Help! My Head Is About to Explode! (or How I fell in love with the Romance Genre)

I am on day ten of my thirty day writing spree and I feel like my head is going to explode.

I the last ten days I have written one-hundred-thirty-seven pages…. seven chapters. I’ve only taken three days off to from writing all together, so really, I’ve written one-hundred-thirty-seven pages….seven chapters in seven days.


So far, my hero and heroine have met, argued, and gotten busy, twice. Yep, love is definitely in the air, which brings me to the subject of this blog.

If your a writer and your writing a love scene, do you love it or hate?

Me….I love it! In my opinion, those are some of best scenes to write, not because of the sexual content, but because it’s the truest window into your characters soul. A characters true thoughts, desires and intentions-good or bad- can be reveled in a love scene. They way they interact with the one they are with can be used to push the plot line of the story from Act One to Act Two. It’s all about the characters development.

The funny thing about all of this is that before I decided to become a writer, I mainly read Sci-Fi, Mystery, Drama and Comedies. My favorite authors were John Gresham and Steven King, to name a few. I’d even read Lord of The Rings Trilogy three times and don’t get me started on Star Wars Expanded Universe books. At last count I’d read 52 of those. (Hey, it’s not geeky to love Star Wars, it’s geeky to love Star Trek!!!)

But pick up a romance novel? Nope, not at all. *makes puking noises*

The first time I read a romance novel was in 2004. I’d just finished reading Lord Of The Rings-The Two Towers and was at work on a one hour lunch break. I was stuck in the break room with nothing to read. A co-worker offered me one of the five books she had stashed in her desk. It was a yucky romance novel by Nora Roberts. Since I was in no mood to sit and stare at my fellow employees. I said thanks and prepared to skim over the pages until my break was over. Little did I know that I was soon going to fall in love with the genre.

Before I knew it, I was reading well written plot lines that showed more than just them getting it on…. there was actually stories. The characters had problems they had to surmount, issues to face and lessons to learn. Before I knew it, I’d returned her book and read the others she had in her desk in record time. (I’ve always been a speed reader). Before I knew it, the fifty+ Star Wars books I’d read were being replaced by the 50+ romance novels. My husband used to pick at me for reading ‘sappy’ stories and I found myself  ‘hiding’ the books, you know, flipping them over so the covers weren’t seen, stashing them along side the bed. And now here I am, seven years later, writing a romance story of my own! And you know what? I’ve got my husbands full support! And yeah, he still picks every now and again, but hey, what man wouldn’t?

So who are my favorite authors? Who do I long to be like? Who’s  work do I study?

Nora Roberts, (the author of the first book I read) who also goes by the name of J.D. Robb when writing her In Death series, for starters. The woman is a master! As Nora, she spins tales of love and mystery. I admire her ability to describe the feelings her characters have in such a way that you can appreciate every word. As many of her books that I’ve read, I’ve never been able to say that any of her characters, plots or story lines are repetitive. My favorite book: The Black Hills. As J.D. Robb, the futuristic In Death series with the troubled yet kick butt Homicide Detective Eve Dallas is a great study in weaving romance with Law and Order plot lines. And hey, who wouldn’t love to have a guy like Roarke, the multimillionaire who seems to own have the planet in your corner? My favorite book of the series: Born in Death.

Suzanne Brockmann, who I had the opportunity to meet, is one of the newest authors I’ve delved into. Her Troubleshooters series is alive with well developed characters from various back grounds, be it ethnic, race or sexual orientation. She has an amazing way of writing in third person and getting you right in the characters heads like its first person. The language and descriptions used are so easy to relate to. It’s almost like the character is sitting right next to you having a conversation. My favorite characters: Sam Starrett and Alyssa Lock. The red neck Navy Seal and the black kick butt CIA agent. Such an unlikely pair that burn up the page!

Janet Evanovich is also a writer that I admire. Her Stephanie Plumb series is hilarious! I ran across her audio book one day and I have been hooked every since. The woman is a master of combining comedy, romance and mystery all in one. It’s impossible not to read her books and turn more than four pages with out laughing your butt off. But be warned…if reading them in public and you burst into hysterical laughter, people around you will think your crazy. My kids do when I’m in my room reading her books. They always run up and ask if I’m okay. I continue to laugh, hold up the book so they can read the authors name and they say, “I should have known.” My favorite book: Ten Big Ones. Stephanie has two love interest in the series. My favorite? Ranger…enough said.

J. R. Ward is an author I probably never would have read if it wasn’t for the suggestion of one of my critique partners. She her erotic series, The Black Dagger Brotherhood is amazing. If you like Vampire tales, mixed with romance, this series is for you. Set in New York the Brotherhood is based on six really, really, really hot vampires. What I love about the characters is that J.R. does an amazing job of making these guys to die for, but at the same time they all have a flaw, a secret from their past that makes them who they are. The woman that she pairs up with these guys are just as wounded. Together they make the perfect couples, once they work through all their flaws and secrets. My favorite Brother: Rhage. His book is Lover Eternal. Check out the book and you’ll see what I mean.

Check out my Shelfari book shelf on the right side of the page to see more information about some of the books I’ve listed.

So, those are a few of my favorite Romance authors. What are yours?

5 thoughts on “Help! My Head Is About to Explode! (or How I fell in love with the Romance Genre)

  1. My favourites are more along the lines of chick-lit/women's fiction that weave romance in. Authors like Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, Carole Matthews, Adele Parks.I don't exactly have must-read authors. I used to but some have disappointed me in certain instances so I go by book more than author now.But Robyn Carr, Kristan Higgins & Susan Andersen are pretty good bets for me.

  2. That is so funny that you didn't used to read romance and now your write it. I'm kind of the same way, tho. I love, love, love the In Death series. And JR Ward's books in are my (entirely too big) tbr (digital) pile. Do you read on an ereader now-especially since you read so fast?I still can't get over your recent output. Rock on!! I aspire to be you (and Nora, JR, etc– you get the point).Happy Writing!Kate

  3. LOL! Thanks Kate!Nope, I'm too broke to have an ereader, though I do have Kindle on my computer. I love hand held books. My collection sits on my bookshelf in my room near my desk where I write. I love looking at the titles and the cover art. There's something about being able to pick on up and say, "this will be me one day!" I try to visualize my name on the cover…..Great inspiration.And as for JR….trust me once you read one of those books, you'll zip through the series in no time. I think I read the first 6 (the best IMO) in three months…while writing. I didn't go to bed early. LOL Thanks for your comment! MJ

  4. Also a fast turned romance reader and writer, it only took one or two books…an old Joanna Lindsay novel and One for the Money..avid Janet E. follower to this day. Another few tops for me are Julia Quinn…the very best! and now reading Karen Robards. Nora is always in there as well, so diverse which I admire. I love your sentiments in this post. Very much the same thoughts I have had. I even pondered the question of 'why romance' on my blog after hearing the question so often. So write on romance authors, writers and lovers…keep the sex scenes coming. Because as you said, its about so much more than just that.

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