Wednesday, March 25

#WriterWednesday: Jill Kemerer!

Hiya, WordWrangler readers! We're excited to welcome Jill Kemerer to the blog today; Jill is a new author with Harlequin's Love Inspired line. She's going to tell us about the writing rules we should break. BREAK THE RULES?!?!? Our minds are boggled! Jill, take it away!

Years ago after my first book was rejected, I scoured blogs, learned how to write a synopsis and took every piece of advice to heart. I also studied over thirty books on the craft of writing. Imagine my surprise when I continued to get rejections. I’d been applying the “rules.” What was I doing wrong?

Most writing tips are useful, but not every fiction rule fits the romance genre. 

Here are my top 3 rules to break when writing romance:

Writing Rule #1: Minimize introspection to keep a tight pace. 

Romance readers need to connect with the characters. While pace is important—we don’t want our readers bored!—emotion is too. Your goal is to allow the reader to feel the pain, joy, exhilaration and attraction your characters are experiencing. This means readers need to understand why the characters are acting the way they are. Introspection, doled out within a scene, is necessary in romance novels.

Writing Rule #2: Make sure there is plenty of conflict.

This isn’t so much a rule to break as a rule to understand. Romance readers do NOT want the hero and heroine bickering and fighting every three pages. They also don’t want a soap opera with cliff hangers that make little sense.

What they do want? Reasons the hero and heroine won’t take a chance on love. Obstacles to their goals. A rising tension. The nagging question, How will these two, who obviously are perfect for each other, ever get their happily-ever-after?

If the conflicts you’ve introduced result in endless arguing or unreasonable actions by the hero or heroine, rework them.

Writing Rule #3: Write what you know.

I’m not a veterinarian technician. Have never trained for an IRONMAN competition. I don’t take care of a mother who has multiple sclerosis. But I’ve written characters who do all these things. Write whatever the story calls you to write. The key to successful fiction is making the reader believe what’s on the page is possible. It’s your job to research what you don’t know.

What writing rules do you break?

Thank you very much, Word Wranglers, for hosting me today!

It's our pleasure, Jill, thanks for being here! And, readers, keep going, Jill is going to share a little about her debut book, Small Town Bachelor: 

Small-Town Bachelor ~

A Place to Call Home
When Reed Hamilton arrives in Lake Endwell for a family wedding, he expects to do his part as best man then head back to the big city. But when a tornado postpones the wedding, the town is in shambles and Reed is injured. Thankfully maid of honor Claire Sheffield offers him one of her cottages to recuperate in.

Dedicated to her family and her dream job at the zoo, Claire is all about roots. She's this city slicker's opposite, yet as they help the town rebuild, Reed is captivated by her stunning looks and caring ways. He can't ask Claire to leave the life she loves for him, but he also can't imagine ever leaving her behind…

Interested in buying Small-Town Bachelor? Click here for links to purchase!

About Jill: 

Jill Kemerer writes inspirational romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer and homemaker, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules.

Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&MS, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.  Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her Website and find her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Thank you so much, Kristina, for letting me take over your blog today!

  2. Thanks for visiting us, Jill, and congratulations on your book. Also on figuring out which rules are okay to break...or bend. I bend different ones at different times, and always whine when an editor calls me on one!

    1. Ha! Yes, but the editor is usually right! :) Thanks!!

  3. *squeezes Jill in a hug* Its great to have you here, Jill! Thanks for sharing your rebel side with us ~ GREAT tips!!

  4. I loved this post! For me, as an author, reading this was like opening a window and getting a breath of fresh air. You're always inspiring, Jill! Thank you!

    1. Oh, good!! I got too caught up in following the rules, and it hurt my books. Some rules just don't work for romance!

  5. Welcome to the Wranglers, Jill! Great tips. I'm working on my first romance book after years of YA, so I will definitely keep these in mind--especially the introspection one--it's a delicate balance, to be sure.

    Good luck with your book! I'm heading to check it out, now.

    1. Congratulations, Margie! I love romance novels, so I'm happy to hear you're trying your hand at it! Yes, inner dialogue/introspection is a delicate balance. A thriller would never be able to get away with as much as a romance novel!

  6. Would you believe I bought this book two days ago and have been reading it tonight. Any tips for entering Blurb to Book contest the line is offering? I'm enjoying your book so far. I can relate to it and it feels like it is set in Indiana, with the tornado and small-town setting.