Well, let's look at a couple definitions...
a novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, etc., usually in a historical or imaginary setting:
the colorful world, life, or conditions depicted in such tales.
That's not what romance is! No wonder readers -- people in general ... MEN -- get confused. I'd like to think that I'm living a romance because my husband does romantic things. When he surprises me with a mini-vacation, sends me cute little text messages, gives me sweet gifts, cleans the house before I get home, kisses me sweetly when I don't expect it... That's romantic, so doesn't it make sense that we're living in a ROMANCE story.
Let's take a look at the words that define love:
Ahh... That's better!
So why do we define books as contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, romantic comedy, romantic mystery, and romantic thriller?
For the record, I wish there was another word other than "romantic" to describe what I write. Funny that they don't have a genre called "Love-Suspense Novel," since according to the definition, it would work better.
Even though when I think of a "love story," the first thing that comes to my mind is the movie Love Story or Romeo and Juliet, and I certainly don't write that!!!
The fact of the matter is ... I don't write romances either. I don't write about fanciful events leading up to the characters falling in love. I write about a love that went wrong. Love that started on the rocks and went through tragedies, or love stories that are surrounded by a life-threatening event, a murder mystery, secret pasts, on the run, mistakes...
And sometimes, I write about a love that never happened that should have...like the one below.
Not sure if many readers know this, but many websites don't even have options for women's fiction, chick lit, or romantic suspense; they have ROMANCE!!! That's it!!!! And sadly, some readers see the tag "romance," and they immediately think of a shirtless Fabio sweeping a half-dressed woman off her feet.
My only answer is to try like heck to tell readers in the description EXACTLY what kind of romance you're getting when you download my books! So, read the description and take a chance on one of my romances...
A Thirty-Something Chick Lit with a Hint of Romance & Humor
Or should I say, a Hint of Love...??? I'll let you decide!
I Write about what I know. Sometimes it's happy, sometimes it's sad, but it always ends in Happily Ever After!
A professor once told me that all first-time authors write their autobiography, even if tagged fiction. While I don’t believe that’s completely true, after all, some first-time authors write about vampires and shape shifters, I do think there’s a modicum of truth to that statement. In other words, even if an author writes a work of fiction, there are usually many elements of the story that are factual, and I’d venture to guess that, at minimum, authors probably pattern characters after people whom they know.
When my college professor suggested: “Write what you know.” — a quote often attributed to Mark Twain, but some say it is much older — I wasn’t certain if I really wanted to do that. After all, who would believe me?
Here are a few scary subjects I know about:
Child abuse, Sexual abuse, Drug abuse, Alcohol abuse, Abandonment, Rape, Suicide, Depression, Stalkers, Crime, Tragedies, Death...
But, thankfully, I also know about a lot of good subjects, too:
A new family, Hiking, Kayaking, Love at first sight, Happily ever after, Police & Detective Procedures, Belief in God, The power to overcome adversity…,
Hey, I moved out on my own at the age of seventeen, and I'm married to a retired police detective, so I've seen a lot. The problem is ... will anyone believe or want to read about "what you know?" Well, I guess that depends. If you put it into a story, add a little, as Hollywood refers to it: Based on a true story, but dramatic elements have been added for the sake of artistic expression, then, yeah, some people will believe and/or want to read because more than likely they can identify with a character and/or a situation. And while they can enjoy an escape into a fictional story, they may take something from it.
The funny thing is most of the stories throughout history are based on a couple of those "unbelievable" elements I listed above. Although they may not all be in the same story, "love at first sight," "family tragedy," and/or "an unbelievable or vicious crime" are often the basis of a work of literary fiction. Fairy tales did it. Suspense-thrillers do it. It’s a great start!
So if you don’t believe one or more of the elements of a story, does that make it "unbelievable" or a "bad" story? One of the most popular themes is "love at first sight," which often gets a bad rap by reviewers. You may not believe in "love at first sight," but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, and many readers love it. In fact, even movies that aren’t tagged as "love at first site," usually have a hero and heroine thrust into an incredibly unbelievable situation, and are all of a sudden willing to die for each other. Of course, there are many classics like that, too: Romeo and Juliet, all the fairy tales, even The Godfather ... ooh, I bet you forgot about that one. Remember when Michael Corleone is walking through the picturesque countryside in Sicily and he spots the beautiful Apollonia… See, even graphic thrillers do it!
Well, as I mentioned in the above list, these are all the things I write about. Why? Because it’s what I know. So, let me share a tidbit of information with the unbelievers of the world who don't think "love at first sight" exists...
I’ve experienced a lot of tragedy in my life, but I got lucky in love! After my first date with my husband, I called my grandmother and told her I'd just met the man I was going to marry. Thirteen days later, he asked me to marry him. Thirty days later, we got married, and we’ve been married for thirty-one years.
Yes, I believe in "love at first sight," yes, I write tales filled with tragedy, mystery, suspense, hope and, above all, romance, because I’m living one. I’ll leave the rest of "what I know" situations that I write about in my books up to your imagination, and let you try to figure out what's real or made up. :)
Until next time, happy reading and imagining!
If you would like to read a little more about what I write, follow the links below to learn more about my bestsellers. My stories are available in print, eBook, and audio formats at your favorite retailer. I even have a few freebies, so you can dive in risk-free!
No wonder readers -- people in general ... MEN -- get confused.
Fantastic or supernatural events?
Full of exaggeration?
That's not what romance is!
I'd like to think that I'm living a romance because my husband does romantic things. When he surprises me with a mini-vacation, sends me cute little text messages, gives me sweet gifts, cleans the house before I get home, kisses me sweetly when I don't expect it... That's romantic, so doesn't it make sense that we're living in a romance story.
Let's take a look at the words that define love:
Ahh... That's better!
So why do we define books as contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, romantic comedy, romantic mystery, and romantic thriller.
For the record, I wish there were another word other than 'romantic' to describe what I write. Funny that they don't have a genre called "Love-Suspense Novel," since according to the definition, it would work better.
Even though when I think of a "love story," the first thing that comes to my mind is the movie Love Story or Romeo and Juliet, and I certainly don't write that. :)
The fact of the matter is ... I don't write romances either. I don't write about fanciful events leading up to the characters falling in love. I write about a love that went wrong. Love that started on the rocks, went through tragedies ... that are surrounded by a life-threatening event, a murder mystery, secret pasts, on the run, mistakes...
But sadly, some readers don't know that because they see the tag "romance," and they immediately think of a shirtless Fabio sweeping a half-dressed woman off her feet, so I'm not surprised when I read reviews like this one:
5.0 out of 5 stars Never thought I would be reading a romance novel.
By Joey Yagin
Never thought I would enjoy reading a romance novel. I hate them. I gave this series a chance only because I was curious about who existed, what is a creatus? Once I read the first of the series, I was hooked. Could not stop reading. Normally, I would stop in between the series and read another book before starting the next book of a series. With this book, I could not stop. I had to find out what's coming next. It was well written, and I did enjoy the characters. I even enjoyed the antagonist of the book. For me, what made it a good read is the combination of the super heroism, supernatural, mystery and suspense ( oh yeah, the romance). All in one series. If you do decide to read it, just buy the set. You will not be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Romance Novel for People Who Don't Like Romance Novels
By C. M. Lance
I read "She Belongs To Me" and found it to be quite a good mystery/thriller without the overt physical descriptions that overflow from other Romance novels I've ventured into. The Romance is more of a caring, loving sort.
I have many reviews like the two I posted above -- many of them by men, some of them by women -- who shy away from any genre with "romantic" in the title, for fear that it'll be the mushy tales of old that were described as the romance definition at the top of the page.
When in fact, just about every book or movie ever written includes a background love story or romance. Even war movies usually show a man trying to get home to the woman he loves, ready to buy the house with the white-picket fence. Heck, even thrillers and horror stories usually have a man dying to protect his woman. That's a pretty darn "romantic" gesture if you ask me.
So ... what do you think? Do you read novels with a romance tag? What do you immediately think of when you see the word "romantic" as part of the genre description. Please let me know your thoughts.
And in case you're interested, here are some more in-depth "genres" than what websites and bookstores allow on my books. :)
A romantic suspense with a whodunit mystery...
She Belongs to Me - FREE Everywhere!
A journey of two souls through tragedies with a romantic-suspense whodunit...
Land of the Noonday Sun
A romantic suspense with heartbreaking pasts, life-changing events, and evil intentions...
A romantic suspense with a supernatural edge...
A romantic mystery with a ghostly edge
The Library (Where Life Checks Out)
FIRSTS IN SERIES