Monday, November 13

Show us how you really feel

This isn't a new post--I wrote it in April of 2016 for another blog, but I happened onto it and--since I'm pretty much buried here--hope you don't mind if I slip it in here.

One of my favorite parts of writing romance is that I get to explore emotion. I get to hold it in my hands and virtually peel it like an apple or a peach or a tangerine. Exactly like that, because sometimes the emotion is tart and sharp like an early apple; often it’s sweet and juicy like a peach; sometimes it’s almost too easy, like slipping the rind off the tangerine.

Other times, I get to pick up a piece of fabric and tear it in half the wrong way, against the grain, when those first threads absolutely will not break...and then then do, and the fabric rips but it’s not straight. It’s not pretty, but it’s strong. It will stay with you. Of course, you have to put it back together to make it strong, and sometimes there will be little holes or crooked scars in the cloth.

Still other times, I get to play a bass drum really loud in the sunshine. Or walk in the rain where the water softens everything, blurring its edges and softening the sound of music, but irritates at the same time.

I confess, I’ve blogged about writing until the very thought of coming up with something new about it makes my eyes cross on their own and my fingers come to an abrupt stop on the keyboard. That’s why I’m getting a little abstract with emotion. Well, that and the fact that it’s my favorite component of romantic fiction. There are so many parts, aren’t there? The story itself, the heroine’s and the hero’s journeys, the sensuality, the action (if I’d written this about action, we’d still be in the first paragraph—that’s how bad I am at it), the setting, the black moment, the...oh, you get it, right?

Most of us, I believe, have our areas of expertise. Ken Meyer, who’s the best limerick-writer this side of the Irish Sea, is in the
writers’ group I’m a part of, and he wrote a setting the other day I swear engaged every one of my senses and left them yearning for more. I love setting, I do, but mine never resonate like that.

KathleenGilles Seidel takes us on such a comfortable trip through
the protagonists’ journeys that I don’t even realize we’re moving until the train stops at the “oh, here we are” moment.

KristanHiggins does the same thing with black moments. I don’t even realize I’m there until I have tears on my face.

But me? I write emotion. Not better than anyone else, probably, but I love it so much that even if I stop writing books someday—and I will, right?—I think I’ll always write emotion just for the pleasure and pain of feeling it.

So, whether you’re a reader or a writer or both, talk to us about your favorite part of romance novels.

Have a great week.


  1. I with you all the way about emotion, but I'm not sure I can really define my favorite part of romance novels. It's more that my favorite stories are the ones that take me to a place that I want to visit again and again. When I turn to a story again and again, like I do your ONE MORE SUMMER or any one of Jenny Cruisie's books, then whatever that is--that's my favorite part. ;-)

    1. I do that, too--and thanks for the OMS callout! Kathleen Seidel has a scene in Summer's End that I'll bet I've read 50 times just because I love the whole come-togetherness of it.

  2. My favorite part of reading a romance novel is the emotion. I want a romance novel to make me feel something, and the authors who do that for me are my favorites. Eliciting emotion in my own novels is what I aim for. I hope I reach that goal, at least some of the time.

    1. I think it's my favorite, too, Jana. Sadly enough, I don't always find it.