6 things I love about writing romance!

I’ve often kidded people that I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up until I became a romance writer, but when I think back, I’ve always been the type to day dream and scribble stories for all sorts of things. English was one of my favourite, and best, subjects at school (horrors!) and even now there’s nothing I like more than getting lost in a well written story. So why romance? Let me tell you: 

1.    Because no matter how awful the situation you’re always guaranteed a happy ending. Where else in life can you be assured of that. I felt positively cheated when I watched the movie Message in a Bottle through to the end. After all, how hard would it have been to give the poor guy a happy ending? Argh!  I love knowing that no matter how hard the trials that I put my characters through they’re going to win through in the end. 

2.    You get to visit all parts of the world through another’s eyes. In the books I’ve read I’ve learned a great deal about American cities, American towns, life in Australia, Europe, the UK, you name it. There’s been a book set there and that special flavour that is imparted by the author for the place she’s writing about gives the book another character in the setting.  For me, I get to write about the country I love and the places I’ve been to and have enjoyed. In fact everywhere we go, whether on holiday or simply for a day’s drive out of the city, I’m looking at setting to see how I can incorporate it into my next manuscript. 

3.    Being “The Boss”. Basically I’m my own boss. I call the shots as to when I’m working and what I’ll deliver to my editor (who is probably my other boss but she’s too lovely to be mean J) and I love it! If I get myself all stressed out over deadlines and things I only have myself to blame and only I can get it right. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a control freak, but there’s a lot to be said for being in charge…of yourself. 

4.    The hours. Because my man about the house is a shift worker we get to spend plenty of time together on his days off while I still manage to meet my deadlines. Plus, I’m always home if one of the progeny aren’t well and need a tender hand to their brow. Okay, maybe I’m going a bit overboard here. So I select a stack of DVDs, give them a bottle of water and some snacks and park them in front of the DVD player with their blanket and pillow. The important thing is I’m home and able to do that without having to ask anyone else to either  (a) let me have time off work, or (b) look after them for me, both of which I’ve done plenty of in the years preceding my life as it is now.  

5.    You get to fall in love with a new guy in every book. Not only do you get to write about whatever kind of guy takes your fancy, you get to go deep inside his head and his heart and find out exactly what makes him tick. And you get to give him his heart’s desire—the woman he’s going to love for all time and who will love him in return.   

6.    This is the most important reason of all—because it makes me happy. It makes me happy to write stories that have happy endings. It makes me happy to find out new things about my characters and their worlds. It makes me happy to be my own boss and work my own hours and to fall in love every time I start a new book. And it makes me even more happy to know that those books resonate with my readers and in turn make them happy too. How can you argue with that? 

What about you? If you’re a romance writer, what do you love the most about writing romance? And if you’re a reader, what is it that you love the most about the books you choose?

From your comments I will draw a random winner to receive an Australian/New Zealand edition of my TYCOON’S VALENTINE VENDETTA!

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47 Responses to “6 things I love about writing romance!”

  1. Am I first, am I first??? Hehehe.

    What do I like most about being a romance author? I thought this would be a tough question to answer, but one immediately jumped to mind and that’s the community, the friends, the wonderful women (and men) I’ve met since starting my writing journey. Romance readers and writers make the best friends!

    As reader I love the storyworlds filled with sensual detail, with fully fleshed characters you like or love or loathe, with drama and passion and heart. I can sink myself into that world for a couple of hours (or half the night) and know that all will turn out well in that world.

    Bron

    Bron

  2. You’re quick off the mark, Bron. You know, I read your post and I’m banging my head on the desk here. How could I have not included the romance writing community in my six things? You’re so right, though. The friendships, the unending support from the only people in the whole world who *really* get how you feel. A jewel beyond value indeed.

  3. Virginia H. Says:

    As a reader I love the characters of the story and the settings or places the stories are in. If a book is well written you are right there with those charactors, you kind of become apart of the story. In books I have traveled the world. I just love it.

  4. limecello Says:

    Hehe – you all are so silly with being the first commenter! Yvonne, thanks so much for sharing all those reasons – you’ve got me convinced! 😀 I want to be a romance writer “when I grow up.” I know it’s incredibly hard to sell a book – and I don’t have any ideas that seem to last more than a few pages… so I’m in school to get a job – assuming I graduate and pass the bar :P. I also “joke” with friends I want to be a senator so I can lead tours to the top of the rotunda in the capitol building. My friends don’t seem to get my humor, unfortunately.
    I’ve learned a lot from romance novels too – strange fun facts that I don’t think I’d ever have learned otherwise. I also love visiting different places through books, or learning new/different slang/terms from different places/countries.

  5. Excellent reasons, Yvonne, and pretty much summed up me! I love the bit about happy endings (although I’d probably call a lot of what I read ‘uplifting’ rather than traditionally happy). I once read an historical where the hero was shipped off to the colonies and the heroine spent the whole book in a rotten marriage or trying to rescue him. Here I was thinking – of course it’s a romance, she’ll get to him. But he bloody well goes and dies in some cave, trapped and alone! I was so, so angry at that author I never picked up a book of hers again. Of course, I can’t remember who it was now, but still…

  6. In romances, I expect a HEA, but that doesn’t mean the book/story is predictable. With books, I’m able to enter a world where dreams do come true and anything is possible.

  7. limecello, you just join me at the back while the other NOT ONE BUT TWO DIAMOND DIVAS elbow us out of the way. It’s better down here where the air is clear….
    Great post, Yvonne. There are so many neat things about being a romance writer and I have to agree with you on the being-the-own-boss thing (tho dh would die laughing). All the things everyone said are so true and it’s especially cool to loop them all together. Settings are one of my favourite things. And happy endings, lol, Paula, my sister watched the English Patient for the first time last week and said the same thing to me – I can’t believe after all that, there was no happy ending.
    Jane, you’re right too! Just because we expect it all to turn out great doesn’t mean it has to be predictable. A fresh slant on an enduring theme is always fantastic to see.

  8. Hmm… Romance…well, I guess what we all want to write (and read) about, is an exciting, loving story, developing an initial ‘double take’ usually conflicting moment on to a fulfilling evolvement of a relationship between a man and a woman.
    This relationship ignites an undeniable spark between the 2 main characters, and the reader is then taken on a wonderful journey where they are privy to the tender breaking down of barriers, revealing the true nature of a deep connecting love that will not be denied!

    Romance is that search we all undertake ,constantly, to find the wholeness of ourselves in connecting with another.

  9. azteclady Says:

    I definitely love knowing that the characters will reach happiness together. It doesn’t have to be marriage and kids (in fact, I often prefer to skip the epilogue if it makes that jump), but having the hero and heroine reach the point where they commit to each other in their hearts.

    While plotting, setting, pacing are all essential, the main reason why I read is to get into the characters’ heads. I may not even realize some rather heavy duty flaws in the other aspects of a book if the author excels at characterization. Show me these people’s innermost feelings, flaws, motivations, desires–and I’m your reader.

    Happy Easter, everyone!

  10. Ok bron credits to you for being first (but only because my internet was down). Jan you beat Maxine this time (lol).
    Yvonne, this is a great topic. I love reading romance for some of the reasons you stated you love to write it. The happy ending, reading about falling in love and the great locations the novel is set in. I just read your novel the Tycoon Valentine Vendetta, last week; they got it late in the book store. I totally loved it. I just love how reading about people finding their way back to each other also. (PS don’t enter me in this particular drawing as i already have the book)

  11. Virginia, yes, I totally agree with you. It’s important to feel that you’re on the characters’ journey. Whenever I get analytical about a book I’m reading I know I’m not on that journey and I feel a bit cheated.

    Limecello, silly? Us? N-e-v-e-r! 😉 Hey, you have the advantage on me, knowing what you want to be when you grow up already! 😀 All the very best with it and remember the cardinal rule. Never, ever, give up! Whether it’s a legal career or a romance writing career or a fabulous blend of the two!

    Paula, oh, my commisserations on that book ending. It would be enough to make me toss it across the room, or worse! Yes, I know what you mean about the ending being uplifting. That’s definitely a better description.

    Jane, definitely not predictable. You’re spot on with that. As Virginia said, it’s the journey that gets them to the happy ending that makes the book so much fun–both to write and to read. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting a world where dreams come true. I’m always reminded of the saying “What the mind can conceive, and believe, it will achieve.”

    Jan, settings you do so well in your own writing so it’s no wonder they’re a favourite with you. And yeah, !!phbt!! on the English Patient! And don’t get me started on Atonement! Grrrr! It would be great when the movie theatres list the movies and call it a romance they would be honest and say “This film does not have a happy ending!”

    Janet, I love your encapsulation of romance being a search for all of us seeking that special connection. You’re so right! 🙂

    Azteclady, oh characterisation totally and completely. Yep. One of my absolute favourite authors, Linda Howard, is (in my opinion) a Queen at characterisation. For me she takes even the least loveable of character types and makes me as a reader believe in them because she makes me understand them through their thoughts and behaviours and reactions to their world around them. It’s what I strive to achieve in my own writing, making an unloveable character loveable–or at least being able to show my readers why my hero or heroine love each other. As my mother always says, “there’s a lid for every pot.” 😀

    Avi J! Ooooh, you make me blush. I mean, realistically I know that there are real people out there reading my books but *knowing* it and hearing from them. Wow. 😀 Thank you for loving my book.

  12. Oh boy, I turn my back and everyone beats me to the post. You were all just lucky this time, okay? 🙂

    Yvonne, I agree with all you say about why we love writing romance. It’s the best job in the world, though it isn’t a chore, is it? Just darn hard work but oh- so-satisfying.

    And I too, love that happy ending. I won’t read a book or watch a movie if I know it doesn’t have a HEA.

  13. Rebekah Elrod Says:

    As a reader I love the factor that I am that main character. Reading a book is like watching a movie in my head, I can see everything. I love the escape from reality that very one needs once in awhile. I mostly love finishing a great book with a huge sigh and a big smile plastered to my face.

  14. Crystal B. Says:

    As a reader, I love how you can “visit” different places and time periods and live vicariously through the stories of the characters. Each book is a new adventure that you can experience.

  15. Maxine, as a job it certainly beats the other options hands down! 😀

    Rebekah, I forgot about that whole magical journey with ourselves as the main character in the books we read. I think that as a writer I do distance myself a little from the characters because I do become analytical while I’m reading, but in those awesome books that take me away to another world, yes, I am that main character. You’re so right!

    Crystal B, It’s funny, I’ve never really had the urge to travel and see the world as so many Kiwis tend to do (the big OE–overseas experience.) The travel I’ve done, I’ve mostly done through work (including as a writer) and with family and with great big gaps in between. I’m wondering now, whether or not that’s because I’ve ‘visited’ so many places in my books, i.e. satisfying the urge to travel before I’ve actually done it! 😀

  16. Yvonne, that’s a really interesting point you made about virtual travel. I also didn’t do the big OE before I married, even though I could have and most of my friends did, and I wonder now if the reason was my virtual travel had already satisfied that jones. I’ve since done some amazing trips, for writing conferences and book research and a few family events o/s, but never just for the experience. Interesting.

    Bron

  17. Great post, Yvonne!

    And I think all your points are so spot on. There is just something SO satisfying about the yummy hero, the rocky and eventful road to love and – of course – that wonderful happy ending.

    And…ya know…that whole ‘being your own boss’ thing sounds pretty wonderful, too!

    Franny

  18. Patricia Cochran Says:

    I enjoy getting to follow the dynamics of a life situation and observing all the twists and turns involved
    in the story. Adding to the enjoyment is knowing that all will work out well. I also like adding to my
    knowledge about sites I have not visited!

    Pat Cochran

  19. So Rebekah and Yvonne, what you’re suggesting is that our characters have multi-personalities, they’re you and you and you!! LOL

    I’m a big traveler from way back but not so much the last few years, glad I did my OE before terrorism reared it’s ugly head. But there are some places that just resonate with romance, such as Paris and Budapest and some of the smaller cities in India like Jaipur and so many more. I mean the colours (of the buildings and gardens etc) the food, the music on the streets, I guess just the atmoshere.

    Maxine, I have nothing against a non-happy-ending so long as I’m pre-warned. LOL I just did an interview with a French magazine or website and she suggested I didn’t go for the usual HEA of marriage and kids, and I do struggle to carry that off. Like Azteclady says, I’m happy if the H&h commit to each other in their hearts and don’t necessarily say the L word and go through the proposal. Got ticked off by the ed on more than one occasion because I didn’t have them say I Love You, she reminded me that the reader deserves this. For myself, I’m happy with a declaration that is so obviously from the heart, and so far removed from the character we started with (such as in my 2nd book where the H says “You. Me. Babies. Living.”
    But natch, I will do as I’m told

  20. Pat Snellgrove Says:

    Hi Yvonne

    All of the things you said about why you love writing and reading rang bells with me. As a writer I love being in charge of what is happening in the story. Of being able to manipulate lives (where else can you do this legally), of making sure that my hero and heroine go through hell but at the end of the day end up together and happy.
    I also like the freedom it gives me. As you said being home with your husband, being able to spend time together instead of having to make time to see each other as people with full on, full time jobs tend to do.
    All in all romance – writing and reading – is the greatest occupation in the world. My unbiased opinion here.
    Good luck with your next book. Can’t wait to read it.

  21. Pat Snellgrove Says:

    Hi Yvonne and Bron

    I forgot the writing community as well, and the marvellous life long friends that I have made. The help and support they give all of us caught up in this strange world of publishing.
    Thank you for reminding me, and for making me stop and take time out to think of them all.

  22. Bron, maybe we need to travel…just for the experience. Perhaps we should take Jan with us as a tour guide. You up for that Jan? 😀 Silly question, really.

    Hi Franny! Great to see you here. That rocky and eventful road is always so much better when you’re not living it, don’t you think?

    Patricia, I agree, that HEA ending is what does it for me, every time. Especially after a particularly arduous road to get there.

    Pat, thanks for dropping by! Yes, I’m all for freedom, deadlines permitting of course! 😉

  23. you may not have skipped merrily from country to country, Bron, but you *were* on Wheel of Fortune LOL. What can I say about travelling? the sunset over Santorini, riding mopeds along the Algarve coast, eating the best quiche EVER in Paris, snow in Copenhagen… sorry, got carried away a bit 😉

    Jan – I think that’s what I love about your writing. It’s very unadorned yet resonates quite clearly. (If you can understand that )

    Rebekah – living vicariously through a character is great, isn’t it? I especially love it when the heroine gets to kick ass (either physically or metaphorically) with the bad guys!

    Aztec Lady – I too like to see the mental and emotional commitment from the h/h. I don’t necessarily need the marriage proposal to follow! I remember a while back someone was asking why all category novels had to end in marriage and if there were any that didn’t. At the time I cited Ruth Wind’s gorgeous “Beautiful Stranger” that had a definite absence of the “M” word 🙂

  24. Gosh ladies as a reader and a writer I find it very hard to put it into words, romance novels are the greatest stress reliever I have found. However when the family is young and the husband demanding the time to devote to them is limited. Have read the first to books in the Diamonds Down Under collection and think they are fabulous, what a great part of the world we live in, the stories are so possible in our environment. Can’t seem to fit enough hours in a day to both read and write enough to feel relax about both at once. My list of books to read is constantly growing and I have still to finish those I got at last years conference and here is this years rapidly approaching.

    Hero’s and heroine’s need to be believable for me, transport me to somewhere that I have already been or would like to be. It does not matter if it is a paranormal, contemporary, sweet, desire, medical or historical they are all still romance. The stories that are the most enthralling are those where someone;s personality is such that it pulls you in, has you laughing while you read and leaves you at the end of the story feeling happy. As a writer this is what I would like to achieve.

    Shelley F

  25. excellent points Yvonne and all. I like the happy ending but it’s true they don’t need to end in a marriage. It’s great going to different places and meeting new people. The community is great for finding all people to discuss a great topic, books.

    I guess with being your own boss you’re not a slave to appearance either. You wouldn’s have to worry about hair, makeup or if there is a run in your nylons. you could stay in your pjs all day or wear a track suit with pink bunny slippers or if you are having a bad hair day, who cares. It’s not like you need to answer to someone.

  26. Ah ladies, love your blog. And HEA definitely why I read romance as well as the journey of how the heroine and hero get there. And like Shelley I don’t mind in what form that romance comes in (subgenres). As an aspiring writer, I love the romance writers community – so supportive and generous with time. It’s great to be part of that. Here’s to you 🙂

  27. Paula, of course, I’d forgotten we have our very own Wheel of Fortune Celebrity in our midst. That Bron, she’s a star all right 🙂

    Shelley, I wish you all the best in finding the balance in your life that allows you to enjoy both your reading and your writing. I’ve always found using a timer helps, provided I’m disciplined enough to use it. I agree with your definition of an enthralling romance which “leaves you at the end of the story feeling happy.” For me that’s the inherent promise in a romance, and no matter how icky your day you know that this is one thing that’s going to deliver (which is probably why I get so annoyed when I read a book or watch a movie touted as a romance and it doesn’t have a happy ending.)

    Christa, hi there! LOL on not being a slave to appearance. I’m so there…or not there, whichever the case is! After years of office work it is so relaxing not to have to worry about appearances, yes, although I do worry that one day I’ll scare the courier off before he gets to leave me my parcels 😀 Every now and then, just for the sake of it, I’ll dress up for work and put on make up and make an effort with my hair. Thoroughly confuses my family, I tell you! 😉

    Eleni (I LOVE your name!) All the very best with your writing and here’s to you and your future successes too 🙂

  28. Yvonne, those 6 points are spot on! And I have to agree with Rebekah too, I love that feeling of becoming the heroine…experiencing the story through her eyes. More than anything I love that feeling of being swept away into another world-a world that becomes as real to me as the one we live in.

    Tessa

  29. I am a romantic dreamer. That is why someday I will finally write a romantic novel. It is not through lack of trying, I have two Romance novels in the winds.
    To read Romance noels is like heaven to me. It places you in a romantic lifestyle, forgiving of light and day in a romantic world

  30. Thanks Paula! I so enjoyed your Forgotten Marriage and the way you wrote – and speak – about Denmark, I have some close friends in Denmark and I will get over there to see them sometime.
    Bron, you’re in good company, Les’ twin bro was on WOF here a few years ago, only got 2 programmes. It’s definitely harder than it looks with the world looking on. Me? I just like to play the WOF machine at the pokies!
    Christa, you didn’t mention the choccy. PJs, bunny slippers and choccy! The decadent life of a writer ha!
    Yvonne I can see your mind working. Who’s gonna be first to sub a proposal with the name Eleni. Where’s it from, Eleni?

  31. Jan, nodding at what you said about the ending in keeping with the characters. I find this especially so when you write an arc in a compressed time period. Like most of the continuity books take place within a month. Unless the characters have a history, it can be tough getting them to a marriage proposal that is believable and in-character…esp if they have major internal conflict issues to overcome first. A declaration of love, a commitment to togetherness, works for me. Doubly love it when it comes in a hero’s short, to-the-point way like youe example. “You. Me. Babies. Living.” Love it!

    Bron, who was also only on a couple on WOF shows — 2? 3? I forget, it was a lonnngggg time ago — but many less than our Paula!

  32. Christa – the money I save on nylons, makeup and business suits is amazing 😉 And not to mention the hair mousse… I’ve worn a cap for the last three days 😀

    Jan – aww, thanks!

    Rob – hey! Great to see you here!

    Shelley – yep, yep, yep! Agree with everything. Don’t you find there just aren’t enough hours in the day for your TBR pile?

    Bron – ahh, yes. I remember overthrowing the reigning champ of something like 10 episodes . By the end of it he just wanted to go home. I was on for 5 shows but never did get the car…

  33. azteclady Says:

    No, there definitely aren’t enough hours in the day to give the TBR mountain the attention it deserves. Sometimes I’m doing laundry or the dishes, and hear this faint wail floating through the house… 😀

  34. Tessa, yes, it’s that virtual world isn’t it? The whole concept of being in another place and time.

    Rob Hammond, good luck with your writing. If I received a dollar for each time I was growled at for daydreaming (either in school or since!) I’d be extremely weathy by now :). Go the Romantic Dreamers! I say!

    Jan, I think Eleni is a Greek name…and hey, I didn’t know your hunky firefighter was a twin. You kept that quiet 😉

    Bron, I had no idea Paula was on Wheel of Fortune too. Paula, I hope you won some great prizes! I used to love playing at home, trying to figure out words before hand. There’s a crossword game show on here (from the States) but the timing means I don’t get to see it often, but it’s fun trying to figure out the answers before the contestants. Of course, that’s always easier without a game show host standing at your side and a hoarde of screaming distractions in the audience 😀

    Azteclady, that wail is the Read Me Now siren, and must be obeyed at all times 🙂

  35. The romance books I choose are those which are well written, have believable characters and tell a story which is not too far from reality.
    Good character development to make me care about the characters, and a story that flows along smoothlt and of course A HAPPY ENDING !.

    i F i WANT ANOTHER KIND OF ENDING i READ THRILLER, CRIME ETC.

    Carol

  36. Carol, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head as to what bothers me most about people who put down reading and/or writing romance. If they don’t like it, read something else. Simple. But at the same time, don’t denigrate those who love to read emotional, uplifting stories with a guaranteed happy ending. There’s nothing wrong with reading from a wide range of genres, nor is there anything wrong with reading from only one. It’s entertainment. From my pov I don’t like slapstick comedy, so I won’t watch slapstick comedy, but I love watching thrillers, intense drama, romantic comedy, historical romance etc.

  37. Okay, it’s Saturday morning here in NZ and since I had to get up in time to watch the sunrise to get progeny off to work on time with a cooked breakfast in their tummies I decided to do the draw for my book prize, and the name randomly drawn by Miss 16 just a couple of minutes ago is LIMECELLO!!!

    So, warm congratulations to you Limecello. Please email me at yvonne at yvonnelindsay dot com (you know the drill 😉 ) with your postal details and full name and I’ll pop TYCOON’S VALENTINE VENDETTA in the mail to you next week.

    Thanks very much, everyone, for sharing your thoughts on writing and reading romance.

  38. Congratulations Limecello, you’ll definitely enjoy this book.

  39. azteclady Says:

    *applause* yay, limecello! Congrats!

  40. SECOND DRAW! Limecello already has Tycoon’s Valentine Vendetta so I will be sending her a little something else instead. So Miss 16 did a second draw and the winner is….

    JANE! Congratulations, Jane, if you could please email me at yvonne at yvonnelindsay dot com (obviously with the right symbols and without the spaces) and give me your full name and postal details.

  41. Congratulations to both Limecello and Jane. Limecello, I’m sure Yvonne’s little something else will be terrific. And Jane, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Yvonne’s latest book.

    Thanks for joining us, ladies.

  42. azteclady Says:

    Yay for the generosity of the DDU ladies! *applause* congrats Jane!

  43. wtg ladies

  44. Yvonne, thanks for the book. Thanks, everyone for the congrats.

  45. Congrats to both Limecello and Jane!

  46. limecello Says:

    Thanks everyone! And thanks for being so accommodating, Yvonne! 🙂

  47. Limecello…I found the *perfect* thing to send you as your prize today. I hope you like bling for your bag…

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