Why Romance?

The most common piece of advice I have read since I started seriously writing is to write what you like to read. This is a great piece of advice if you only read one genre, but I read anything. Much like my tastes in music, I will give almost anything a chance. I love mystery, suspense, romance, chick-lit, and a slew of sub-genres of each. I love classic literature. While sci-fi and paranormal aren’t may favorite genres, I have been known to fall in love with some of them as well. I love to read. So, how do I pick a genre?

I have already said that Robin Cook is my favorite author. He has been since I was a teenager. I am not sure why, I can’t seem to get enough of his books. I find myself looking for other’s like them. Still, I never considered writing a medical thriller. It just isn’t me. The same goes for legal thrillers, crime dramas, suspense.

Perhaps it is the research. Once I start to write, I like to just go. I do some research, but I can’t imagine spending months if not years researching one book. Patience is not my strongest characteristic. When I want something, I don’t want to wait for it. This includes my writing. I have a hard enough time spending a couple weeks outlining, but I know the story is better when I have at least a general idea of where I am going before I start.

I write romance novels. I didn’t set out that way—I intended on Chick Lit, specifically because I wanted to avoid romance. (What can I say, the idea of my mom reading my love scenes freaks me out a bit). Still, as I wrote my first novel, it evolved into a true romance without me knowing it. Without Kaye’s help, I would probably still be clueless about that jump.

But this makes sense. This is what I know. I met Pookie when I was 22, and we moved to another state just a few months later. We were engaged six months after starting to date, married less than two years after we met.

We had conflicts that we needed to get over before we admitted we belonged together, and it almost didn’t happen. Everyone else saw it before Pookie did and they continued to see it after I had given up. Yet, here we are eleven years later, happier than ever. Our relationship could have come straight out of a romance novel.

As a kid, I dreamed of a relationship like ours. I didn’t dream of being a successful, independent woman. I had goals, but love was always at the center of my dreams. Even when I daydream now, my dreams revolve around love and romance, not careers or mysteries.

In other words, I am writing what I know, what is important to me. While romance may not be the genre I read the most, I think that is because it is the genre that lives in my head and my heart. I love a good romance novel, but I can’t imagine it being the only thing I read.

When I read other genres, I am amazed by the authors creativity and discipline. I couldn’t even come up with most of the ideas in the majority of the books I read, but that is why I read them. I am looking for an escape from myself.

What are your favorite genre’s to read and write? Are they the same, or do yours vary like mine? In the spirit of Valentines day, have you ever lived something that could have come straight from a romance novel? Did you realize it at the time? (I sure didn’t!)

About Susi Borath

Susi Borath finds time to write between freelance marketing jobs, minor league baseball games, creating new cookie recipes, and juggling more laundry than any two people should be able to produce. You can find more about her at http://susiborath.com or follow @susiborath on Twitter.
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6 Responses to Why Romance?

  1. Kaye Peters says:

    There’s a reason why they say that love finds you when you least expect it – because its true! Of course, my favorite genre is romance – to read and write. Bring on the drama, the emotion, yes, the sex. Bring it all. However, I’m not close-minded to other genres. I love mystery/suspense and I am always amazed how writers can come up with the details surrounding the stories. How they plant little seeds of information that I don’t pick up on it right away until the end is just brilliant. I am in awe of their creativity. Actually, jealous is a better word. Yeah, I’m definitely jealous. I’ve tried writing a suspense thriller and it started off with “James did it!!!!” Not a good start. Too many exclamation points, I think. 🙂
    I also like fantasy. The creativity and imagination that goes into creating not just an interesting story but a whole new world in which it takes place. Awesome.

    • Ana Quinn says:

      I am in awe of them, too. I just can’t do it. Actually, I had to do a mystery for a writing class years ago, and it turned into a mystery on who a girl’s secret admirer was. I guess I should have realized at that point i was destined to write romance.

  2. Erin says:

    I read everything. Well, most everything — romance is probably lowest on my list. Alpha males just don’t do it for me. Oh, and horror — my imagination won’t leave it alone, and I can wind up with nightmares for days.

    I primarily write science fiction and fantasy — most subgenres. I also write cozy mysteries. I have a couple paranormal romances (one novelette and one novel) I did a couple years back before I decided I wasn’t comfortable with the heat level expected. Many of my longer works do have romantic subplots, though.

    I think the biggest advance of reading and writing in multiple areas is that I can steal tropes from one to use in another.

    As for personal romance — well, I don’t know if it was love at first sight for my husband and me, but as my father-in-law said at our reception, it didn’t take us long to reach the Velcro stage. I met his parents two weeks after I met him. Five months after we met, he asked me to marry him — and he’d been thinking about it for a while. Almost to our thirteenth anniversary now and still very much in love with him. So yes, definitely an important part of my life, too.

    • Ana Quinn says:

      We hit that stage immediately, too. It was obvious to everyone else that we were destined to be together even when we weren’t so sure.

      I seriously am in awe of people who write fantasy and science fiction. If it is not likely to happen to me or one of my friends, I can’t come up with a story around it. As I said to Kaye, even if I do, it all comes back to the romance. Even though it is not my go-to genre to read, I think it is what I am destined to write. Now I just have to get over my squeamishness on those love scenes. 🙂

  3. Pingback: My Review of Elizabeth Lang’s The Empire « …At Your Fingertips

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