It’s called imagination and research...okay, and maybe a teensy weensy bit of my personal experiences, but not the...ahem...intimate ones. Hubby would disown me.
I mean, I’ve never ridden sidesaddle or in a carriage, or worn stays, or drunk laudanum, or fought a duel, but I’ve written about all those. I also have heroines that shoot and throw knives at villains. I’ve never done that either, though I do know how to shoot a gun—comes with being the daughter of a cop and married to a hunter.
Before I go on, I should probably mention that I’ve been ridiculed for writing “smut” and even had some of my Christian friends raise their eyebrows and give me “that” look. But here’s the deal, I write romance, not porn. Yes, there is a difference.
Romance novels, especially historicals, allow readers a chance to escape from reality, which, let’s be honest, at times really sucks. I believe romance, at least the kind I write, shows healthy, loving relationships between two people dedicated (and eventually married) to each other. Romance novels depict commitment, trust, (albeit sometimes hard won trust) forgiveness, self-sacrifice, and yes, passion.
I love reading happy-ever-afters, and I love writing them even more. I’ve heard the argument, “That’s not real life.” Okay, so let’s only write reality? Really? I don’t think so. Too dark, depressing...hopeless. And we need hope, don’t we?
I started reading romance very young, and it gave me a vision for the kind of man I wanted to marry. It also helped me with my moral compass, because I didn’t want to be promiscuous; I wanted to save myself for the man who would someday be my husband.
So, back to why I write romance...
There’s something magical and fulfilling about bring together a couple who despite conflict and struggles, overcome the odds and find love together. Call it fantasy or dreaming, but that’s what everyone wants; their own happily-ever-after. If I can give readers a bit of hope, help them cling to their dream, then I’ve done what I set out to do.
And that’s why I write romance.