Day 13 Jane Porter – Happy in Life, Happy with Romance

 Romance – A Many Splendored Thing

Having being a teacher, I read and taught literary fiction, and studied the classics all the way through graduate school, but by the end of my 20’s, I didn’t want to read the classics anymore, or literary fiction that was dark, and focused on loss:  loss of self, loss of society, loss of hope.  I’d experienced a great deal of loss in my life, and the dark, heartbreaking subject matter wasn’t good for me emotionally, or spiritually.

The Good WifeI used to worry about being perceived as an intellectual lightweight for preferring romance, and warm, optimistic commercial fiction, but I know what I need:  hope, light, faith and courage.  But I don’t worry about how people perceive me anymore.  I don’t want about other people judging me.  This is my life now.  I like me.  I love me.  It took a whole lifetime—forty-some years—to love me and so now I read what I like to read, and that’s romance because its thrilling, and encouraging, and a great romance makes me feel just well…good.

But writing romance isn’t easy.  I far prefer reading a great romance to writing one because I want my readers to feel the way I feel when I’m reading a great book—transported.

Have you ever watched a movie, or listened to a piece of music and you laugh or cry, and you are so alive in that moment?  That is how I want my readers to feel…engaged, connected, alive.  A great story can make life even more beautiful and memorable.  Stories are metaphors for life, and a well done romance is like holding a crystal to sunlight and watching the light catch and throw prisms of color everywhere.

A great story comforts and entertains, and the happy ending reminds us that we do deserve more…we deserve everything.  Joy. Acceptance.  Hope. True love.

Romance novels are not just one thing, either.  There is so much variety in the genre, so many different ways to tell an incredible story.  But in almost every story there is the rollercoaster ride of emotion and hope, heartbreak and disappointment, with yet another crazy loop of longing and pain, before finding a resolution based on compromise, understanding, sacrifice and love.

But that’s life.  Life has challenges and struggles and its messy and demanding.  Love is messy and demanding, and once we can accept the messy and demanding part, we can make peace with it.  Make peace with ourselves.  Make peace with the people we love.

Recommendations:

I was a reader long before I became a writer and nothing thrills me more than finding a new-to-me author who captures my imagination and makes me fall in love.  I have several favorites lining my shelves, great authors like Georgette Heyer, Mary Balogh, Lorraine Heath, Loretta Chase, Kresley Cole, JR Ward, to name just a few.

Also on my bookshelves are a couple of my new favorites whom I discovered earlier this year – Kristen Ashley, who writes awesome motorcycle riding alpha heroes, and Jamie Maguire who single-handedly led me to tumble head over heels in love with the New Adult genre.  Wow.  Just wow!  Next time you’re looking for a great read, try one by some of my favorites.  I promise you, you’ll fall in love with romance all over again!


 Questions for Jane:

What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?

I don’t know if I have anything crazy or ugly, but I do have a lot of rocks, and painted rocks that my boys painted for me over the years.  As a mom of three boys I have certainly been given a lot of rocks, and they line my bookshelves, jostling for space with photos and books.

 If there was a movie made about your life, what would it be called? (And just for fun, who would play you?)

Hmm….the movie would be called A Little Bit Crazy and maybe Sandra Bullock could play me.  She’s so funny and fierce and she’s German, and I’ve got a ton of German DNA….

What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?

I love it when someone makes something for me, and my husband’s mom made a quilt for me just before she died and it’s gorgeous and it’s her.  She’s still with us—keeping me warm, keeping me safe.  I cherish it, and the boy she made who is now making a life with me.

 

Jane is generously donating two U.S. reader prizes and one International reader prize.  U.S. winners will each receive a copy of the first two books in the
Brennan Sisters series, The Good Woman and The Good Daughter, along with some fun Jane Porter goodies. The International reader winner will receive a $20.00 gift card from Amazon (International readers enter here). U.S. readers, t
o enter, either leave a comment here or enter the weekly drawing on the contest page. Or both.  (Only one entry per commenter per post, though – multiple comments on one essay does not give you more chances.)  Comment entries must be posted by 11:59pm EST Aug 13 to be eligible, though winners will be announced the following week.

 


Bestselling author Jane Porter has been a finalist for the prestigious RITA award four times, has over 12 million copies in print . Jane’s novel, Flirting With Forty, picked by Redbook as its Red Hot Summer Read, went back for seven printings in six weeks before being made into a Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear. September 2012 brought the release of The Good Woman, the first of her Brennan Sisters trilogy, followed in February 2013 by The Good Daughter, and book three in the series, The Good Wife, is slotted for release in September. A mother of three sons, Jane holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and makes her home in sunny San Clemente, CA with her surfer husband.

 

Buy Jane’s Books on Amazon

  • lisa

    I happened to find A Good Woman in my local library. Some of Meg’s choices challenged me but I came to care for her and feel for her. That is some good writing. Can’t wait for the next Brennan sister story.

  • Patoct

    I have always enjoyed Jane’s books and have a few on my tbr.

  • Laurie W G

    What a journey you’ve had. I’m glad that you chose to write romances. They brighten my day! Best wishes to you and Ty and your sons. Hope your oldest loves college life.

  • Glenda

    “A great story comforts and entertains, and the happy ending reminds us
    that we do deserve more…we deserve everything. Joy. Acceptance. Hope.
    True love. ”

    So, so true!

  • Melanie Backus

    I love to lose myself in a good book.

  • Beverly DeeAnjello

    Thanks for the author recommendations. I love your books, but I am always looking for new books.

  • Jen C

    Great post. I enjoy following your facebook page. I have several quilts from my grandmother – one for my 6th birthday, one for high school graduation, and one that she made for my daughter just before she passed away.

  • Nancy Huddleston

    I love going through the rollercoaster ride of emotion with a good book.

  • Britney Adams

    “Stories are metaphors for life, and a well done romance is like holding a crystal to sunlight and watching the light catch and throw prisms of color everywhere.” Wow! I love this essay and can’t wait to start reading Jane Porter. Thank you for the introduction!

  • Sandi in OH

    My husband’s grandmother gave us a quilt she made as a wedding gift 45 years ago. It won Best of Show at the county fair. She kept the ribbon, we kept the quilt.

  • Nicole Fortuna

    I used to read every book people recommended to me for fear they would think me less than smart if I told them that I prefered romance. Now I tell anyone that asks that I prefer romance over literature. I’m a lot happier now that I don’t read dark books anymore.

  • Wanda B

    I love your books. I’m a romance reader as well. I have rarely read the classics. I’m happiest with romantic fiction in my hands.

    Wanda Barefoot
    flghtlss1(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • Kim Cornwell

    I just recently found out about your books. I love finding new authors! I hope I win! Thanks for your generosity and words of I encouragement.!

  • rebecca moe

    What a great post! I agree, loss is something we all have to face in life, I don’t want it in my fiction anymore.

  • suepeace

    (Not entering domestic contest!!) Jane, love your books and you have said everything about romance so well!!

  • Sue G.

    What a sweet comment about your mother-in-law and the quilt. Brought tears to my eyes!

    • Jane Porter

      She was a beautiful person, Sue. Inside and out. We still miss her so much. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Beth Re

    Very good post and I have also discovered that being in my 40’s I’m comfortable with who I am and that’s good. I agree who wants to dwell in the dark places.

  • M Kuxhaus

    I’m looking forward to trying some of the authors you mentioned!

  • Kareni

    I’ve read books by all of the favorite authors you mentioned. Now I’m looking forward to reading one of your books, Ms. Porter. Thanks for the post.

  • Stephanie M.

    I agree, we deserve everything, and romance gives it to us. I have not read your books, yet, but look forward to reading them. Some of the authors you mentioned are on my favorites list, the others are now on my reading list. Thank you.

  • Meredith Richardson

    Thank you so much for sharing that with us 🙂 I can’t wait to check out your novels!!

  • BookLady

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on romance. Mary Balogh, Kresley Cole, and J.R. Ward are some of my favorite romance authors too.

    • Jane Porter

      I guess that means we both have exceptional taste in reading! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read my post!

  • Pamby50

    I look forward to reading one of your books. I have started a list of authors and the picks they recommend to start with.

  • Ruth

    I, too, no longer care what anybody thinks because I read romance. Avidly. I have no intention or desire to change. I love it all – the struggle, the pain, the realization, the healing, the kissing, the intimacy, the hope, the love, the happily-ever-after. That’s not light-weight. That’s rich.

  • Melissa Cowling Terry

    Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading your books.

  • Marcy Shuler

    I love the variety in the romance genre. I can always find something wonderful to read no matter how I happen to feel any given day.

  • Flora Segura-Buchler

    Jane, I must tell you how much I enjoyed and related to your blog today. After I finished my university career: six years, two BA’s, one MA in foreign languages and literatures; I could have written the first two paragraphs of your blog post my self! But you said it so well, thank you for your insight.

  • Ketta Peters

    Lovely story about the quilt. I will always enjoy romances, but I do love my Kindle, no one can tell what I’m reading 😉

  • I really enjoyed this post. You are right to point out the many different sub-genres that exist within the romance genre. It’s a reason I enjoy it so much as well. I’m happy you’ve found ‘you’!

    • Jane Porter

      Thank you, Brooke! I’d love to know what you think of my books if you give them a try. 🙂

  • Sharlene Wegner

    I agree that a great story comforts and entertains & that the HEA is important!

  • Mary McCoy

    Variety and a happy ending go a long way towards an enjoyable romance read.

  • TrishJ

    I love a book that transports me to another world and I just get lost there. . I have even read a book, loved it so much, I immediately re-read it. Sometimes you just arent ready to say goodby.

    • Jane Porter

      Trish, I know that feeling. Sometimes it’s just so hard to let go! I don’t tend to re-read a lot but I have a special bookshelf just for books with characters I know I won’t forget.

  • tonda hargett

    Hi, Jane, I love your essay! And I know what you mean about the rocks and handmade gifts. I used to have a bookcase that covered most of one wall in my bedroom. I also had rocks, shells, and other things that my children made competing with pictures and books! lol

  • Vickie P

    Enjoy your blog and books!

  • Lorelei’s Lit Lair

    I’m glad you’re writing romance! Great blog!

    • Jane Porter

      Thank you, Lorelei. Glad you enjoyed reading it!

      • Lorelei’s Lit Lair

        Jane, if I had to read one of your books first, which one would you recommend? I’m a true romantic and love happy endings.I have a TBR pile a mile high but would love to add one of yours. My fave authors have been Kristan Higgins, Robyn Carr, just to name 2…

  • leah g

    This is the second time that I have found someone new to check out because your recommendations are two of my favorites. I figure it must mean you at least have good taste.

  • Adite Banerjie

    Wow, that’s so well said…”A great story can make life even more beautiful and memorable.”!!

  • Ann

    “A great story comforts and entertains,” Yes, it truly does!

  • Becky Rabalais

    Another author to add to my “must read” list. Thanks !

  • Kim

    I agree. It’s important to be happy with the books you are reading and romance makes me happy.

  • Cheryl Hastings

    Beautiful 🙂

  • Marcia Berbeza

    I read to escape from the ugliness I see in life. I dislike depressing books and refuse to read them. As a school librarian, I do have to make them available. Incredibly, I’m very honest with my kids and the books that I say I hate and would NEVER read, get checked out a lot! Kids actually make a habit of coming and asking for them. But, back to me. I stand by my decision, I think authors of books and TV series that kill everyone off in the end have taken the Shakespeare solution. And frankly, I think it shows a lack of imagination! Keep up the good work!

  • Eileen Wetterstrom

    Yes, we all deserve happy endings. Thanks for writing and giving so many of us the chance to live vicariously through your stories.

  • Kortney

    So lucky to have such great authors like Jane! Would love the opportunity to win a prize!!

  • Sandra Marlow

    So agree, Jane. I love all genres in romance. When I’m feeling down, I want a fun, lighthearted read; when I’m in a crazy, stressed mood, I want something way out there and paranormals always fit the bill; when things are going smooth, I can take on either romantic suspense or historical – I think you see what I mean. But I can read romance anywhere any time too!

    • Jane Porter

      Sandra, I love paranormals. Have you read Thea Harrison? If you haven’t tried her books, you must. You’ll be hooked!

  • Kyla Whitley

    I love the idea of rocks filling up your bookshelves. I keep all things made by my kids. I have a pillow on my bed that my son made back in middle school. Items made by our kids are pretty special regardless of what it is. Don’t you just love being a Mom? Thank you for sharing your books! 🙂

  • Marlene Egnel

    I just love Jane! She is such a talented writer who really knows how to connect with her readers.

  • Nova Conover

    I can imagine with 3 boys you would get gifts of rocks from them; love how you are using them to fill up your bookcases. Jane is such a wonderful soul, and i admire her so much!

  • Karin Anderson

    Homemade gifts are the best! In college, my group of friends decided to do something special for the others on Valentine’s Day separately. None of us knew the others had plans and it made the day so fun! One group got up early and made us all breakfast in the dorm kitchen. The guys made all the girls those folded fortune pinwheels and aluminum foil roses (with chocolate, of course). I got sparkling grape juice and had ordered a pizza. Thankfully our plans didn’t clash. 😀

    • Jane Porter

      Karin, I completely agree about homemade gifts. Your group of friends from college sound great! My eldest son just left for college and I hope he’ll have some awesome experiences and lasting friendships too. 🙂

  • Paula Pugh

    The gifts we receive are always so much more special when we can see the thought and love put into them. Reading romance novels is like this for me as I receive so much that touches my heart and causes me to ponder well after the last chapter is read. Those, too, are the books that linger ony bookshelf until they call at me to read them anew.

  • brhill2010

    I can see where you are coming about literally fiction that is dark. I still like to read a good murder mystery once in while but a while back I got caught in murder mystery and it made me a little dark. So I went to romance and that brought back life to me. I love how the story unfolds and it is gratifying when you are rooting for the hero and heroine to get together!!

  • Lisa Hutson

    I love reading good, human, rich romance. I love Jane Porter.
    lisakhutson(at)cox(net)