I have a confession to make.
I love romance. Not only that, I love being a romance writer, even though I know that Romance gets a bad rap in some circles.
So I want to talk about being a romance writer; who I am and why I do it.
You probably wouldn’t guess by looking at me, and my life, that I am a Romance Writer. I happen to currently be a documentation manager at a medical device company. I have also spent a fair amount of time as a mechanical designer in the electronics industry. I have two daughters, I’ve always worked full time. I like dogs. I like camping and hiking. I love people. I have a degree in psychology (which always makes people just a little uncomfortable when they find out. Bonus!).
Dig just a little deeper and you’d find I am also a creative person. I sing and play guitar (contemporary and classical). And I write. Writing feeds my soul. I had always dreamed of writing and publishing a book. I started writing once I finally believed in myself enough to stop just dreaming about it and start doing it.
Here I have another confession to make. Actually, I started writing when my then-teenaged daughter (now launched into the world as the lovely and talented author Katie Masters) showed me the fan mail she was getting for fan fiction she wrote and posted online. I realized that if I didn’t get going, she was going to get published before me, and for whatever reason, I wanted to be first. Hey, whatever it takes to get started!
(Thanks Katie. I owe you one).
But there is more. There is the Romance part.
I could be writing anything, and I am certainly not limiting myself to only one genre. But Romance holds a special place in my heart because Romance has a mission. And it’s a mission to be proud of.
A Romance is defined, by the writer’s industry group Romance Writers of America, as having a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. “In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.” See Romance Genre, on www.RWA.org.
Wow. Emotional justice. Unconditional love. I want me some of that. Let’s all live in that world for just a little while.
Romance gets panned for having a happy ending. “It’s not real life,” people complain. Well excuse me, but I get all the real life I need all day long and then in full technicolor recap on the evening news.
I’ll take a Romance please.
What Romance brings to the table is more than just a little escape, although immersing oneself in a different world for a while is a time honored tradition (watch movies much?). Romance is positive. I love that about it. It celebrates love- the most positive power for good in the universe.
I’m totally good with being associated with these kinds of stories and I love telling them. These are often stories of people who struggle to face, overcome and grow beyond their struggles and fears.
I feel like I may at least brighten someone’s day when they read something I’ve written. But I may also be encouraging someone who is facing a similar struggle to the one that a character in my story is facing, giving them hope that a positive outcome is possible.
How lucky am I to get to do something I love and be able to contribute something positive at the same time?