Writing within the romance genre.
It is lovely to invite Carol Thomas to my blog with her enlightening article about writing romance. I first met Carol via the author networking group CHINDI. Carol lives just up the road from me on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively young Labrador.
Carol writes for both adults and children: Her contemporary romance novels, have relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads; while her children’s books have irresistibly cute, generally furry characters young children can relate to.
So what other ingredients can Carol share about romance writing?
“While all romance novels have a central relationship focused around a ‘love’ story and the expectation of a satisfying and optimistic ending how the author portrays that relationship, the journey they take their characters on and the manner in which a satisfying ending is achieved can vary greatly from novel to novel. This diversity is facilitated by the fact romance is a term encompassing many sub-genres, including, romantic thrillers, romantic suspense, historical, and contemporary romance, to name but a few.
My writing falls into the subgenre of contemporary romance; it reflects the mores of life and relationships today. As such it errs on the side of realism. As a keen people watcher, I love to collect moments and situations in my notebook. When I am writing I like to draw on these and to thread them through my fiction. I think this helps readers relate to my characters and the manner in which they deal with the situations they find themselves in.
My current work in progress, like many contemporary romance novels, contains elements of comedy. One piece I particularly enjoyed writing is based on conversations my daughter and her friends had after a sex education lesson at school. She was seven at the time, so I am sure you can imagine they had some interesting things to say on the subject. With permission I have borrowed their words and given them to the children of one of my main characters. Such classic moments are hard to make up and deserve to be shared. This is another of the things I love about writing within this genre. It enables you to share the lighter moments of life, as well as those that are more challenging, such as the theme of infidelity in my novel Crazy Over You.”
While writing Crazy Over You I wanted to ensure I portrayed the depth of my main character’s feelings honestly. Abby’s world has been turned upside down and her fifteen-year marriage is potentially over. These are big, life changing events and I wanted to treat them as such. That is not to say that Crazy Over You is a sad story. Yes it has its moments, infidelity is not a subject you can tackle honestly without reflecting some of the impact on those concerned, but the story also contains warmth, humour and a strong sense of moving forwards. As Abby attempts to gain control of her life and make decisions about her future, it becomes clear that Crazy Over You is as much a story about friendship, family and love as it is of infidelity.
Creating and maintaining a balance between realism, romance and humour is one of the many reasons I enjoy writing within the contemporary romance genre. I hope that the journey my readers embark on will lead them to empathise with my characters as they laugh, cry and fall in love with them. Ultimately I want them to feel that they know my characters, that they could be them themselves or that they know someone like them. If my writing achieves this, then I am happy.
Crazy Over You: Love can drive you crazy… in more ways than one!
When Abby met Simon it was the start of something special, a love Abby believed would last a lifetime.
A wedding, two daughters and fifteen years later Abby’s world is falling apart. Having discovered Simon has had an affair her normally ordered mind is spiralling out of control. Crushed by the betrayal and shocked by her own reaction, she knows she needs to get herself together. She’s just not sure where to start.
With Simon on a mission to win her back and a close friend hiding a secret that could push her further over the edge, Abby finds strength and support where she least expects it. But as she attempts to gain control of her life and make decisions about her future, it may be more than the limits of Abby’s mind that are put to the test!
Watch the book trailer:
Genre: Contemporary romance
Release date: 28th October 2015
Buy Crazy Over You:
To find out more about books by Carol Thomas: