Day 11 Lucy Monroe – The Transformative Power of Romance

Romance…Celebrate the Power

Worse than being asked (on more occasions than I’d like to remember) when I’m going to write a real book, worse than being told I was wasting my talent on throwaway books, even worse than being asked why romance of all things, I’ll never forget a fellow romance author calling our genre chocolate box fiction.

I was appalled. She wasn’t proud of the industry that had provided a lucrative lifestyle for her, nor did she approve of the Lucy Monroedirection our genre had taken.

I’ve been told romance is pure entertainment, the panacea for stress-filled lives. And what’s wrong with that? Nothing, but because of my own experiences, I can’t help asking if that’s all it is?

Romance…is it chocolate box fiction or a genre so powerful, it can change lives?

If you know anything about me at all, you know I can only answer that question one way. I believe that romance fiction is bigger than entertainment, though it undoubtedly is entertainment. It is more than a few hours of stress relief, though there’s no denying it provides that service very well.

The romance genre is, in truth, an entity so powerful, so big that it changes lives…the lives of its readers and the lives of the authors who currently do or seek to make their living writing it.

My first brush with the life-altering power of romance was as a young reader. I used to sneak into my older sister’s stash of Harlequins and I read them all. I was a voracious reader, so I was also devouring my entire school’s library from A to Z and checking out as many books from the public library as I could manage.

But none of the other fiction or nonfiction I read fed me the way romance did. Romance novels told me love could conquer all. Between the covers of those old Harlequins I found very different men than my own father. Men who didn’t hurt their families, cheat on their wives or abandon their children. And somewhere deep inside, I decided I didn’t have to share my mom’s taste in “fixer-uppers” – that somewhere out there was a man who would make a darn good hero in my own life.

Because of that overriding belief, I didn’t settle. I didn’t stay in the relationships that didn’t work and I didn’t give up when the one I loved broke my heart. Did I meet my hero? Yep. We’ve been married and in love for over 25 years and he’s still amazing!

The transformative power of romance did not stop there, though. Because you see, I decided to write the books I loved reading so much. And that changed my life too. Well before I published, the discovery of like-minded individuals enriched my life. I found a fellowship among romance readers and authors that continues to bless and surprise me. Publishing opened up that world in a whole new way. I consider my readers as much a part of my life as the books I write that connect them to me.

My editors call me an issues writer and my stories have dealt with things like domestic violence, women’s health issues that are often swept under the rug, sexual dysfunction, family dynamics as they are in today’s world, and other issues close to my heart. I’ve received hundreds of reader letters/emails in the past decade and a good half are from readers who no longer feel alone in their own challenges because of my books. But I am far from unique.

I’ve never spoken to another romance author who hasn’t gotten similar letters in one form or another. Perhaps it’s the reader who made it through a hard time because of that author’s books, or the reader who identified with the main character(s), or maybe the reader who just needed to remember that there was still good in the world.

Romance is elemental. It’s unique. It’s special. And it’s important.

So, why not celebrate its power to transform lives?

I’d love to hear from you. Has reading (or writing) romance helped you through a hard time, made you feel less alone, or opened up a world that was previously closed to you? Share your stories and become part of the celebration!


This list could be longer than the post, so I’m going to limit myself to three. They aren’t necessarily my three top favorites, just three authors I think you should try. Because I have A LOT of TOP favorites. 🙂

Jami Davenport because she writes fun and sexy sports heroes, Adrianne Lee because she writes amazing emotion, Amy Lane because she writes really intelligent gay romance.

Questions for the Author:

Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.

My mom raised us to see life as a series of adventures and challenges to overcome. She encouraged us to always look in the face of our adversary and step forward, never back. While I’ve never climbed Mt. Everest or gone hiking alone in the desert, I did step right up to the “shoot to kill” zone at the border between East and West Germany (before the fall of the Berlin Wall) and gave my German hostess a near heart attack. My baby sister and climbed over the rails at a lookout point at the Grand Canyon to stand on the furthest edge. (Mom wasn’t so pleased by the results of her teaching at that moment, if her screams were any indication.) I got my MBA when there were a total of 7 women in the entire program and the glass ceiling was a foot-thick and bullet-proof. I stayed home with my children when too many thought I was wasting my education and letting down fellow women to do so. I followed my dream to be a romance writer though it took me 9 years and 13 finished novels with a mound of rejections before selling my first one. But probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done was to fall in love with, give my trust to, and marry my husband after what I’d seen of marriage and love.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)

I wanted to be so many things as a child and then later as an adult, but being an author? That wasn’t on my radar. It never occurred to me that I could write the books I loved to read and I had no desire to pen the next great piece of Literary Fiction. Then I was having a conversation with God in the bathtub and He said, “Write a book.” At first, I assumed it was supposed to be nonfiction, inspirational…something meaningful. After all, God has led me here, right? It took me a while to realize that I could be and had been called to write steamy romance that didn’t make any pretense at naivete. It wasn’t an easy path and I’ve learned to deal with being misunderstood, questioned and judged, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Those early rejections taught me not to take my career for granted. Fighting through what I was supposed to be writing has given me a rock solid certainty about what I do write now. And my kids know that if I could do it, they can do anything so long as they don’t give up.

Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

Books are a game changer and anyone who doesn’t realize that, hasn’t been impacted by their power. I’ve had so many books change my life, my outlook. Jayne Ann Krentz’ Eclipse Bay trilogy solidified my need to be a romance author and make other people feel the way she had made me feel reading her books. Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place made me want to be a better person. Lori Foster’s Say No to Joe? made me want to be a better parent. Lora Leigh’s Breed series made me want to be a more creative writer. Every single book I’ve read by Christine Feehan has impacted me in some profound way.

Lucy Monroe is generously giving away 3 copies of Sheikh’s Scandal (Launch book for Harlequin Presents The Chatsfield miniseries) to U.S. readers (entry form below) and 2 copies to international readers (enter here).

Lucy-MonroeWith more than 7 million copies of her books in print worldwide, award winning and USA Today bestseller Lucy Monroe has published over 60 books and had her stories translated for sale all over the world. Her books are sexy, deeply emotional and adhere to the concept that love will conquer all. She’s looking forward to the 2015 spring launch of her newest series Northern Fire, set in a small quirky town in Alaska. A passionate devotee of romance, she adores sharing her love for the genre with her readers.


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