Day 30 Patricia Rice – Love Makes the World Better

Patricia Rice Rice_RiskofFireAndMagic800x1200Love Rocks

Celebrating romance is a lovely idea, but “romance” is in the eye of the beholder, or perhaps in the definition of the person reading it. Although I write genre romance, I have never claimed to be a romantic. I am, after all, a pragmatic accountant. Candy and flowers and sappy movies may be romantic, but my practical nature prefers a good dinner, a rose bush, and a book, thank you very much.

But love stories have been my reading material for as long as I can remember. I’m quite convinced Dick and Jane had a relationship when they grew up. Gloomy Jane Eyre found love at the end, even if her happy-ever-after was besmirched by more misfortune. None of the Brontes’ tragic stories were romances, but they certainly contained love stories, however tormented, and I scarfed them up. I kept reading Nancy Drew hoping she and the Hardy Boys would get together, because it just made sense.

Perhaps that’s at the core of my love of romantic stories—I believe the right people ought to be together because they can help each other face the world, because life is so much more fun when you share it, and two heads are almost always better than one. Heaven only knows, I’d only be a half-wit without my other half. My love of romance has very little to do with cards and flowers and sappy sentimentality and everything to do with people—all people—opening their hearts to let others in.

I would rather say I celebrate love because that’s a universal, glorious emotion that can be shared by parents and children, pets, friends, and magic mannature… We can love and benefit from love, no matter what the form.

Love in its truest incarnation wants the loved one to be happy, to grow, improve, and be all they can be. A parent may love a child as a part of themselves, but it takes true love for the parent to discipline the child and to let them fly free when they’re ready. Parental love certainly can’t be considered romance, but that kind of unselfish love is the basis of every romance I’ve ever written. Couples in a relationship should want the same thing for each other—that they be happy. And the relationship should provide the kind of support that allows each partner to spread their wings. While romantic words might be in character for some, they’re not the core of romance, love is.

Looked at from the broader perspective, love can only make the world better. If we all learned to love one another, we could end hatred and war and maybe even world hunger. So let’s celebrate love in all its forms!

Recommendations:

There are so very many authors I would love to recommend! If I limit myself to romance, I’ll suggest one well-established author who isn’t in the traditional romance community—Jill Mansell. Her very British contemporary comedies are the kind of love stories that I adore. And an author who isn’t exactly new to the business but has re-invented herself with her indie-pubbed contemporary sports romance—Mindy Klasky.


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

Daring and adventurous: zip-lining over jungle, river, and canyon in Mexico. Or maybe instead of daring, it was just stupid, because we knew darned well there were no regulations monitoring all those wires and cables, and we watched people get stuck hanging over the river. But we did it anyway. And now we don’t have to do it again!

Inspiring: having children. You just can’t beat holding that baby in your arms and knowing you will be responsible for the kind of person s/he will become. Awe-inspiring.

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 knew from the moment I first held a fat pencil in my grubby little hand that I would write. I filled notebooks at the age of nine. By twelve, I had a typewriter, taught myself to type, and wrote entire books. I had stories to tell. I filled pages of teen angst into diaries and murdered people I didn’t like in Nancy Drew-style mysteries. But I also knew that writers starved in garrets, and that I wasn’t fond of going without food. So I went to school to become a journalist and learned that introverts make very bad journalists. At which point, I became an accountant and sold my first book the first week I took a job as a CPA.

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

This is a really tough question. Reading Pride and Prejudice in fourth grade taught me the wonders of romance. Reading Catch 22 in college and grasping the awesome concepts hidden in the crazy action caused me to write an essay that had my English professor encouraging me to write more. As a shy kid, that encouragement helped me to keep writing, even though circumstances were stacked against me. And reading The Flame and the Flower a decade later gave me a direction for all my research and love of romance. So, no, I can’t list just one book, sorry!

Patricia is generously giving away one trade-size print edition of  The Risk of Love and Magic, her latest contemporary romance, and one copy of Magic Man to U.S. readers (one book each to two separate winners, entry below) and a digital copy of the same book to an international winner (enter here).


riceWith several million books in print and New York Times and USA Today’s lists under her belt, former CPA Patricia Rice is one of romance’s hottest authors. Her emotionally-charged romances have won numerous awards and been honored as RITA® finalists in the historical, regency and contemporary categories. She is thrilled to be expanding into mystery and urban fantasy.

 

 

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  • Laurie W G

    I have not read an of Jill Manzell’s books. I will look for them. I saw the movie and read Joseph Heller’s CATCH 22. I was not a fan.

  • Patty Vasquez

    This is funny, because it’s true in my marriage, as well: “… I’d only be a half-wit without my other half.” My husband is the logical half who can add and subtract numbers in his head. I can spell. 😉

  • Heather Prince

    While I claim my husband it’s very romantic, he really is. He does things for me without asking or because he knows I’ve had a bad day. He give great gifts that I love and he makes me laugh. I guess romance is truly in the eye of the beholder.

  • Patricia Rice

    A husband who understands is the most romantic creature on earth! And Patty, I think a lot of us have spouses who balance us. We’re the lucky ones. Laurie, I think you have to read Catch 22 at a certain time in your life to grasp the impact. I read it during the Vietnam War, and it made painful horrible sense. But romance, it is not!

  • Mary Jo Putney

    Jill Mansell is a terrific writer, with that wonderful wry, British way about her. CATCH-22 was definitely part of the zeitgeist and I guess I’m glad I read it, but it sure didn’t make it on to my keeper shelf! But I’ll definitely go with Pat that a good dinner beats a box of candy!

  • TrishJ

    I love being half of the whole. We compliment each other and balance out the rest. This blog is sending me to do many new author. I love that!!!

  • Theresa Fischer

    I totally agree with your take on love. I have read all of your books and enjoyed them tremendously! I can’t wait to read Risk of Love and Magic!!

    • Patricia Rice

      thank you!

  • Dawna Coniglio

    My husband and I say nobody else would be able to put up with our idiosyncrasies. We are perfect for each other 🙂

  • Martha B

    Oh, I love the phrase from the sentence (above) …”that the right people should be together because they can help each other face the world”…

    That’s what I love about being married. My husband helps me face “the world”. We are each other’s safe harbor — somebody who has my back and my best interests at heart.

    • Patricia Rice

      You get it, Martha! I only wish everyone could.

  • Sheila M

    Thanks for taking the time to add your thoughts!

  • Geraldine Pierson

    I am tying to help my husband of 44 years cope with prostate cancer. I retired first 14 years ago because of medical problems and them 3 years ago he was retired. We did everything together but on Monday and Tuesday when I babysit for our daughter. I watch her two youngest Grace 7 years old and Thomas 2 years old. He has not popped back to his normal self from this surgery that was about 2 years ago. He went into a depression and was withdrawn from me. I got him into reading and now he likes to read romances. I do not know if he will ever get back to normal but I will stand with him but it is hard when he is still withdrawn. You are a new author for me and I cannot wait to read one of your books..

    • Patricia Rice

      Oh, bless you, Geraldine! Dealing with a loved one’s illness is one of the tougher parts of our lives. I suspect it changes both the patient and the caretaker. I hope you continue talking and sharing and build an even stronger future!

  • Emmel

    I think the impressive thing about your start in reading romance is that you read P&P at the age of ten!!

    • Patricia Rice

      LOL! Desperate times–I read whatever I got my hands on.

  • Ellen

    Thanks for sharing today. Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books.

  • Debbie Fuller

    I love your books and they ARE on my keeper shelf. You are right, I read because of the love not just the romance. Maybe we should rename the genre.

    • Patricia Rice

      Thank you, ma’am! If we called them “love stories,” would we be starting a new genre?

  • Erica H

    Great post! Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Sharon Forbes

    I enjoyed reading your post. I agree with your outlook on romance, and I wish more of us could just learn to get along with one another, if not love each other. Romance novels have often reminded me to cherish what I have and who I have in my life. I am truely blessed, I know. Now, to get aquainted with your books, which, sad to say, I haven’t yet, but I will! Thanks to you, and all the authors out there for writing what you have, to give us readers so many hours of pleasure! 🙂

    • Patricia Rice

      Glad you see the world through my rose-colored glasses. Hope you enjoy whichever books you try.

  • LisaVH

    I think Nancy Drew should have married a Hardy Boy, absolutely!

  • M Kuxhaus

    I’ve always thought zip-lining might be fun, but I’ve never been in a place to try it. Maybe someday I’ll search it out.

    • Patricia Rice

      Zip-lining is spreading across the US. I know they were setting up a park in St Louis just before we moved. Keep an eye out!

  • Anna

    I agree, life and the world are more fun when they’re shared, whether it’s with a romantic partner, a friend, or a child.

  • Joan Varner

    I agree that it is love that is the basis not only for romance but for all relationships. Thank you for your post.

  • Pamby50

    Love is the answer to so much. Never felt driven to reach Catch 22 more than once but The Flame & The Flower, several times.

  • Meredith Richeson Hillenbrand

    I love that you said that couples in a relationship should want each other to be happy and support each other to spread their wings! That is what I have taught my daughter, among other things. She isn’t a sappy romantic either!

    • Patricia Rice

      your daughter is extremely lucky to have a mother who understands!

      • Meredith Richeson Hillenbrand

        Thanks! And thanks for replying to my comment when you are so busy!

  • WinnieP

    I have several of your earlier Magic books, but I missed getting these two. I love to win either. Thank you for the chance to win.

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    I agree that Jill Mansell is a terrific writer. I somehow ended up with one of her books & couldn’t put it down. I thought I was the only one who wanted Nancy Drew to hook up with the Hardy Boys. I enjoyed your post. Thank you!

  • Janie McGaugh

    Great post! I agree that it’s really about the love instead of the romance.

  • Stephanie M.

    I am new to your books and look forward to reading them. Thank you for the recommendations.

  • mariannewestrich

    I am so glad that I’m not the only one that thought Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys should get together!!! 😎

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I’ve only read a few of your books, but looks like I’ll be checking out your backlist and reading them all 🙂 I love your words, “Love in its truest incarnation wants the loved one to be happy, to grow, improve, and be all they can be.” I think the happiest and healthiest relationships–whether parent/child, romantic partnership, etc all stem from the understanding that people grow and change. You need to nurture relationships just like you nurture plants, babies, and pets in order for them to grow and flourish. It is an amazing feeling to find someone in your life to share that kind of relationship with and I have been blessed to have that relationship with my parents as well as my husband. I thank you for you amazing essay and I can’t wait to dig into more of your books!

    • Patricia Rice

      Thank you, Courtney, and it sounds as if you have healthy relationships because you understand they work both ways!

  • Kim

    There’s so many varied backgrounds on all the writers that participated this month. It’s interesting to read about each of your pathways to writing,

  • Glenda

    I do love your books Patricia! I have to agree that the longer lasting things are more meaningful than flowers. As for the candy, well it sort of depends on what kind of candy. . . . . 🙂

  • rebecca moe

    Why didn’t Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys come together? I mean, really–they totally missed the boat on that one!

    Thanks for posting 🙂

  • Erin F

    thank you for such a great post! I remember as a teen fantasizing all the HEAs past the ending 😉 So this totally fits me too. Thanks for sharing!

  • Fern Martin

    Years ago, a friend and I would take turns buying your books when they came out. We both were stay at home moms with young kids with a short supply of funds for our books. Since then, our kids are grown and we both have our own copies of your books when they come out. Good friends, good books and good conversations. What could be better!