A Love Worth Rooting For …
I’ve always enjoyed a good love story.
I read Pride and Prejudice when I was eleven or twelve and for the next decade it was my favourite book.
When I watched The Notebook, Noah quickly became my ideal man … not just for the intensity of love he showed in those early days, but for his consistency through trials that would stagger the best of us.
And I won’t lie, when I was a young’un, Disney features with their fairy tale romances captivated me. Heck, they still do!
But I’m more drawn to them for the stories of struggle, growth, and, of course, the music, than for the happily-ever-after type love they promote.
As far as the damsel-saving hero, my general opinion is ‘Hey, Rapunzel, Cut your hair off, tie it to something sturdy and climb down your own d**n self! Then, when Mr. Charming comes along you won’t be saved, you’ll be respected.’
As a result of these mindsets, over the years I’ve shied away from the Romance genre as a reader.
The whole cute meet, fall in love (with a few ups and downs along the way), then live happily ever after format just doesn’t usually do it for me.
Not that I’m a cynic but … okay, maybe I’m just a little bit of a cynic. 😉
I get why people love those stories. I understand the urge to believe in fairy tale love. But I just don’t.
Love is messy. Love is confusing. Sometimes, it hurts. And the pain, just as much as the joy, helps us grow.
I also don’t like knowing 100% when I pick up a book that the couple will end up together.
Sometimes, even when love is real and strong and worth it, it’s still not meant to be. Hearts are broken, goodbyes are said, and that can be just as beautiful.
With the exception of those few stories I’ve read that manage that three point romance story-line while also giving me something more, something deeper and real to connect the characters, I often end up feeling frustrated with the standard romance.
That’s just me.
Yet, ever since I got into the writing biz, people have been suggesting I consider Romance. It’s the most read genre out there. It’s my best chance at making a living at this not always lucrative career choice. But, how could I write something I rarely read?
Cue the planning phase for my next novel.
It’s about a lot of things. But it didn’t take me long to realize at its heart, it’s about love.
Could it be that I’m about to write a Romance? No, laughs to self, I don’t think so, but …
It’s about two people. Two people struggling to make sense of the world, their pain, their futures. Two people on the road to discovery, who, at various points in the journey, are intricately part of each others’ stories.
But, I told myself, it’s not a Romance. It’s a Redemption story, it’s a story about accepting the bad in life and searching until you find the good, it’s … a love story.
Hmmm … Yeah, it’s a love story.
The tale I want to tell is far too big for one book. So, if you’re looking for that love story – call it Romance if you like, call it life if you don’t – you’ll only get a hint of it from Book One. And barely more from Book Two. The relationship is not the focus of either of those books. And honestly, it’s not the main focus of Book Three, either.
But the trilogy as a whole, that’s where something beautiful happens. Something that changes the characters in ways only true, selfless, and hard-earned love can.
Something that’s love without the inherent promise of happily-ever-after: a love even cynics like me can root for.
So is it a Romance? Am I now a Romance author?
It’s a story of life and love in three parts. Decide for yourself if it needs a label.
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(*This post was originally an email sent out to my newsletter subscribers.*)
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