Romance is hard….
I have discovered over the last few years that maintaining that spark in writing romance is just as hard as maintaining the real thing. It got dry. There was a dread knowing that the next love scene was coming.
I guess you could say I fell out of love with it. I’m not going to because that’s corny, but It’s still kind of true. That was when I started Cry Havoc.
It’s young adult fiction about a set of children caught in the end of the world, so no real romance. Certainly, there’s no sexy, forbidden kind of love, and there won’t be. Maybe, some young love. It’s been an eyeopening experience for me because there’s a theme present that is the core of why we love romance; loyalty, family. It’s when I finally realized our romances aren’t really about romance, are they?
Romance writers are usually writing in the backdrop of romance, but we’re talking about something else; hard choices, second chances, eating our enemies (looking at you Sax). I know it seems obvious, but, when I started, I’d let the romance become the focal point of my thinking, and it created a certain anxiety. I couldn’t see past the love story.
The last thing I want to have about writing is anxiety. It’s the love of my life, the reason I get up at times (the kids, too.), but writing is in the top spots. So, I followed where it went, and quit trying to write romance for a while. The learning experience was worth it.
Havoc doesn’t sell like the romances do, but I’m learning some things as I write this series that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. Love stories are seldom about love. They are about how love changes us, and that’s not restricted to romance.
In Havoc, love makes Aiden grow up and be a great man. It makes Tolly a strong nurturer wise beyond her years, and it makes the people around them fight for their home with a passion only strong love could give you.
One of the reasons I’ve stopped reading contemporary indie books almost entirely was the reliance on sex as a sales tool. Sexy, flashy romance with no substance got ordinary for me as a reader. I want my heroes and heroines to change, to become something else by the end. That’s absolutely necessary to me as a reader, and it seems as a writer as well.