Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Some thoughts on Writing Romance- I've been tagged in the Writerly Blog Hop

The awesome and amazing Nancy from has tagged me!

I have to answer a couple of questions and then I get to tag three authors!

1. What are you working on right now?

*I always laugh when I get this question. I think the better question is what am I not working on right now? Here's a laundry list of things in the cooker as I like to say:
- Edits on my regency Wicked Designs coming out January 7th
- Got a modern gothic The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall currently a top 50 finalist in the So You Think You Can Write Contest at Harlequin.
- Currently tinkering with about 3 stories on editing and revisions
- As far as writing, writing goes, I've started writing a story called "Ivy" that takes place in Edwardian England about a half-blood gypsy girl who returns to a beautiful estate where she grew up until she was eight years old. Ivy encounters the handsome Earl of Doveton, Leo, who doesn't remember she was the small girl he'd called button because of her button nose. Hilarity ensues as Leo's mother invites Ivy and her father (a gypsy who worked his way into owning a newspaper in London) to Doveton for a houseparty and Ivy is sworn to secrecy with regard to her idenity. Leo falls head over heels for the independant and fiery Ivy, not knowing who she really is.  It will be a fun project and I'm hoping to submit it to Entangled Publishing for their Scandlous "Who's that Girl" anthology this winter.

2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?

* I think it's pretty rare to see Edwardian set books currently out there. I know there are some, but I came up surprisingly empty handed when I was doing searches to read what other authors had done as I was preparing to delve into the genre. I don't tend to compare my stories as to how they fit in the genre so to speak, so I'm not sure exactly how to answer this question either. I can only say that this story will have the humor, emotion and super sexy chemistry that I try to invoke in my other stories, regardless of genre.

3.  Why do you write what you do?

* There's a tendency for people to roll their eyes or say "Someday you'll write real books won't you?" whenever you say you write romance. I always laugh and say..."Why on earth would I want to write anything but romance? I LOVE love stories. And when love stories end badly, I get grumpy and unhappy. So any normal literary fiction that has a love story which ends badly, off you go from my reading list! I think most people underestimate what goes into a romance novel. Here's a basic list of things we have to achieve:

- Believable settings and accuracy (whether it be historical or just plain accurate). Readers hate seeing things that are incorrect and they pretty much crucify romance writers for getting details wrong. What can I say, our readers are usually intelligent women and the occasional man who really expect quality work. Just because there's sex in our books, doesn't mean we get away with inaccuracy.
-Emotion! We can't get away with writing esoteric characters that have no depth emotionally. Think of any major famous literary masterpiece of the modern age and you'll see what I'm talking about. I don't identify with any hero or heroine from those books. The point of a novel should be to get people to relate, to picture themselves in a situation and escape their own lives by reading your book. If you don't have deep point of view and emotion, no one is going to care about your characters. Why would I ever want to read about someone who has nothing in common with me or at the least isn't written in a way I could understand about him or him even if they are incredibly different from me. Reading should be about learning and understanding. Cold, distant characters leave me edgy and angry at the writer, so I could never want to write something that would leave my readers feeling the same way.

*A sidenote: I tend to write in every subgenre of romance except for insprirational and that's only because I like writing sex scenes too much to give them up to write inspirtational. I think as an author I should not have to be pigeonholed into any one particular subgenre. Whether it's the last human in the universe falling for a humanoid cyborg, or for a merry band of rogues running about Regency London, I'm in and can't wait to share the story in my head.

4. How does your writing process work?

* I never know how to answer this. I feel like I should say "1 cup determination, 1/2 tablespoon of character arc and 1 bag of "just write whatever comes out". HAHA. But seriously, writing is not a recipe in a cook book. It's different for each writer. I start out my mornings with excercise at 5am, shower, get dressed then eat my breakfast and work on editing something until it's time for work. Then I go to work for 8 hours sometimes more. Then I come home, knock out another three hours of writing/editing or whatever else writing wise I need to do. I spend my weekends reading research books on topics I need to get familiar with and do more writing. It's a never-ending process but it has its rewards and its joys. The real secret is: you have to love writing enough to learn to do it anywhere and anytime. I managed to edit and write 7,000 words in 3 days while on vacation and also incredibly sick from a horrible horrible cold. Talk abaout devotion to the craft! And weirdly some of my best work came from the depths of my cold-medicated haze.

Well that's all folks!

I hope you enjoyed the insight into a romance writer's brain and had a good time. I'll leave you with a parting quote from Ashton Lennox, the friend of my hero, Godric, in Wicked Designs, available January 7, 2014. He's explaining to Emily the heroine, why Godric stormed off and left her after she kissed him with all of her heart and tried to express her love without words.  This right here is why I write romance. If more people focused on love, the world would be better.

“If everyone kissed as you do, men would never leave their lovers to go to war, fathers would never beat their children, and wives would never worry about unfaithful husbands because there wouldn’t be any. More of us should kiss with our hearts. No matter what someone tells you, remember this: what you’ve shown in your kiss is priceless.”

I tag:  Ella Quinn
Amanda Pereira
Sandra Owens

Why do you read or write romance?


  1. Brilliant Q&A Lauren! And it is true - you do have such a devotion to the craft, I have seen you write in hallways, in moving cars, and even in a cold Michigan park when it was supposed to be a warm spring day. I always look forward to what you've come up with because I know I'll be in for a ride!

  2. Oh my, Lauren, I don't know how you do so many things at once. I've tried, but I can only focus on one thing at a time. Happily, that works for me.
    I'm so glad you're writing an Edwardian story. My current WIP is Edwardian. I just started it and am beginning chapter six. That's such a wonderful era to write in, too. Modern, without being contemporary, if you know what I mean.
    Good luck on all your projects!

  3. Very nice, Lauren. As far as the "real books" goes, if the skeptics had any idea what goes into writing a romance, they'd eat their words!

  4. I've only had one person attempt to denigrate romance around me. She got a quick education on how much work goes into an historical romance and the number of advanced degrees most of us have. Tweeted and shared.

  5. Lauren, I'm always fascinated by other writer's process. Unless I get edits in the middle of a work in progress, I can only work on one story at a time. Thanks for tagging me. :-) Tweeted and shared.

  6. Everyone likes romance...they just may not know it yet. Boy do they have a lot of fun coming their way!

  7. My 12-yr-old neighbor beta-read my first YA, a paranormal adventure with elements of sweet romance. Her opinion? "I really liked the romance." Very enjoyable interview, Lauren!