Anne Calhoun – Romance, Nourishing Joy

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.


Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo   |   RARM 2015 Calendar    |    RARM on Facebook

Finding Joy & Celebrating Romance

Straight up truth to start: 

512Wt-XOUPL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I looked up joy in the dictionary before I wrote this blog post. It’s not an emotion I feel often. Happiness, sure. Irritation, often. Satisfaction, equally often. Anger and shame and insecurity? Yup, yup and yup. But joy? Um….maybe?

But then I started to think about joy, what it is, when I’ve felt it. I realized two things. First, I almost never felt joy when I was doing or experiencing something where I was supposed to feel joy. True joy surprised me during the most mundane activities, like using a beaver puppet to make my son laugh during a long car trip. The second thing I realized, especially after my mother’s unexpected death back in March, is that joy is heightened, deepened, made sharper and more potent, after great sorrow. It reminds me of a quote from Kahlil Gibran: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be?

How else can it be?

And romance really, really celebrates this duality. Even in the funniest of romances (I’m the listlooking at you, Jill Shalvis, and you, too, Molly O’Keefe), there’s a moment of despair, a moment when the characters and the reader both think that all hope is lost. That black moment (or palest gray moment) is critical to the story arc because it’s true in life. Only by losing hope do we feel that incredible relief and yes, joy, when the characters find their way to each other, to love. 

Uniform happiness looks pretty, like the seaside and beaches and white picket fences of The Truman Show, but it’s not real. That’s why Truman longed for real, and real includes storms and battles, death and loss and disappointment. But without that contrast, the joy loses its poignancy and power.

As Gibran says, “And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.”

Look deep into your heart, and you’ll find joy filling the hollows carved by sorrow, and roots of sorrow nourishing your joy. Celebrate both. Celebrate romance.

Anne recommends:

Adriana Anders  – – is a debut author and has a fabulous Twitter presence. I’m really looking forward to her first series from Sourcebooks.

Kat Latham’s series about English rugby players is simply fabulous! (Kat did a RARM post here. Thanks Kat!)

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

Riding a bike around Oxford with my dad in May. I rediscovered the joy of bike riding last year when I bought an Electra Townie cruiser in a gorgeous shade of Persimmon. I named her Persie, and any day I can get in a ride is a joyous day.

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attachedsummervillebeachNS to a memory of joy.

The beaches in Nova Scotia. Sunshine, cool breezes, saltwater waves, and my son, laughing. Pure joy.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Deep wind chimes. Something about them resonates in my soul. Tinkling ones just sound eerie!

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

Tana French’s In The Woods and Likeness are two of the best books I’ve ever read. Alison Kent recommended her to me, and I bought In The Woods for my mom last year. The memory of those books is now connected to friendship, and sadness. Oddly enough, that makes me smile.

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

Chris Pine. Love those winter sky blue eyes!

Anne is generously giving away 3 paperbacks from her backlist to US readers (apologies to international friends).

IMG_7612. 300xpAfter doing time at Fortune 500 companies on both coasts, Anne landed in a flyover state, where she traded business casual for yoga pants and decided to write down all the lively story ideas that got her through years of monotonous corporate meetings. Her first book, LIBERATING LACEY won the EPIC Award for Best Contemporary Erotic Romance. Her story WHAT SHE NEEDS was chosen for Smart Bitch Sarah’s Sizzling Book Club. Anne holds a BA in History and English, and an MA in American Studies from Columbia University. When she’s not writing her hobbies include reading, knitting, yoga, and coffee.

Buy Anne’s books:

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

(Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to an affiliate page that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks so much for your help!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway