Day 31 Sherry Thomas – Beauty, Strength & Endless Possibilities

Romance and the Gaze of Kindness

Sherry Thomas mybeautifulenemyRomance, like any other branch of literature, is in the end all about the human condition. But unlike literary fiction, for example, which often defines itself by presenting an unflinching image of everything that is wrong, cowardly, and cruel, romance sets forth an equally unapologetic vision of everything that is right, brave, and kind.

I often talk about the courage inherent in romance, because happiness cannot be arrived at without the willingness to do the right thing, which is often a difficult thing to do and therefore requires all the valor the soul possesses. But I haven’t talked very much of the kindness that is the other wing of romantic happiness.

People are often hard on themselves. They see their imperfections through distorted lenses that magnify all mistakes and flaws to painful proportions. But romance, at heart, is all about the gaze of kindness, of being seen clearly, warts and all, yet still pronounced wonderful and worthy of the deepest love.

There is something spiritual about that gaze of kindness. It’s why people come away from meeting truly enlightened beings awed and transformed. Romance takes the essence of that and sets it in the every day realm. And by doing so, gives the protagonists—and the readers—a potently uplifting experience.

When we say characters are transformed by love, often what we mean is that they have been transformed by the gaze of kindness. Of being seen for the first time not as an assembly of blemishes and deficiencies, but as beauty, strength, and endless possibilities.

That’s why I cry and sigh and smile when I read the very best romance has to offer, because in those pages I encounter this deep, lovely kindness and its powerful effect. And that’s why romance should be celebrated not just this month, but every month of the year.


Snowfall by Mary Ann Rivers

The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan

The Breakup Doctor by Phoebe Fox

Questions for the Author:

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

Probably my year abroad as an exchange student when I was nineteen. My mother was opposed to the idea, so I financed the whole thing with my burning skyscholarship and my student-job savings. It was wonderful, I adored Aix-en-Provence, and I would love to have the opportunity to live overseas again for an extended period of time. Only five more years before my youngest leaves home for college!

2 – 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?)

It started with me, at age 23, throwing a bad romance against the wall and deciding I could write better. I couldn’t, not for many years. But there was a naivety that carried me through those years—plus, once I started, I discovered that I really enjoyed writing and there was nothing else I’d rather do.

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

Besides the book that met the wall and set me on my career?

I would say it is Susan Johnson’s Wicked. Susan Johnson was the last author I discovered by browsing the shelves on my own, and she came into my life at just the point when I was fiddling with the beginning of my first book.

Up until then, the historical romances I’d read all had some major adventure/murder mystery/political intrigue plot line. But Wicked, while set during war time, focuses almost exclusively on the romance. And it was a revelation to me that a romance could be carried by just the romance.

And I’ve never looked back.

Sherry is generously giving away one copy of her August release, My Beautiful Enemy, to U.S. readers (entry below) and another one of the same for international readers (enter here).

Sherry Thomas BioSherry Thomas is one of the most acclaimed romance authors working today—one of the first to be reviewed by the New York Times Book Review. Her books regularly receive starred reviews from trade publications and are frequently found on best-of-the-year lists. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

English is Sherry’s second language—she has come a long way from the days when she made her laborious way through Rosemary Roger’s Sweet Savage Love with an English-Chinese dictionary. She enjoys digging down to the emotional core of stories. And when she is not writing, she thinks about the zen and zaniness of her profession, plays computer games with her sons, and reads as many fabulous books as she can find.

Sherry also writes young adult fantasy. The Perilous Sea, volume two of the Elemental Trilogy, will be available fall 2014. You can find Sherry online at  (~Bobbi again – I also interviewed Sherry Thomas for Kirkus earlier this month. If you’d like to read that piece, you can find it here.)

Buy Sherry’s books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

a Rafflecopter giveaway