Day 7 CB Pratt – Reliving The Thrill

Why Romance?

Everyone has some romantic involvement in their lives. It may be a miserably unrealized longing, a mutually satisfying relationship, or a flirtation which may or may not lead to more. It is delightful to feel desired or to desire another, to feel thatkissed_by starlight thrill, to know that to one special person you are the most beautiful, the most eagerly yearned for person that ever lived. But like most ‘thrills’, it is transitory – here today, fading out tomorrow. You may love someone devotedly and happily, but the thrill fades, stifled under a burden of reality. It can be resurrected, of course, on a holiday or a date night…yet once again, reality creeps in.

In a romance novel, that thrill remains, sharp and fluttering as when we first met with it. People sneer and say ‘those books aren’t true to life!’ Well, they are – maybe not the high drama or the hairs-breadth escapes – if you acknowledge that the thrill the books depict is very real.

Besides, reality isn’t actually the point. Reality is the thing that smothers the romance. Romance novels are a way to fight back against deadlines, stress, and the ever-present phone. Romance readers know and love the escape factor in our books. They’re not fooled by the trappings, the fancy dress, or the situations into thinking this is how life ought to be and anyone who thinks they are is seriously underestimating the readership. We give them back the memory of being the most desirable woman in the world, whether the pursuer or the pursued, through these books and who doesn’t want that?

This is why romance continues to thrive some 40 years after it got a new start in the 1980’s. It’s why I wrote 25 separate titles. I enjoyed exploring the facets of passion and how it could change subtly into something less transitory. Building that fantasy was some of the most satisfying writing I’ve ever done.

More and more I find that the elements of romance seep into other genres. You can hardly pick up an urban fantasy, a mystery, or a steampunk book without finding a couple at the core. Sometimes it takes several titles to bring them together; sometimes they don’t come together at all (disappointing!). Audiences turn movies into romances even when the filmmaker had no intention of making a love-story. It is a natural human urge to want others to pair off and to see that developing even in the most hard-core futuristic ‘buddy’ film. It’s like how people see faces in clouds. Our minds look for patterns and pairing is a very basic pattern.

It will be very interesting to see how romance continues to change and grow to meet the expectations and interests of the next generation. I think it isn’t going away…because as long as the thrill exists, humans will want to find it, feel it, and, above all, remember it. The best way to do that is to read a romance.

Recommendations:

I’m an eclectic reader, and I wanted to include various kinds of reads in my rec’s, so I’m giving you a list:

Hybrid Authors   Kelly McClymer and Donna Fasano

Authors of Color    Sandra Kitt and Shirley Hailstock

Foreign Authors/Indie   Demelza Carlton and  Jackie Weger

Enjoy!


Questions for the Author:

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

I think it must have been having a baby. No, really. I had zero experience with infants, never even baby-sat one, but my husband and I took that leap. No one is ever really prepared for that reality. There’s nothing I wouldn’t dare for her and every day she brought me a new adventure. She says I inspire her but that’s just payback for all the times she inspired me to get out of my writer’s cave and be involved in her life.

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?)

The one thing I had going for me is that my maternal grandfather had made his living for years as a writer, books, short stories, even television and movies. So nobody ever said ‘you can’t make a living doing that!’ because he had. For the rest, everyone knew I was going to be a writer way before I did. But once I started writing, I was hooked! To be free to create worlds and people is thrilling enough but when you sell that first book, there’s no going back.

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

Like most writers, it would be terribly difficult to pinpoint just one. For me, it may have been a Little Golden Book as I started reading early. Many of the books I read when I was young swept me away to magical places and immersed me completely in that world. The sensation of feeling like you are living in a book is harder to capture now, but I had it often early on, to the point where I’d skip school sooner than give up that other existence. One of my favorites was a book called ‘Perilous Gard’ by Elizabeth Marie Pope. It had everything, a plucky heroine (slightly sullen and gawky), magical elements, and a solid hero. I read and re-read that obsessively and I find elements of it creeping to my work even to this day.

CB is generously offering one set of her Magical Love Trilogy in paper, w/a Lynn Bailey to one lucky U.S. reader (apologies to international friends.) Entry form below. Titles include:  Flowers by Moonlight, Kissed by Starlight and Magic by Daylight.


cb prattC.B. Pratt has lived all over the United States, including California, New York and many stops in between. Having been a professional writer for over twenty years, she is ill-suited to any normal work and hopes to continue writing for the rest of her life. Independent publishing has allowed her to write the things she has always wanted to, including fantasy and steampunk. She is the author of numerous traditionally published books, as well as the Eno the Thracian fantasy-adventure series. RIVERS OF SAND will be released late summer, 2014.

 

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  • angryreader

    I have not been familiar with your books before reading this blog. I look forward to becoming a new fan.

    • Cynthia Pratt

      I hope you like them. I’ve written across several sub-genres — from Regency to Paranormal. Something for everyone!

  • Sue G.

    Having kids is a real adventure, isn’t it? I have 3 daughters, 21, 19 and 17. Talk about the hormones!

    • Cynthia Pratt

      Mine’s 21…just graduated college. Am I proud? You bet! Am I terrified! Heck yeah!

      • Sue G.

        Lucky you! 21 yr old is in Pharmacy – 6 yr program. 19 year old is in Engineering – 5 yr program. 17 yr old hasn’t decided yet. Hubby and I keep saying we will be broke for a few years but once they are out of school we will be living the high life! 🙂

  • Karin Anderson

    You have added significantly to my TBR pile…

  • Patty Vasquez

    “Reality is the thing that smothers the romance. Romance novels are a way to fight back against deadlines, stress, and the ever-present phone.” This is so true. At a point in my life when all my realities were slowly sucking the happiness out of my daily life (or so it seemed to me), I decided to pick up a novel and escape. I think the first one was a LaVyrle Spencer. Then it was a Kathleen Eagle. Next, was Nora Roberts. Finding romance and hope in books helped me find a measure of it in my own reality, too.

    I will also be checking out your books; fantasy and steampunk are one of my favorite genres!

  • donnafaz

    Cynthia, thank you so much for the shout out, girlfriend!

  • Pam

    One of the things I have so enjoyed about RARM is learning about new authors. I recently read my first steampunk novel and enjoyed it. Looking forward to reading one of yours!

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    I have been reading romance novels since the early 70’s – although I’m not trying to age myself. They are my escape from demands & stress I often deal with each day. Most of them are better written than “REAL” fiction books. Thank you for your post.

  • Marcy Shuler

    You’re a new author to me, but I just looked into your Magical Love books and they sound fascinating. Thanks for participating in RARM.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I have loved reading Romance for years and even though I try to branch out and read other genres from time to time, I always come back to romance. It is a great escape from the mundane aspects of daily life and whether it’s a regency, fantasy, suspense, or even YA, it always hits the spot. I can’t wait to check out your books and I agree that your Magical Love books sound great! Thanks for all you do and great essay here today.

  • Brittany Hill

    I really enjoy romance books. I love working hard all day to go back to the book at night to see if the characters figured out their problems. Every once in a while i need to go to a different genre to remember why i love romance so much.

  • Emmel

    So with you on The Perilous Gard!! I too read it over and over as a young teen. I also loved The Sherwood Ring by Pope. And now I’ve passed those on to my own daughter….

  • Pamby50

    I’ll have to give your foreign authors a try. I’ve read the rest. Love all kinds of romance. I can’t see it going away.

  • PEGGY ALLEN

    This looks great

  • M Kuxhaus

    I love your choice for most daring/inspiring/adventurous undertaking!

  • donnas

    Great post. It really is a lasting but ever changing genre that has inspired more than people think

  • Joan Varner

    I am a die-hard romance fan and I know many, many other readers who are, too. The genre has grown by leaps and bounds with all of the sub-genres now which is to be expected and enjoyed. Thank you for your post.

  • Glenda

    I have to agree that romance has evolve as society has changed. There is something for everyone! Thanks for a great post.

  • Jen C

    I think those who criticize romance haven’t seen the range and understand it is so varied. Yes, there’s usually a HEA. Reality can be so full of unhappiness, why not have a little happiness from a book?!

  • rebecca moe

    Absolutely! I don’t read books for more realism–that’s what life is for. I need guaranteed HEAs in my reading, otherwise why bother? And you’re right, it seems like romance is sneaking in to everything these days–we’re trendsetters, no matter what those killjoys say 🙂

  • Ann Mettert

    Liked your post.

  • Stephanie M.

    Thank you for your article. I’m not sure what a “Hybrid Author” is, but interested to find out.

  • Glenda

    It is a wonderful thing that romance novels have evolved with society. The genre now has a sub genre for pretty much everyone. Thanks for a great post.

  • Sheila M

    Romance is judged by a different standard by people…I don’t see people demanding reality from any other genre. What they really mean is that they want negative, sad depictions of life. Romance is optimistic!

  • librarypat

    I worked at a small county library. Of the 6 employees, I was the “only” one who read romance. The others were less than kind about it, telling me I should be reading some good books. Funny thing was, they were all reading romance books. Two of them were big fans of romantic suspense authors. Another read paranormal and urban fantasy books, which are primarily romance books. The image of the romance being a book with a bodice ripper cover and a poorly written story about not much more than sex just won’t go away.
    I wish more people would discover the enjoyment of finding these stories of people who face their struggles, deal with life,and find their HEA. There are many well written ones out there. Yes, there are some poorly written romances out there, but that is true of any genre one reads. Find the good authors and settle in to read not just a romance, but a good book.

  • Anne

    Thank you for your essay! When I want reality, I just close my book.

  • Judy Goodnight

    Reality is seriously overrated. 🙂