Writer's Notes: Romance In, Romance Out
I was hoping to have the new cover for The Biker's Wench to show you today, but...well...I kind of got caught up in smurfing on ebay last night. Ebay is evil. And my Smurf collection is growing. But enough about that. Tomorrow we'll do the big cover reveal...I'm really excited to show it off, though a bit apprehensive about the print cover (since that's a little more complex to lay out than an ebook cover). But, the best way to learn is by doing, right? Jump in with both feet, and all that...
Anyways, I was thinking last night about how my romantic suspense novels have been a little less "romantic" of late. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing - romance is something that can't be forced, even on the page. And blending romance and suspense dictates that some parts of the book just won't lend themselves to those mushy-type moments. But even for me, the romance has been lacking, and I think I've figured out why.
Some authors don't read in the genre they write in while they're writing, claiming it influences their own story too much. I've never had that issue, and actually, reading romance while I'm writing romance tends to "get me in the mood" for those more emotional connections. So for me, reading romance equals more romantic output, while reading other things equals more of that style (say, suspense, or erotica, or horror).
The unfortunate thing about being the very eclectic reader that I am is that I can only read so many books at once (dang it!). And when I get into longer books with a more literary style that require more focus to read (like, say, American Gods), or engaging non-fiction (Coconut Cures), and then we happen to buy a copy of The Devil Colony by James Rollins (which I have been *dying* to read and waiting very patiently for in paperback, since hubby reads those too)...well, romance gets squeezed out for awhile.
And honestly...well...I go through periods where nothing much in the romance/romantic suspense book sections really catch my eye. I'm kind of in one of those reading slumps at the moment - it usually means I've sort of "overdosed" on that genre of books for the moment, and need a break from them.
So recently, I started re-watching the Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman TV series (thank you, Amazon Prime). The romance between Sully and Dr. Mike is so perfectly done, so subtle and well-paced that it just makes me swoon with every episode (and I'm a sucker for a historical setting too). I think I'm actually going to buy the complete set one of these days, so I can go through the entire 6 or 7 seasons again.
This has been nicely filling that romantic "void" I was in...replenishing the romantic well, so to speak so that when I sit down with my characters, I'm not *so* focused on throwing new suspense issues at them that I forget they're supposed to be falling in love (or have already fallen). When I'm taking a frequent "dose" of a romantic storyline in, it's easier for me to actively look for the romance between my characters so I can highlight those for the reader. It's not that I really have to do anything...my characters tell me their story, but I can zoom in or out on certain aspects, and in my romantic suspense, I try to make the romance a "zoomed-in" moment.
So...romance in, romance out. Suspense in, suspense out. Erotica in, erotica out. Horror in, horror out. Too bad I can't quite seem to make that happen with literary writing...not that I really have time...
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