Read-a-Romance month is upon us and I’m so happy to be part of it through my friend, Lorelei’s Lit Lair. Once again, the topic of the month-long series of essays is broad and widely interpreted. How do I explain The Joy of Romance?
I live romance every day, with my wonderful husband, but let’s face it, what’s brought us all together for this annual celebration is our love of romance novels. Those wonderfully decadent escapes are what have connected us. There’s a bond among the authors, readers, bloggers and reviewers—and those who have experienced it acknowledge that it’s something very special.
When I started writing back around 2000, I never imagined how much the writing romance would change my life. From the people in my local Romance Writers of America chapter, to bestselling authors who have offered guidance and friendship as I make my way through the ranks, to reviewers, bloggers and fans—I have been blessed.
Writing has brought me my best friends, people I talk to every day, who help me though tough times both professionally and personally, who laugh with me, cry with me and keep my head in a good space. We share ideas, successes and failures, laughter and tears. It is pure joy and there is no greater gift.
Then, there’s the most important piece in the puzzle–the readers. My readers are the loveliest, most enthusiastic people. They cheer me on, wish me well, and give me a reason to put words on the page. Without them, I have nothing.
You’ll hear this over and over but the romance community is just that, a community. It’s populated by people who all have a stake in this world of dashing heroes, strong women and happily ever afters. And that’s my joy. I’ve found my tribe. Writers, readers, reviewers, we love the idea of love. Not an idealized, relationship that drips with sweetness, but the gritty, every day emotion that makes our hearts pound and brings joy to our lives. Joy. Pure and simple joy.
Tell me, what brings you joy? One commenter will receive a signed copy of my book, Until You and a second commenter will receive a digital copy of my latest release, The Boyfriend List. Drawing closes on August 31st, 2015, you must be 18 or over, international readers are welcome!
In the spirit of The Actor’s Studio, here are a few questions that have been posed to me:
- Tell us about a moment when you experienced sheer joy. I would say it was when I received the call from my agent that I sold my first book. I’d been writing for 12 years, had had many stops and starts, and I remember that call so clearly. I was sitting in the faculty room with my colleagues, having lunch and my cell rang. Becky was on the other end telling me I was offered a three book deal. It was pretty amazing.
- Tell us about a place that brings you joy. One of the great things about where I live is that I’m never far from a beach. If I get in my car and head twenty minutes south and I can step into the Atlantic Ocean; ten minutes to the north are quiet bay beaches. The sand, the air and the water are joy for me.
- Tell us about a sound that brings you joy. See that answer above about the beach? The sound of surf is my happy place. Nothing like it. Nature’s lullaby.
- What recent book have you read that brought you joy? Me Before You by JoJo Moyes stole my heart. It’s a beautiful love story, absolutely heart wrenching, and even though it didn’t end “happy,” it ended how it needed to end. I felt joy that I was able to experience the words and emotions of the characters.
- Pick a Chris-Pine, Pratt, Evans, Plummer or Hemsworth. Well, considering big, blue-eyed blonds are my personal kryptonite, I pick Chris Hemsworth. How can you go wrong with a god?
This is the fun part. Three authors I would heartily recommend you give a try are Meara Platt who writes lovely Regency romances, Jessica Lemmon who writes fun, sexy contemporaries, and Jennifer Snow who writes sports heroes like it’s nobody’s business. All three are consummate storytellers who will leave you smiling.
Thanks for stopping over, gang. Be sure to check back on the Read-a-Romance site every day for new essays and new giveaways. We romance authors know how to party. 🙂
To read Lorelei’s wonderful post, click here.