Fall in Love with Romance Writing
Are you in the mood for love? I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the month of February than exploring the fastest-growing genre out there—romance. Sweet, chocolate-covered culinary romance; sultry, suspenseful romance; hot-blooded, thrilling romance; otherworldly paranormal romance—it’s all delicious!
This is our third issue dedicated to romance, and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all the subgenres it has to offer. That’s because it’s so flexible and ever evolving. But at the genre’s core is one thing that holds it together—love—the basis of any romance novel no matter what subgenre and most likely, a happy ending.
Who doesn’t want a little happiness and romance in their lives? According to book sales, it appears that readers do. More than ever, readers are hungry for romance and ready to fall in love with the next series from their favorite authors. So let’s dive into the genre by learning from the experts in this issue. I bet you’ll fall in love with them like I did!
And in case you missed the first two romance issues, you can find them here: February ’08 Romance is... and March ’09 What’s Romance Got to Do With It? Both are worth exploring and contain interviews with bestselling authors, wonderful craft articles, and markets for the romance writer.
A big, warm thank you goes out to our freelancers and staff members:
We welcome back freelancer Sara Hodon and thank her for her delicious interview with Shirley Jump, a romance writer who has successfully blended her three favorite ingredients—romance, food, and humor—into a bestselling series. Shirley is a woman after my own heart. She loves pasta—from Fettuccini Alfredo to simple mac and cheese. But her love doesn’t stop there. She’s authored over twenty books for Harlequin and Silhouette, and if that weren’t enough, is branching out into other genres, which include a young adult thriller she co-authored with her daughter. She has a real love for writing and sharing her knowledge with aspiring authors. You’re absolutely going to fall in love with her—and laugh!—at the wit and inspiration she brings to the page.
Ready to walk the hot-blooded tightrope? A big thank you goes to WOW! columnist LuAnn Schindler for her interview with Shannon K. Butcher, an author who steadies herself on the writing tightrope somewhere between romance and suspense. In this interview, Shannon shares her thoughts about the suspense genre and its elements, crafting those oh-so-delicate-or-not sex scenes, and what it’s like to be married to New York Times bestselling sci-fi and fantasy author Jim Butcher. Can you imagine that? Discover how these two celebrated authors work together at home and collaborate as a creative couple.
Another big thank you goes to WOW! columnist and contributing editor Margo L. Dill for her steamy interview with Louisa Edwards. Louisa combines the “foodie craze” with the much-loved genre of romance and serves up a delicious paring of delectable novels, inspired from her crushes on various celebrity chefs! In this interview, Louisa shares her tips on creating passionate characters, weaving strong subplots, crafting timely and fresh topics, and even her thoughts on marketing and her experience of working for an editor at Berkley Books. If you love food and romance equally (and who doesn’t?), this interview is not to miss!
Are you a fan of paranormal romance? If so, you’re in luck! We welcome back freelancer Annette Fix and thank her for her interview with NY Times bestselling author Nalini Singh. Nalini has got to be one of the most prolific authors out there—eighteen books in seven years! In this interview, Nalini shares her thoughts on how to keep characters fresh in a series and talks about both of her bestselling series: the Psy-Changeling series and her newest, the Guild Hunter series. She also shares a bit about author promotion and her love of traveling, which she uses as research for her books.
And who says teens can’t fall in love? I can certainly remember reading some steamy Judy Blume books back in my day. But what’s the genre up to now? We welcome back freelancer Sue Bradford Edwards and thank her for her interview with young adult romance author Simone Elkeles who gives us the skinny on writing for the teen romance market. In this interview, Simone talks about the teen voice, the importance of tough characters—especially the hero, censorship, and writing for teen audiences. She also encourages writers to just write and says, “I don’t think you need a degree in writing to write.” Hear, hear!
On the other side of the age spectrum comes a fairly new and fast-growing market: boomer lit. A big thank you goes to WOW! columnist LuAnn Schindler for her fun and informative article Romancing the Middle-Aged Reader. Some critics call the genre chick lit for grandmothers. A few label it as Sex and the City for the menopause set. And for others, boomer literature tells a powerful story about facing challenges and persevering. Since boomers purchase one of every seven books sold, boomer lit is smoking hot...and the label is a marketing tool worth pursuing. Find out how you can tap into this market with advice from authors Debbie Macomber and Binnie Klein—both interviewed for this article.
As writers, we all know the importance of reading in our genre to keep our finger on the pulse. But how can we read as a writer and pay close attention to the techniques we discover on the page? We welcome back freelancer Beth Daniels and thank her for her informative article How to Dissect Romance Novels and Create Rules for Writing. Beth shows us how to carefully examine the books we read to create our own genre-specific “bible,” a set of rules we can use for our own novels. Her list includes researching professions and income of main characters, romantic background, conflict, children and family, danger, scenes with main characters, “sounding board” characters, secondary storylines, series and spin-offs, settings, names, and much more!
By following her outline, you can identify the necessary bits to create your own set of rules for writing your romance novel.
And if that weren’t enough, we’re proud to announce the Fall ’09 Flash Fiction Contest winners! We’d like to thank literary agent Noah Lukeman for judging this season’s contest. Thank you, Noah, for your expedience and expert attention to detail. And congratulations goes to all the winners and to all those that had the courage to enter the contest as well. You’re going to really enjoy reading this season’s stories!
As always, I’d like to thank WOW!’s contributing editors Margo L. Dill and Joanne Stacey for making this issue a delicious read!
On to the issue...enjoy!