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 For One
When I was a young girl just beginning to figure out how to become a published author, people said the first rule of writing is to write what you know. I break this rule every time I write a romance. Because I don’t know romance. I don’t live it. I’ve never been part of a traditional romantic relationship. No marriage, no dating, no exclusivity and expectations. No happy-ever-after or even happy-for-now.
Don’t feel sorry for me just yet! My life is very full. Besides, men fascinate me in such a way that I can’t imagine giving my attention to just one. I enjoy their company and there are moments when I want to surround myself with them. One of my absolute favorite elements to write is anticipation. This is something I’m so fortunate to experience time and again with each new connection I make with a man. There are so many details to anticipate with someone new. Is he serious, or can I get him to laugh? How will he touch me? What might I remember about him after he goes his way and I go mine? Anticipation is a rush that stops me in my tracks and holds me still, and I can’t see myself giving it up any time soon.
It’s not a hollow life—just one that’s filled with meet-cutes, pupil-flaring attraction, crushes, and curiosity. Some people tell me I should want something deeper. But wedding rings and children and longevous companionship with a partner aren’t for me. Others suggest that I’m not suited to write what I do because I live outside the guidelines of the genre. But I don’t think a romance author must engage in agape love or Eros love or any type of romantic love in order to qualify to write an authentic fictional story—any more than a suspense author must experience crime and death in order to qualify to write within that genre.
One of fiction’s most profound gifts is the freedom to make use of the human imagination. When I power on my computer and let my mind create worlds and people and story arcs, I’m just a writer and it’s both a humbling and beautiful feeling. The blank page in front of me doesn’t judge. All it wants from me are words.
So I’ll never be a romance heroine. That’s okay. I’m perfectly happy writing them instead.
Lisa Marie recommends:
I read Carolina Moon over a decade ago and it remains the single strongest, most engrossing piece of romance fiction I’ve encountered. Nora’s my favorite author—though I know if I ever met her in person I’d be too star-struck to even tell her so!
Teri’s writing is splendid. The storytelling is lush yet down-to-earth, and you form attachments to her characters without even realizing it. I highly recommend Unleashing Mr. Darcy, which is a brilliant retelling of Pride and Prejudice that’s set in the world of…dog shows! This novel was adapted into a Hallmark Channel movie—which I also adored.
Damn, can this woman write men. Her heroes aren’t just attractive—they’re so real it’s almost eerie. She has a knack for writing character nuances, clever heroines, and banter that stick with you. Get acquainted with her Big Sky Cowboys series from Sourcebooks and let yourself enjoy.
This author’s Original Sinners series is superb erotic romance. By the end of the first book I wanted to be friends with dominatrix Mistress Nora. I highly recommend Tiffany’s newest release, The Bourbon Thief, which is a work of mainstream fiction and hauntingly perfect.
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
When I was in my teens, I worked at a shopping mall with a group of other young women. One day while I was out on a lunch errand, a man working construction for a new store came in to borrow a ladder. He was gone by the time I returned. When I walked through the door, my coworkers pounced on me describing his sexy body and un-freaking-believable blue eyes, and for weeks they insisted I wear tight jeans and a push-up bra while they conspired their hearts out trying to track him down so I could behold his manly beauty for myself. Just when I was starting to think he didn’t exist and they were making up the entire hot-guy-borrows-ladder story, I met him one night during closing…after the mall was empty of customers and when all the stores were dark and all the halls so quiet. Good grief, if I ever had a romantic moment in my life, that was it.
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
Oh, most definitely my pets. When people insist—sometimes jokingly and sometimes not—that I’m a robot, my dogs and cats remind me that I am capable of compassion and enduring love. They hang out with me while I’m working, and in this sense I share romance with them every single day.
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
A spot under a dark sky. Stars aren’t even required. The mystery of it can be breathlessly romantic. Maybe there’s a streetlamp or a building that glows in the black. Maybe the clouds flirt with the moon and shadows twist all around you. Is the ground powdery with snow and frost? Or are there insects in the grass and heat in the air? It’s awfully simple, but very sexy stuff.
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
Barbie and Ken. Don’t laugh! (Fine, go ahead and laugh.) Barbie’s the exact example of one of my favorite Shania Twain songs: “She’s Not Just a Pretty Face.” This woman can hold down a million careers, from animal doctor to rock star, and Ken will stand strong and sturdy with an unwavering smile on his face. That’s love. Plus, they’re so cute together I just can’t stand it. :o)
Tell us about your dream date.
Ooh, this is complicated. I’ve never experienced an actual date and don’t think I’d want anything extravagant. But I would want something out of my ordinary. I once visited a lighthouse on Cape Cod and thought People could fall in love here. This thought inspired a scene in my book MEANT TO BE MINE.
So I’ll say that a dream date might be a nighttime journey to the top of a lighthouse with a gorgeous man and a bottle of anything. No glasses, because we’ll share the bottle. That’s why we’re here—to share. Waves swaying outside. The soft scratch of his beard on my skin. Mystery and familiarity so close you can’t tell the difference. And for a while it’s just a man and a woman giving and taking inside a lighthouse—above the world, voices carrying over the water, meaningful—for a blip in time, anyway. I guess that might be okay.
LMP is generously giving away five print copies of MEANT TO BE MINE, Guilty Pleasures #1. (US only, apologies to international friends.)
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 Sep 6, 2016. 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.)
Lisa Marie Perry encounters difficult fictional men and women on a daily basis. She writes sizzling, deep fiction featuring flawed heroes brought to their knees by the love of complicated women. She has received high praise from USA Today and has been nominated for an RT Book Reviews literary award. She lives in America’s heartland, drives a truck, enjoys indie rock, collects Medieval literature, watches too many comedies, has a not-so-secret love for lace and adores rugged men with a little bit of nerd.
For laughs, randomness and occasional inappropriateness, visit LMP at www.perrytalebooks.com.
Buy LMP’s books:
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