Romance – Food for the Soul
I read a lot. I read mysteries, I read thrillers, I read suspense, I read autobiographies. I read People Magazine and US Weekly. Heck, I’ll read the back of a cereal box.
But first love is romance. It’s food for my soul. I was reading it long before I ever wrote it, and it’s still my first choice, my go-to read.
People ask me why, and the answer used to escape me. I didn’t know how to express why romance matters so much. But I think I’ve figured it out, thanks to some reader letters I’ve received over the years.
I used to let my boyfriend knock me around a little. I excused it because he was good to me in other ways. My friend gave me a stack of your books and demanded I read them to find out what a real guy is like. She was right. Through your wonderful stories I learned that a real guy is someone who would never lift a hand to a woman. Thanks for giving me the courage to walk away from a bad guy and have hope that I’ll find a better one. p.s. I wouldn’t mind Josh from FOREVER AND A DAY…
Thanks for writing real characters. Chloe from Head Over Heels with her life-threatening asthma. Lance, with Cystic Fibrosis. My brother has Cystic Fibrosis, and it means so much to us that you portrayed that so beautifully. Gives us hope he too can have a HEA someday.
Just read the scene in Simply Irresistible where the heroine has an orgasm sitting on top of her running washing machine. All I can say is that I’m sincerely regretting buying a stacking washer and dryer… Signed, Disappointed In Cincinnati.
The truth is, a romance novel is food for the brain. No, I get that it’s not brain surgery, but it’s not exactly brain candy either. It means something. Romance goes right to the heart and soul. It makes us laugh, makes us cry, makes us yearn. Gives us hope. And that’s why romance matters.
Questions for Jill:
What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?
Probably my really ugly donkey slippers. Yes, donkey slippers. From the movie Shrek. They’re HUGE and really rather ratty by now, but they are the most comfortable working shoes a writer could ask for. I wear them every day on my deck while writing… 🙂
If there was a movie made about your life, what would it be called? (And just for fun, who would play you?)
I don’t know what it would be called, or who would want to play me, but it would be a modernized take on I Love Lucy, I can tell you that much.
What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?
My kids. But I only say that because they’re sleeping right now, and awfully cute when they’re sleeping… When they wake up, I’ll be sorely tempted to change my answer to my dog. 🙂
If you had to pick one romantic scene or couple to recommend to a first-time reader of YOUR books, which would it be? (Any picks for romance novels in general?)
Josh and Grace from FOREVER AND A DAY. My favorite scene of theirs is a not quite sober painting-the-living-room scene that starts out angry, goes to emotionally-charged, and ends up spicy hot. 🙂
Jill is generously donating books from the Lucky Harbor or Animal Magnetism Series. Five lucky readers get to choose one book from either series. No international sorry. 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 12 to be eligible, though winners will be announced the following week.
New York Times and USA Today bestseller Jill Shalvis is the award winning author of over four dozen romance novels, including her sexy contemporary and award winning Lucky Harbor series (FOREVER AND A DAY was one of Amazon’s Top Romances for 2012). She won a Rita for SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE and is a 3-time National Readers Choice winner as well. Find her at JillShalvis. com
Buy Jill’s books on Amazon