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!
I #LoveRomance for myriad reasons, including
- respite from the stresses of everyday life
- finding enjoyment during difficult times
- vicariously inhabiting and the opportunity to learn about other time periods, even other worlds, where the possibilities are endless
- imagining what it might be like to have a different career or role or even different kind of spouse/relationship by putting yourself in the characters’ shoes
- the fun and anticipation of finding out how the heroine and hero will eventually get together despite overwhelming odds
- the satisfaction of seeing people fall in love in different ways
- just enjoying how a book is written and the intriguing story. A scene from Susan Wiggs’s Vows Made in Wine made me cry not because something sad was happening but because the writing was just that good.
To me that’s the key. Some people ask if details of my romantic romps make their way onto my pages. I’m not writing memoirs, and romance novels are about so much more than physical love. I’m sharing various characters’ stories. The fodder to pen sweeping tales of romance and love comes from them.
Usually the idea for the first scene just pops into my head. For example, in my first book, At His Command, I saw the heroine collapsed on a horse walking slowly over a hill. I did a bit of wondering about what happened before that and what would happen next, who she is, who would see her, and how they ended up in that situation. Then the characters took over, showing me their worlds through their eyes, revealing what they wanted most and what stood in their way. Exposing their greatest fears and insecurities. They let me see who they are.
I strive to avoid author intrusion (where readers can tell the author is saying something she wants to include because it seems to come from her point of view rather than that of the character), which is a challenge when my hero and/or heroine do things I don’t think are in their best interests or are dangerous. Or when I know if they would just do X, Y would happen the way they’d want it to. For me, writing can be along the lines of how you might burn to give advice to a friend, but hold your tongue even after you’re proven right.
My characters become my friends because I spend so much time getting to know them, experience their joys and sorrows with them and come to care about them and their fate, just as I hope readers do. At times it can be hard to say farewell when they find their happy ever after. At others, another pair is clamoring to have their story told, and I get to #LoveRomance all over again.
Why do you love romance?
I’m looking forward to Discovery of Desire, releasing September 6.
I really enjoyed her RITA-nominated A Noble Masquerade.
Books on my keeper shelf include:
(especially their medievals.)
Questions for the Author:
Tell us about a moment in your life when you felt romance surrounding you.
The Snowdonia region in Wales in autumn was the essence of romance. All of the amazing yet very different castles built by Edward I, sweeping vistas with mountains and fields along rivers, and quaint towns with changing leaves on trees and vines clinging to stone walls were magical. The air just felt lush. I’m a writer, yet it’s hard to find words to describe the rush of feelings I had walking on the city walls surrounding Conwy Castle. You could sense the people who’d gone before.
Tell us about someone special in your life (other than your partner) with whom you share romance.
I share romance with the authors with whom I’ve partnered in boxed sets of four novels (including Elizabeth Rose, Laurel O’Donnell, Emma Prince, Ria Cantrell, Sue-Ellen Welfonder and April Holthaus). We all have such love for the genre in general and medievals in particular, and want to put out the best books we can to engage readers.
Do you have a place in the world or a sound that you equate with romance?
Medieval dance music means romance to me, because of the period instruments, haunting and enticing tunes and varied tempos. I can see the women in their gowns and headdresses, and men in their tunics, hose and boots moving through the steps while connections are being formed or strengthened. It’s one of the times when you don’t need a lot of dialogue to convey a lot of emotion.
A perfect example is the scene in Excalibur (one of my favorite movies) where Arthur and Guinevere are dancing, then she gives him a special cake. I challenge anyone not to feel the romance between them!
Who is your (or a) favorite romantic couple?
One of my all-time favorite keepers is The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I haven’t reread it in a while, yet I still remember some of Aislinn’s and Wulfgar’s scenes. You’re inspiring me to revisit it.
Ruark and Shanna are memorable, too.
Tell us about your dream date.
My dream date would be a sunset dinner at a trattoria (when the weather was just right) on a hill in Italy (in Cinque Terre or Siena) with fabulous views of the village and water to go with the fabulous meal. The weather would be just right, with a slight breeze. An amazing dessert would definitely be on the menu.
Ruth is generously giving away her one copy of each of her e-books AT HIS COMMAND, FOLLOW YOUR HEART, THE BETTER BRIDE and MY ONCE & FUTURE LOVE. Four winners each receive one title.
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 3, 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.)
Ruth Kaufman is the Amazon bestselling Chicago author of the Wars of the Roses Brides trilogy and MY ONCE & FUTURE LOVE, Unsung Knights of the Round Table #1. Her first medieval novella, MY ENEMY, MY LOVE, releases September 7. Accolades include 2016 Booksellers’ Best Award winner for Best Historical and Best First Book, and Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® winner. She’s also an on-camera and voiceover talent, storyteller, freelance editor and speaker with a J.D. and a Master’s in Radio/TV who enjoys peanut butter and chocolate milkshakes and singing in a symphony chorus.
Buy Ruth’s books:
*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!