Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why do I write romance?

The short answer is – because I’ve always written romance. Well, almost always. My first stories were school, pony and theatre stories. I ‘graduated’ to romance when I was about thirteen. Very chaste romance to start with, I must admit. I still remember my first ‘romance’ story which was called ‘Blind Date’. My friends thought it was wonderful, of course.

I continued to write romance stories during my teens, just for myself and my friends, until three years at University diverted my writing efforts to essay and thesis writing.

Fast forward about three years – and I’m married and have a baby girl. I’ve given up teaching and my days are filled with ‘baby-talk’ and with meaningful discussions about potty-training and other scintillating baby-related subjects with other young mums.

In the evenings, I started writing romance again – pure escapism on my part. I was writing solely for myself as I began to revise and expand a story I’d written in my teens.  At the same time, I was also devouring Mills and Boon romances from the local library and eventually I decided my story was as good as (if not better!) than some of those I was reading. I bought a second-hand upright typewriter and laboriously typed out my handwritten story, then parcelled it up and sent it to Mills and Boon.

And it was accepted. How lucky was that? First book accepted by first publisher! It was due for release on the same day as my second daughter was due (she was early, the book came later) - somewhere, I have a photo of book and baby daughter lying together on a rug in the garden.  I can't find it, so here's the book cover instead, which I loved.

Three other novels followed, plus several short stories were published – all romances of course.

And now, after a long gap, necessitated by ‘real life’, I’ve come back to writing – and of course it’s romance again. Maybe it’s because I still believe in the HEA ending (even though I’m now divorced and - I hasten to add - happily single). Maybe it’s because I like falling in love with my heroes? Or maybe because it’s simply because I AM a romance writer. I didn’t choose the genre, it chose me.


  1. Our life experiences add to our skills as romance writers, I think. After we survive hurts and savor triumphs, we know more about feelings, forgiveness, and when to say no.

  2. Hi,

    Hee hee, twice married I can vouch for second-time-around romance is a whole lot more fun than first barring the birth of two daughters from first marriage. The advantage being, one knows the rules of engagement and can break them all!! :o

    Nice book cover image! ;)


  3. Great post! And I agree, sometimes the genre chooses us. Also shows that no matter how often the "rules" change, everyone likes a good romance.

  4. Ana, my life experiences might have led me to be cynical about romance and HEA; instead I think they allow me to write 'romance' in a more realistic way than I wrote it in my early novels, but never cynically!

    Francine, the only good thing to come out of my marriage was my two daughters - and, as a result, my two gorgeous grandsons too. At one time, I thought I might marry again. Now I'm very happy on my own.
    And yes, that cover for my first novel has remained my favourite.

    Jennifer, you're right, the demand for romance novels continues. Maybe a different kind of romance than I wrote in the 60's, but still the HEA ending that everyone hopes for, but often doesn't get, in real life.

  5. *sigh* I do so love falling in love with my heroes each and every time.

    So glad you came back to writing...

  6. Having just done the 'errata' for His Leading Lady, I've fallen in love with Kyle all over again! Now I have to get back to Nile Romance and fall for Ross again. Does that make me fickle?? LOL