Friday, August 8, 2014

Backup Blog - What Is True Romance?

Hey all,

WooHoo!!!! We've arrived in Santiago.  I know I had promised you a blog about the Andes here, but unfortunately if you're seeing this, it means I wasn't able to get online to post my latest blog.  I'm writing this one here in Buenos Aires, just in case that happens.  We've been told that the internet isn't provided at the hotel we're staying in there in Santiago.  WTF???  In this day and age.  Ridiculous!!!!  

Anyway, this backup blog will have to make do until I figure out how to get online.  Maybe I'll do a bunch at one time, then head to Starbucks and upload them all at once.  *sigh*  What a pain.  But if you don't see me for awhile, you're forewarned as to why.  :-)

But until I do figure it all out, please enjoy this backup blog...


One of my favorite books that I’ve written is Eyes of Fire.  It has done quite well over the years and I still get fan mail about it.  It was the very first book I submitted, and as I've said, the reviews were fantastic.  Both from fans and reviewers.  I hope that everyone who has read it enjoyed it as much as I did writing it, because I think it's one of the most romantic books I've ever done.

Which leads me to our discussion for the day. What is romance and how has it changed over the years?

Now this can be a hot topic for some people, and those who read romance have strong opinions on the subject. At the risk of alienating some people, I too have a strong opinion, but I'm pretty sure if you've read one of my books, you'll already know the answer.

For me, Romance is a story between two committed people and will always , always, always end with a Happily Ever After, or at the very least, a Happily Ever Now.

Now I know that others feel differently, but for me, I feel cheated if a book that is touted as a romance, doesn't have these elements. I remember Nora Roberts said during an interview that no matter how the genre may change, an HEA will always be a must. And I have to agree with her.

I will fight to the death the right for authors to write any type of book they want, but for me as a reader, I want a happy ending and I always write what I would want to read.

So that being out of the way, what is it exactly that makes a book romantic? Sex? Emotion? Commitment? Love? Or is it all of the above.

In my humble opinion, a true romance book needs to have a couple who fall or are deeply in love with each other. While sex can be a wonderful addition to the story, I've read some truly wonderful books that weren't erotic in the slightest.
It's the emotion that drives a true romance book. Love, pain, angst, however you want to say it, we read these types of books to feel along with the characters. When the heroine weeps, we want to weep with her, and when the hero takes out the bad guy, we want to feel his passion and his anger. And when they finally celebrate their love, whether it's with a kiss or hot sex, we want to feel that triumph and satisfaction.

Has romance changed over the years? I don't think so. Not really. The stories are still about couples finding each other and falling in love. There are still problems and angst with them being together, and there will always be some type of resolution, that Happy Ever After I mentioned earlier.

The only difference I see is the way it's being told. Books are more explicit and sex is a big part of the equation. The types of couples have changed. True love can be found with those who are of the same sex. And now you can find true love with a vampire, a witch or a shapeshifter just as easily as you may find it with the boy next door.

Romance is the one genre that accepts everything and ignores nothing. Look around at the books available and you'll see a crossing of genre lines in our stories that is rarely seen in any other. I love being a romance writer because I can explore parts of myself and my imagination I might not be able to anywhere else.

So what do you think? What does romance mean to you? Has it changed in your opinion? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Hugs and have a wonderful weekend!

CJ England

Follow Your Dreams

1 comment:

Ray said...

I agree with your assessment although if the HEA is delayed for a sequel using another couple I like that even better. I have some favorite authors who use that. Tara Janzen even uses a whole gang of people so the peripheral couple meet, go on an adventure not liking each other and falling in love at the end. What got me reading her is that every book has a muscle car that has a name.