fun in bed, and are more adventurous in bed.
An understanding of what stimulates each gender sexually can lead to a far more satisfying relationship. Are you taking note, guys?
Basically, men are stimulated visually. They see a picture of a naked woman and they’re aroused. While a woman may become aroused by looking at a man’s naked body, she really needs emotional stimulation to put her “in the mood”. The difference has been portrayed by the statement that men’s desire can be likened to an on/off switch, and women’s to a complex circuit board.
Romance novels allow women to fantasize about the sexy heroes. They are kind of like emotional aphrodisiacs. They may sometimes even take the place of foreplay. The most interesting fact, to me, is that the love scenes don’t have to be super erotic or explicit, as long as they create emotional intensity, which increases blood flow, heart rate, and the release of the right hormones.
There’s no doubt about it. We love romance and happy endings.
Maybe that’s why the romance genre is still the most popular in the USA, and statistics show someone buys a romance novel every five seconds. ♥
Picture by Nattu’s Photostream
I LOVE this interview with Mary Metcalfe. She is great and has a fabulous blog.