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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Write What You Love

I was twelve when I fell in love for the first time. The lucky man was a romance hero, the star of one of the countless ‘white cover ‘Harlequins that I devoured each evening after my homework was complete. I read the books by the grocery sack full. A friend brought them to school, I read them, then passed them to my grandmother. She would read them, we might even talk about them, and back they went to my friend. Not long after, my faithful friend would bring in another sack full, and the process would begin all over again. Harlequin Presents, Silhouette Romance, Kismet. I read them all. And I loved them.

The older I got, the Harlequins gave way to single title romances, fabulous historicals. Books set in the Highlands of Scotland, the ton of England, pirates on the high seas. Even the rebellious colonies called the Americas. Then one of my favorite authors published a contemporary, and I was off running again. These books were like none other. They were about millionaires and nannies, women trying to make it in a man’s world, and professional football players. Corporate raiders, lawyers, doctors, and cowboys. And I fell in love all over again.

When I started writing, I naturally gravitated toward romance. I had well-meaning family members encourage me to write all sorts of genres. “Write something like Stephen King. He sells a lot of books.” I was told to write a mystery, to ‘write chick lit’, and almost every other kind of genre known to man. But I love romance. And I have for a very long time. It’s my favorite reading material. One man, one woman, falling in love. To me there’s nothing better.

I can say with great conviction that I will never write a horror story, a murder mystery, or anything remotely like a suspense. It's not that they aren't worthy to me. They just aren't what I love. 

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