Romance is Universal
Let me just put this out there: I am not a romantic person. At all. My husband, a very alpha military male, is far more romantic than I am. Bizarre, right? Especially given what I do for a living.
But the truth is that I’m not a demonstrative person with my affections. I don’t like romantic movies, I’m not one for a candlelit dinner, and I’d rather chew off my own foot than go to a wedding. Heck, I think people should elope and spend all that wedding money on the honeymoon! At least that way if the marriage ends in divorce, you got an awesome vacation out of it.
Yeah…see what I mean about not being romantic?
I can hear you right now: But you’re a romance author! How can you write about romance if you can barely tolerate it???
Good question, and trust me, I’ve thought about it long and hard. Because here’s the thing; I might not like all the mushy stuff and I might be cynical about marriage, but I love reading and writing romance. Why?
Because love happens.
No matter who you are, no matter where you are, love can find its way into your heart, and it doesn’t discriminate. It happens to almost everyone. Pair-bonding is one of the most basic, strongest instincts we possess, and romance novels tap into that primitive part of us that wants to be reminded that we all deserve someone in our life who cares for us unconditionally.
We want to be reminded that the world can be a sucky place, but there’s beauty there too.
And the beautiful thing about romance novels is that there are subgenres and heat levels for every taste. Being a less-than-romantic person, I tend to gravitate toward edgy books that balance erotic romance with dark, gritty plots, and this should come as no surprise…that’s also what I write.
Give me a hero who shows his love by slaughtering a bad guy for the heroine — that’s better than flowers any day! And happily, there are a lot of authors who give me exactly what I want — Anne Stuart, Lynn Viehl, J.T. Geissinger, to name a few. (Read Anne Stuart’s R-A-R M essay here.)
So really, romance matters because love matters. Romance means something different to everyone, but love is universal. Love makes people happy, even if they aren’t the type to cuddle or read poetry to each other. How else can you explain why even manly action movies almost always have a romantic subplot? People who wave away romance novels as “trash” and as “silly,” are completely cool with romantic subplots in movies…so clearly, something deep inside them, that instinct they can’t fight, is rearing up and cheering.
We love to love. And that is why I read and write romance. Just, you know, the dark, gritty, full-of-curse-words romance. Because the world is full of darkness, grit, and curse words…and somehow love happens anyway.
Questions for Larissa:
What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?
Oh, my. I have SO many objects like this. See, a long time ago, my friend Karen and I started exchanging Christmas gifts, and with every gift, we sent something tacky. Like, really tacky. And we HAVE to display these tacky things when the other person comes to visit. So I have a zillion horrid things in my house. Well, I used to. I lost a lot of those treasures *rolls eyes* in hurricane Katrina. I was devastated. No, really. (That’s what I tell Karen, anyway! *g*) Anyway, the worst of these things is a hideous black ashtray that appears to be a woman being sucked into a tar pit. I think it might be evil. But that’s okay, because she’s getting a cookie jar that looks like a big dog poo this Christmas. I’m SO winning this year’s gift exchange!
If there was a movie made about your life, what would it be called? (And just for fun, who would play you?)
“Sh*t Happens.” Yep, that’s the title of my movie. Because seriously, if something weird (not necessarily bad) is going to happen, it’ll happen to me. Or the house next door to me. None of my friends want to live by me. I’m not kidding. Fires, floods, you name it, it happens. Oh, and Sandra Bullock would play me. She doesn’t look a thing like me, but she’s pretty and I love her. So there. 🙂
What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?
This came from my readers: They gave me the gift of hitting the New York Times bestseller list. It was a dream — a dream I thought was impossible. But they gave that to me…and I can’t thank them enough.
If you had to pick one romantic scene or couple to recommend to a first-time reader of YOUR books, which would it be?
Hmm, I’d say Wraith and Serena from Passion Unleashed, the third book in my Demonica series. It’s very erotic, very gritty…and yet, it’s very emotional and funny. Wraith, who is both an incubus and a vampire, is REALLY damaged. His path to healing is Serena, and together they created the couple who tend to be my readers’ favorite.
For those who prefer a more traditional contemporary romance, you might enjoy Snowbound. It’s sexy but not erotic, and the couple, Robyn and Sean, must overcome more internal obstacles than external (as is the case with my paranormals.)
In any case, I hope readers enjoy the books!
You are reading this essay at ReadARomanceMonth.com. Be sure to visit the About Read-A-Romance Month to learn more, or the Authors & Contributors page to see a list of all the great romance writers who are celebrating the romance genre during the month of August.
For the giveaways, I’d be happy to offer for the U.S. giveaway, winner’s choice of either a copy of Passion Unleashed or Snowbound (print or ebook). For international, I’ll send the winner an ebook copy of Snowbound.
Larissa is generously donating one copy of either Passion Unleashed or Snowbound (winner’s choice, either print of ebook) to a US reader and for International readers, Larissa is offering the chance to win an ebook copy of of Snowbound. (International readers enter here). To enter the domestic contest, either leave a comment here or enter the weekly drawing on the contest page. Or both. (Only one entry per commenter per post, though – multiple comments on one essay does not give you more chances.) Comment entries must be posted by 11:59pm EST Aug 31 to be eligible, though winners will be announced at a later date.
Also visit the Awesome Contests page to register this week to win a Kindle Paperwhite and “A Month of Romance” (31 books) from Amazon Montlake, or the Grand Central Grand Prize, an iPad mini. If you love romance, then this is the place to be!
If you love Read-A-Romance Month and decide to buy recommended books, please consider using the links from the site. Every bit helps and I do get a tiny percentage of sales. Thank you for considering it!
Air Force veteran Larissa Ione traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.
Buy Larissa’s Books on Amazon