Grace Draven – Many Levels of Intimacy

Hi friends!

Welcome to the 5th Annual Read-A-Romance Month!

While I read romance all year long, August is the month we celebrate this awesome genre! Come back every day to read all three “Power of Romance” posts. Check out the full calendar of authors here. You can also find links to the last four years’ posts from the boxes in the sidebar, and if you’d like, you can follow RARM on Facebook.

Happy August!

#LoveRomance #ThePowerOfRomance

The Powerful Roar of Romance

Depending on the source you go to, romance novels make up anywhere from 38% to as much as 52% of the fiction market sold.  Those are some pretty impressive numbers, wouldn’t you say?  Especially when this takes into account all fiction genres.  For a genre that is often much maligned, criticized and ridiculed in various media forms, the Romance genre packs a hell of a punch, speaking with numbers that just can’t be denied.

Why?  Why does this red-headed stepchild of the literary world have such a powerful roar?  Well, if you ask me, it’s based upon a universal human condition:  the need for intimacy.  I’m not just talking about physical intimacy, though critics do put an extraordinary focus on that element of the genre.  I’m talking about emotional intimacy and the spiritual intimacy as well.  The soul mate, the forever companion, the friend to lover–hell, even the enemy to lover.  There is something both primal and awesome in the discovery of a connection between two people that runs deeper than acquaintanceship or friendship.  It’s a lot more than hearts and flowers and Valentine’s Day and diamond tennis bracelets (no matter what the De Beers commercials might say).  It’s sacrifice and compromise, support and independence, humor and respect.

The Romance genre explores this multi-level intimacy in a format as old as humanity–storytelling.  We, the readers, can vicariously experience that fundamental connection between two people, see them struggle with the beginnings of the relationship, ride the tide of their failures and their triumphs and conclude with that all-important element that many (including me) consider the defining one of romance: the Happily Ever After.  Bonuses in seeing this played out in a book is we get to visit alternate worlds full of magic, histories brought to life beyond the dry content of a textbook and characters who are at turns bigger than life but also everyday and relatable.

For me as a reader and an author, the power of romance as it’s encapsulated in a genre I’ve loved since I was twelve years old, is momentary escapism and the chance to cheer for characters I like/love.  I read romance when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m stressed, when I don’t feel like watching a movie.  I like to see good, kind people triumph over adversity, fall in love and win the day.  It inspires me in real life, and if that isn’t its own power, I don’t know what is.

 

Grace recommends:

 Intisar Khanani   –   booksbyintisar.com   –    @Amazon

Laura Kirwan   –    www.laurakirwan.com    –    @Amazon

Mel Sterling   –    melsterling.com      –    @Amazon

Amy Harmon   –    www.authoramyharmon.com    –    @Amazon

 


Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment when you felt or were aware of the power of romance.

A few years ago, I received an e-mail from a woman with terminal cancer.  She thanked me for writing the books I did as they provided her with hours of escapism into a world where healthy people fell in love, had children and lived long lives:  three things she couldn’t do.  For the time she was immersed in that world, she forgot to be afraid of dying and lived the romance of the characters in the book.  I never heard from her again, but I think of her often.

As a reader, I got my first inkling about the power of romance when I picked up my first romance novel at age 12.  I became a voracious reader after that and didn’t limit myself to just romance.  However, it was romance I always turned to during some very difficult teen years, when depression and suicide loomed large and dark.  Romance novels saved my life.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  They were my therapist’s couch, my comfort zone, my way of coping that got me through some troubled times so that I emerged on the other side a stronger, more hopeful human being.

Tell us about an object that has powerful memories for you.

The last letter my grandmother wrote to me before she died.  I was very close to her, and that letter not only wished me a happy birthday but also expressed her faith in me and my ability to step up and make something of my life.  I’d like to think she’d approve of where I’m at today.  I still have that letter, kept in a safe place.  I take it out occasionally to read it or sometimes just to look at her handwriting. It’s a connection to a woman who had a huge impact on my core personality.

Tell us about a word that has power for you.

Respect.  Without it, everything else falls apart, including love.  If you respect someone, you will be motivated to move mountains for them.

Tell us about a powerful book you read this year (or one that’s so powerful you’ve never forgotten it).

I’ve read several good books this year but none that have engraved themselves onto my memory.  I think there’s only one book that’s ever done that for me, and I read it almost 15 years ago.  King Hereafter by Dorothy Dunnett.  A fictionalized account of the origin, life and death of King Macbeth of Scotland.  I read it once every year, and it continues to blow me away every time.

Tell us about a person who’s had a powerful influence on your life.

In college, I took a World History class taught by one of the most astounding professors I’d ever had the privilege to take a class with during my college years.  Dr. John Moretta had a teaching style that just blew the doors off history and how to learn about it.  It went beyond the rote memorization of dates and timelines and epic events.  He gave his students the ability to see history from the human perspective, why it happened how it happened, why it would repeat itself, etc.  After one profound class focused on the reason for the French Revolution, my brain just clicked.  It was the “ta-da!” moment, and I never forgot it.  I’ve since used his approach when I research, coming at epic scenes when I’m writing a book from the same perspective he used when teaching the history of the world to often restless, bored college students.  I ground it all in the humanity (or lack thereof) of the event.  Dr. Moretta’s teachings have and will last me a lifetime.  Thank you, sir.  My debt to you remains.

 

Main Drawing:

Grace is generously giving away copies of Radiance and Eidolon to one lucky winner. To enter, leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST August 26, 2017. (open to everyone, e-books only if winner is international)

 

There are many more drawings too—including international book bundles! See the bottom of the post for more information.

 


Grace Draven is a Louisiana native living in Texas with her husband, kids and a big, doofus dog.  She has loved storytelling since forever and is a fan of the fictional bad boy. She is the winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice for Best Fantasy Romance of 2015 and a USA Today Bestselling author.

 

 

Learn more:

gracedraven.com     |     Facebook     |     Twitter @GraceDraven

 

Buy Grace’s books:

availableon-amazon       availableon-nook    availableon-kobo

*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!

 

#LoveRomance   #The PowerofRomance    #ReadARomance


MORE DRAWINGS!

Each RARM post will have one main drawing each day (posted above). Authors are also contributing to weekly (US only) bundles, which will be drawn at the end of the week. Each bundle will consist of at least five books and the amount of bundles will depend on the amount of books the authors contribute.

To enter to win these bundles, send an email to Week3@ReadARomanceMonth.com with “Bundles” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)

International friends!

Rather than individual drawings off posts, this year we’ll do sets of books, 3+, depending on how many authors contribute. To enter, send an email to Week3@ReadARomanceMonth.com with “International” in the signature line. (1 entry per email address per week)

Week 3 contests are Aug 17 through Aug. 24

For the 5th Annual Read-A-Romance Month, many of the contributing authors  are supporting an extra-special drawing – high quality tote bags and mugs printed with a fun, pro-romance image (see below).

Read-A-Romance Month, through the generous support of many of the authors, is giving away at least 30 mug & tote combos.

Plus, at least two lucky winners will win a Read-A-Romance Month “Month of Books” Mega Bundle, consisting of 31 books!

To enter these exciting drawings,  send an email to August@ReadARomanceMonth.com (US only, apologies to international friends – though keep an eye out later in the month.

(US only, apologies to international friends – though keep an eye out later in the month. I may include an international cup/tote combo.)

You will not be automatically added to a newsletter, and I promise not to sell or give your email addresses to anyone. I do reserve the right to send you an invitation to sign up for my newsletter, which will also have opportunities to win more prizes and great romance reading tips!

 

 

Check out all three great posts everyday in August at ReadARomanceMonth.com.  Or you can find the posts on the RARM Facebook page.  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.

#LoveRomance  #HappyReading  #ReadARomance

  • Make Kay

    Grace, love, love, LOVE your books!
    Dorothy Dunnett is one of my all time favorite authors too. King Hereafter is the only one that I don’t reread, though. Cheers to us all loving different things- it keeps the world interesting!

    • Grace Draven

      Thank you, Kay! KH is a big commitment of time and focus. I’d read it more than once a year if I could, but for a book that dense, I can only do it as an annual thing. 🙂

  • cheryl c.

    As a former teacher myself, it is always gratifying when someone says that a teacher had a profound effect on his or her life.

    • Grace Draven

      Dr. Moretta was (and is) a truly gifted teacher. I was very lucky to have a class with him.

  • Tori Valenzuela

    I think the whole world needs to learn respect! I think many issues we are going through would be non existent if everyone just respected others

    • Grace Draven

      Completely agree. 🙂

  • Emmel

    It’s amazing to realize the influence a really good teacher or professor has on us. I think many people have that one person who we learned from in so many ways, and who can’t ever realize the lasting impact they had.

    • Grace Draven

      Very true. A good teacher’s positive influence will last a lifetime for his/her student.

  • Wendi Rogers

    One good teacher at the right moment can set a student on a life path not otherwise visually open to them. The same can happen with a good book. Thank you, for sharing with us.

    • Grace Draven

      That’s certainly been the case for me with this professor. He was amazing, and I very much benefitted from his teaching style. 🙂

  • Patty Vasquez

    When we vicariously share the romance of the characters in the books we’re reading, I think it also gives us the opportunity to relive and appreciate our own relationship(s) provided it’s a happy, healthy one.

    • Grace Draven

      That is so true. At a speech I gave I mentioned that some readers asked what inspired me to write such great, loving heroes. I told them that was easy- I married one. 🙂

  • Lynn Latimer

    I live in Texas and am also a Dorothy Dunnett fan.

    • Grace Draven

      DD is awesome!

  • May

    Yup… romance books got me through some horrible teenage years too. 🙂

    • Grace Draven

      Best therapy ever.

  • Claudia Martinez

    I read King Hereafter way back in the 80’s. I read it and absolutely sobbed at the end. Then, opened it back up and read it again. It’s one of the best historical novels ever written!

  • Kareni

    Thanks for a thoughtful post, Ms. Draven. I too have kept the last letter that one of my grandmothers wrote me — and now I’m thinking that today’s generation will not likely have that experience; they’ll be keeping a last email or text message.

    I’ve enjoyed many of your books and look forward to the next. Happy writing!

  • Pamby50

    It isn’t the flowers, cards or chocolates that say romance. It is the little day to day things. I enjoyed reading your post.

  • Madison E. Martin

    The part about the letter from your grandmother hit me right in the heart. My Meema raised me and we are very very close. I get teary when others share loving memories of their special grandmas. (Also, I LOVE your books!)

  • Kezia King

    Thank you for sharing! You are a new author to me and I look forward to reading your books!

  • CSELY

    Enjoyed the post .. and love your books!