What made you start writing romance as opposed to any other genre of literature?
My favorite genre has always been thrillers, crime, police procedurals. When I found my RWA chapter, Sunshine State Romance Authors, I loved the group and the information I was learning. I turned my Psych Thriller, Gemini, into a psych thriller with strong romantic elements including how my hero met the love interest basically to conform to RWA regulations. I soon discovered I loved writing hot, wiggle in your seat scenes and when I found out from feedback that my scenes were indeed hot, it was like, okay, now I’ll just write more of that! Now I’m writing a romantic suspense in which the hero and heroine are the romantic plot with a HEA ending. So to answer the question, I sort of fell into the romance genre. But, I believe there’s no such thing as a coincidence and I do believe the universe manifests things for a reason.
Why do you think romance continues to be a market leading genre?
Women love to fantasize. I’ve learned that really well through all of the conferences and workshops, me included. And I bet you do too! Reading romance allows a woman to go deep inside a character and experience the same things the character does. It allows an escape from the mundane life or sexual experiences. I love writing bad girls. Most of my antagonists are women. In the Gemini series, in which I’m plotting the second novel now, there will be four female antagonists. That might change though. In my current WIP, the romantic suspense, the heroine was a bad girl but became a little more reformed after the birth of her daughter, four years prior to the start of the novel. But she still has the guts of a tough New Yorker. Women love it because of the sizzle and there are heat levels to suite every taste.
In what way do you see romance today reflecting the way women’s roles in society has changed?
That truly depends on the cultural experiences of the writer. Heat levels vary in romance novels. From inspirational, formerly called Christian Romance, to warm, spicy, erotic, and more graphic, the heroine’s roles in each setting will be different. Personally, I write spicy romance. My female characters are very assertive, sometimes aggressive and comfortable with their sexuality. Today’s society is very conducive to that openness, and readers would not pick up a book that threatens or insults them. We, as writers, target a certain market. In no way, would I submit Gemini to any publisher who wants inspirational romance, nor would I submit it to an erotica publisher. Women characters in present day novels are much more self-assured accomplished and career focused. Novels depict the societal norms for the era. Historical romances reflect the societal norms of that era. In historicals, the romance develops much more slowly and reveals much less than in present day novels. So society does play an important role in forming the characters we, as writers, create.
Please visit the next awesome author on our tour Katie O’Connor
All blogs on the tour will be up by 2 PM today, January 28, 2014!
And don’t be shy about asking questions! We’ll be happy to oblige!