Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month 2016!
If you’re a new visitor to RARM, I hope you’ll come back every day in August to read all the wonderful pro-romance posts this year. Check out the full calendar here. You can also find links to the last three years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook. Enjoy August!
Romance, Showing Us Out of the Darkness
When I sat down to write about why I love romance, I thought, “This is going to be a looooong post!” There are so many compelling things to love—the butterflies in your belly when two characters meet on the page and you know they’ll end up together (even if they sure don’t know it yet), the back and forth of watching their happy ending unfold (usually the hard way), the complex characters, the worlds we might not normally get to visit otherwise. But above all, the reason I not only love romance, but need it, is that it offers the chance to escape for a few hours.
Let’s face it. We’re living in a tough world right now, where words like “Orlando” and “Paris” and “Sandy Hook” have different meaning than they did five years ago. We face frightening issues every time we turn on the news, and those issues are overwhelming. Add those issues to the things we face every day in our own lives, whether it be worries over our careers and finances, our spouses, our parents, or our kids, and life can become huge in the blink of an eye. We may think, “This is too much. It’s going to crush me.” We’re tempted to despair. We need, for a little while, to re-set, to breathe, to be reminded that there is something calm and good out there for us.
I think back on the times in my life that were the most challenging—jobs I hated, relationships that didn’t work, bills I struggled to pay—and I realize that when those things got so big that I thought they’d crush me, the way I gathered my wits was to read romance. I’m not suggesting escapism as a method of denial. I had to cope with whatever life threw at me. I had to figure out how to switch jobs, change or end those relationships that weren’t working, or pay the water bill. But in order to do that, I had to first find some hope that it would happen, and that hope came from the library. It came from stories of people who had conflicts in their lives and overcame them. It came from stories of people who found love.
A few years ago, the ever-incredible Kristan Higgins gave a keynote speech in which she likened romance writers to lanterns, offering the bright light to show readers the way out of darkness. And while I love romance for so many reasons, this is the biggest reason, the best reason that I do. It is lightness in the dark. It is a surefire happy ending when we need it the most. It offers us the hope that we can carry those happy endings into our own worlds, and it centers us so we can do what we need in order to make that happen. It’s not unrealistic.
And that’s why I #loveromance.
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
My husband makes the best PB&J on the planet (I know, I know…romance. Stick with me.) He toasts the bread, then butters it, then gets the PB to J ratio just right…this sandwich is like heaven on a dish. I know this, because he makes me one every time I am stressed beyond measure. Any time I am having “That Day”, I can always count on him to make me a PB&J, and every time he does, I feel a little better. It’s a small thing, a simple thing, but every time that PB&J appears, I know how much I am fundamentally loved, for better or for worse.
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
You know the saying, “Good friends will bail you out of jail, but best friends will be sitting in the cell next to you saying, ‘Man, that was fun!’”? I’m blessed to have my two best friends also be romance authors. Robin Covington and Avery Flynn and I share romance every day, whether it’s plotting stories or talking strategy or gushing about books we’ve read. We are all about the HEA!
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
Definitely my office. It’s in a happy, sunny corner of my house, and it’s full of all my favorite things (books and photo boards and books and mementos from conferences and books and my comfy writing chair and books.) Nearly all the writing happens there, so it’s not tough to equate that place with romance.
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
If it’s a book couple, I’d have to go with Olivia and de Grey from Meredith Duran’s Fool Me Twice. They’re so completely unconventional and yet so well-matched at the same time. Plus, their chemistry is off the charts. For a real-life couple, I’ll go awwww and choose me and Mr. K. But it’s possible I am just a touch biased there!
Tell us about your dream date.
I’m all about the food, so my ideal date is a belly-buster. I’d love nothing more than to hit a wine trail in Tuscany and just eat and drink my way through the countryside with Mr. K!
Kim is generously giving away an electronic copy of DEEP TROUBLE to one US reader and to one international reader. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below or on the *Facebook post you’ll find here (or both – Share the Love!) ;o) by 11:59 pm PST Aug 8, 2016.***International friends, be sure to include your country in your comment so we know to include you in the international drawing. Good luck!
(*You don’t have to like the FB page, but we do recommend it. It’s easier to contact you if you win. Also consider joining the Read-A-Romance Book Club page, where we discuss romance of all kinds and will have drawings and events throughout the year.)
Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet and hot and edgy romantic suspense. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book.
Kimberly is a USA Today best-selling author and a 2016 and 2015 RWA RITA® finalist and 2014 Bookseller’s Best nominee who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Kimberly resides in Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters.
Buy Kimberly’s books:
*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks so much for your help and support!