Throwing Back the Covers: Why I Write Romance
The first page of prose I ever wrote was a literary-style piece describing a cabin in the woods. Every detail from the grain of the wood boards and bird song to the moss on the forest floor was accounted for. Back then, I saw myself someday writing grand, sweeping literary works that would contain such beautiful descriptive passages that people would weep at the sheer genius.
Now I write stories that would make my mother blush. I fully intend to give her a copy of my first published book someday with the caveat that she’ll probably want to skim pages xx – xx. Oh, and xx – xxx as well. Hopefully she won’t be too embarrassed to pass a recommendation along to her friends…
There are a lot of stigmas that come with being a romance writer – and even though I’ve been reading romance novels all of my life, I wasn’t at all sure I was ready to handle what people might think of me if I started writing them. So I tried everything else first.
I started a sci-fi story with only an underlying romantic element. The romance took over within the first chapter.
I plotted a sweeping adventure/thriller story – and couldn’t keep my characters’ out of bed and in the game, even in the synopsis.
I wrote a bloodbath of a horror novel (strange things happen during NaNo) wherein the bodies were stacking up by the hour in a very intense, closed off, gruesomely paranormal situation – and my main characters still managed to fall in love, even though they both died at the end!
I tried to write a mystery/suspense wherein my heroine would never fall for a man, because she was far too focused on getting sensitive information away from her abusive ex. I wanted her to be the snarky “tough chick” who rides off into the sunset on her Harley at the end of the novel, content to be alone. Yeah, right. In my world, women enjoy men. A lot. Even if they don’t want to at first. It’s probably because I have always related well to men – more so than women.
At that point, it was pretty clear that I was meant to write romance novels. I quit fighting it and just let my stories come out as they needed to, complete with sizzling bedroom scenes, a dash of suspense and many happy endings (pun intended). I still feel a little funny admitting that I write romance novels when people ask what type of books I write (most people who ask are men), but I’m getting over it. Most of my stories have a suspense element in them, which seems to make the guys feel better about the whole thing.
I think the reason that romance comes so naturally to me is that I’m fascinated by emotions and the connections people form (probably should have been a sociologist). I’m interested in why people act or react the way they do to others, and how that affects relationships. I’m a total sap for a “happily ever after”, which is a guarantee in a romance novel. I want to believe that everything works out in the end, no matter how tough the journey is. In my stories things always work out, even if it’s not the expected outcome.
With any luck, I’ll join the ranks of the published in the next few years. I’ll be sending out queries this summer.
To follow my writing journey & connect with me, I blog at The Variety Pages (http://varietypages.jamiedebree.com), I’m on Twitter as @JamieDeBree or Facebook as (you guessed it) Jamie DeBree. I’m always looking for new friends…
Thanks so much for having me, Dolly – I love this series, and can’t wait to see who’s up next. :-)