Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentine's Day means - what? by Kate Walker

What is romance?

Would it shock you if I said I didn’t know? 

I  write romance  for a living – I’m involved in ‘Romance’ almost every second of every day –   certainly every day of every year – but I don’t think I can define it for you.

On Wednesday – Valentine’s Day – I’m  giving a talk in a local library.  The title of it is The ABC of Love. In this case the ABC stands for   Authors  Bubbly and Cupcakes.  So that’s   what  the focus will be on  - for this event. For myself, I’m fine with the authors.  After all, I’m one of them. The bubbly is good too (though as the talk is at  12 noon, I’ll need to  err on the side of caution there.)  But I have a problem with cupcakes. I’ve never  gone along with the current  obsession with what seem to me to be over sweet, over coloured, over iced  little cakes .    They don’t really appeal to me. Too much of everything.

So I wouldn’t find a gift of cupcakes, no matter how pretty or sentimentally designed to send a message, something to enjoy on Valentine’s Day and my DH  would know better than ever to get them for me.

But I know that at this library   event I’m going to be asked  if I’m ‘a romantic sort of person’  - to which the answer will be ‘Yes’. And then the next question will be ‘What is romance?’.  If they ask ‘what does romance mean to you’, then I’ll  be OK  - because I know what is romantic for me.  Butu Romance in general – for everyone? That’s too big a question.

My books are sold all over the world – I just got some foreign editions from Germany, from France, from Japan. So I know that my ‘romances’ appeal to readers from so many different countries – but this doesn’t mean that romance means the same thing to every reader of every nationality. You see, for me I think that romance means thinking of someone else  and doing what pleases them most,  giving them what they’d most like if you’re into giving Valentine’s gifts. Not just giving them red rose or a cuddly toy because that’s what the advertisers try to push you into buying. Romance is knowing that every person is an individual and making them happy – each in their individual way.

I was thinking about this as I was working on the revisions for my next book.   This story is the second in a duet of stories about two sisters – my working title has been The Scandalous O’Sullivan Sisters. If you’ve read my latest publication A Proposal to Secure His Vengeance  - then you’ll already have met one of these woman. Imogen O’Sullivan is the older sister, the younger one is her sister Ciara. I’m working on Ciara’s story now.

Imogen and Ciara are two very different characters. The things that have happened to Imogen haven’t  happened to  Ciara. The things the older sister loves are not what suits her younger sister. And then of course the men that the fall madly in love with and ultimately  want to have a happy ever after ending with are not the same either. That would cause real problems for me to write!

So when I wrote Imogen’s story I wrote a very different romance from the one I’m creating now for Ciara. Two different set ups, two different men, two different romances. And it helped  me answer a question from a  not yet published author who asked how did I manage to keep my writing fresh through all the 66 novels I’ve had published. The answer?  I treat each individual couple as just that – individuals. Their stories are theirs  and theirs alone – what makes  each one happy is unique to them.

That’s what romance is for me – whether in real life or in a story. Not lumping everyone into the same pot, the ‘buy her red roses’ and you’re done images that so often appears for Valentine’s Day. That’s why I write romance – to tell each individual story for each different hero and heroine and they way they work through their conflicts and head for that Happy Ever After.

It would be so boring if all my characters were the same. After all, we’re all individuals aren’t we?  So romance means different things to everyone of us.

I hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with the romance you enjoy  - whatever that is.  And I’ll   have to remember this post to use as a reply when someone at that library talk asks me  what romance is.

What about you? What’s the most romantic thing that’s ever happened to you – or someone has done for you? I’d love to know.

Raoul Cardini will have his revenge!
His preferred method? Ruthless, irresistible seduction!

Imogen O’Sullivan is horrified when charismatic tycoon Raoul breaks up her engagement and makes her his own convenient bride! She once surrendered everything to Raoul—body, heart and soul. But as he stalks back into her life it’s clear he has punishment in mind—not just passion! Can Imogen resist Raoul’s potent brand of delicious vengeance?

You can read more about me and my books on my web site and my blog -  and catch up with me too on my Facebook page

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...

I think if you can find the romance in the every day with your partner, in my case my husband, you're doing a great job.