Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

With Valentine’s Day on Sunday, does that mean we get a whole weekend to celebrate? Well, we certainly think so, but as agents and authors of romance, there’s nothing we believe in more than celebrating love. And who better to talk about romance than the authors who specialize in it. . . .

I guess Valentine’s Day is as good a time as any to talk romance—as in books. Why we read them, why we write them, and most of all, why we love them. For me it’s simple—romances, by virtue of the genre, always have a happy ending. They suit my overall Pollyanna nature and make me feel good. What’s not to like? Granted, a good romance can really tug the heartstrings—it can bring you to tears, make you angry, make you laugh out loud, but in the end, it will always leave you satisfied and feeling good about love and relationships and life in general. The real world can be a tough and ugly place. Give me the world of romance with characters experiencing love in all its many variations, and for that time when I’m either writing or reading about love, I’m in a wonderful place—and in a lot better shape to deal with the real world when it’s time to face reality once again.

—Kate Douglas
DemonFire: Book 1 of The DemonSlayers
It's the battle of good vs. evil—and the demon's the good guy.


What better gift to myself on Valentine's Day than a hot, intelligent, alpha hero awaiting my pleasure between the sheets . . . of paper . . . in a romance novel. I love the way he watches his woman, his devotion to her, his instinct to protect her. His brawn and brains. His flaws. The way he valiantly works, fights, and thinks his way through a good, solid plot. I love that his name, the specifics of his character, and his particular battles change from one story to the next, so he keeps me intrigued. And I love that he's always loyal, always there, and always awaits my pleasure between the sheets . . . of paper . . . in a romance novel.

—Elizabeth Amber
Dane, The Lords of Satyr
Hot historical paranormal romance
Kensington Aphrodisia


My first romance: Jane Eyre. I read it when I was eleven years old because my mom said it was too hard for me. On some levels it was, but regardless I was enthralled from chapter one. The desolate manor, the intelligent temerity of Jane, dark and inscrutable Mr. Rochester, and the secret in the attic. These are the hallmarks of a gothic romance. Add madness, fire, and forbidden love and I was changed forever. It’s no wonder that I sold my first book out of the Gothic Haunted Hearts Contest. Though I write dark urban fantasy, gothic romance underpins the dynamics of my stories. I can’t help it; those shadows are in my blood.

—Erin Kellison
Shadow Bound
Dorchester/Leisure Books


The other day, while walking out of a movie theater with my brother and his wife, I saw a couple in their eighties who made me stop. And stare.

It wasn't the fact she had a walker or that he was stooped over so far you could have placed a tray of food on his back—those things are trivial. But the way she looked at him as he helped her on with her coat, wasn't. With just that look (hers) and that gesture (his), they conveyed the kind of love I wish I could bottle.

Unfortunately, I can't. People need to find that for themselves.

What I can do, though, is write about it—creating the kind of relationships that make people stop and stare . . .

And strive for the fairy tale.

Because that's what true love is. A fairy tale. Only that kind of fairy tale never ends. It just gets better and stronger with each turn of life's page.

Are there bumps and bruises along the way? Of course. Nothing good in life is ever easy. But with true love, the bumps and bruises are mere stepping-stones that are traversed together . . .

Hand in hand.

Being a romance writer just gives me the opportunity to put those hands together.

I can't imagine a better way to spend my days, can you?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

—Laura Bradford
Kayla’s Daddy
Harlequin American,


I don't remember the first romance I read, just that my mom always read them and passed her love for romances on to me when I was a teenager. In high school I would stay up way too late on school nights reading—a habit which didn't change a bit in college. In fact, my college roommate (Jami Alden) and I both became published romance novelists within months of each other. And now my mother-in-law and one of my sister-in-laws are two of my most faithful readers. Between my family and friends, there's always someone telling me about a great new author I have to read—and they all support my own career writing romance, as well!

—Bella Andre
Hot as Sin
Bantam Dell


I love to write romance because no matter what other mystery, mayhem or fantastical things appear in my books, the most exciting thing to me is the interaction between the characters and ultimately, the happily ever after. And even better, paranormal romance lets me write about love between demon slayers and griffins, voodoo mambas and zombies, although not at the same time. Happy Valentines day!

—Angie Fox
A Tale of Two Demon Slayers
My Zombie Valentine
Dorchester Publishing


Some kind librarian introduced me to Georgette Heyer—a twentieth-century writer who is credited by many with creating the Regency romance subgenre—when I was in grade school. I loved the world her books created, a world of handsome, rich, athletic, talented, and titled gentlemen who lived lives of privilege in grand houses. I loved her strong heroines, and I loved the Regency language—words like brangle and bibble-babble and buffle-headed—and the repartee. And, yes, I loved the romance even though the bedroom door was always firmly closed. I write Regency romances now—with the bedroom door open—because of all that I loved as a reader. I find writing romance gives me the opportunity to explore human relationships, not just between the hero and heroine, but between parents and children, brothers and sisters, old and young. And perhaps the most important reason I write and read romance is because I love a happy ending.

—Sally MacKenzie
The Naked Viscount
Kensington Zebra


Mira said...

These were all fun to read. I bet the books are too. :)

A couple of thoughts stood out - Kate, I like the idea of the demon as a good guy. Lol - same with the Zombie Valentine - that's fun. Elizabeth, it was especially fun to read your....rather....interesting entry. :) Erin, I think Jane Austin started the whole romance thing....maybe I'm wrong...? Laura, that was a touching story about the older couple. And how can anyone go wrong with the titles: Hot as Sin and The Naked Viscount? :)

Hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Kate Douglas said...

Thanks, Mira. That's what makes writing paranormal romance so much fun: My world, my rules! As long as I can make it logical within the framework of the universe I've created, I can do exactly what I want. There's nothing more exciting to a writer than sitting down to write and asking, "What if?" With the paranormal genre, that "What if?" can be absolutely anything!

Mira said...

Kate - I know, that's the fun of it. Your books sound really fun, too. :) said...

All these great thoughts from great authors on why they write about love. Thanks!

Kimbra Kasch said...

I loved Mary Janice Davidson's entire Undead series. And, who doesn't love Charlain Harris' books Living Dead in Dallas and Club Dead.

What does that say about me, I love all the "dead" romance novels?

Angie Fox said...

Too funny, Kim. That's actually what clued me in to the fact that I should be writing paranormals. I'm always sneaking off to read MaryJanice Davidson, Katie MacAlister, Charlaine Harris. I can quote way too many passages from Undead and Unwed. Hooray for the "dead" romances!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Happy Valentine's AND Mardi Gras to you!

Sarah said...

I love love, and I love this post! Especially the bit about the old couple outside of the movie theater- maybe one day my husband and I will be that example to the youngins' 50 years from now!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great post! So fun to hear from the authors themselves why they love romance :)

Nishant said...

that was a touching story about the older couple

Work From Home

??? said...

I love Erin's thoughts... she basically expressed everything I love about reading and writing romance. I can't even recall a book I've loved that didn't have that wonderful, heartfelt fairytale ending, though I have to admit that the 'bumps' she mentioned are more fun to write for me than the fuzzy conclusion. I love conflict in my romance, and rarely read it otherwise.

Sarah Burrows Winch said...

Yes, what better than to read a great historical romance book that leaves you in a good place!

Sarah Burrows Winch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Bradford said...

Okay, now I want to run to the bookstore and buy another romance to read (and *this* when I should be writing).

Happy Valentine's Day!

Stephanie Damore said...

I love this post and I think this weekend is the perfect time to dive into a romance novel. Thanks!

dolorah said...

Beautifully written. Thanks to all the authors for sharing.

Very timely post Jessica. Well worth stopping by.