During a conversation on Facebook with a group of Crimson Romance authors and editors, Julie Sturgeon (Imprint Manager) spoke up on her thoughts about Love versus Romance in writing. I totally loved what she had to say and I invited her here to share her thoughts with you! Please give Julie a warm welcome!!
Love v Romance: How to Pick Your Side of the Fight
As a development editor who works with Crimson Romance as well as self-published writers, one of the most common remarks I jot in manuscripts is “no, not yet. It’s too early.”
Yes, I’m a romance editor whose mission is to delete the I love yous.
Many authors write beautiful love stories. Stories of instant attraction, soulmates willing to die for the other. They forgive, they support, they last. They make readers laugh and cry simultaneously.
Isn’t that the happily ever after we all want to read?
You see, I’m living that happily ever after. I’ve been married for 30 years to my first serious boyfriend from college. He’s my best friend. I know what it’s like to wake up in the morning on a beach vacation, ready to hit the sand while he opts to hide out in the hotel room because “it’s too hot out there.” I know I can turn to him at 3 a.m. in hysterics because I’ve crashed my WordPress site and he’ll roll out of bed to call tech support. He calls the shots on the television most nights, but during the Olympics or NCAA March Madness, that remote is mine. A few years ago I forced him to sell his sci fi collection at Half Price Books for a stupidly small sum of money. He forgave me.
When I’m driving cross country, there is no one else I want by my side in the passenger’s seat. Or the driver’s seat. We share the load like that and it’s the greatest blessing of my life.
What I’ll never experience again is that delicious sense of falling in love. When we went to the movies last week on our date night, I wasn’t on the edge of excitement, wondering if he’d put his arm around me or steal a kiss and if that would lead to more. My big curiosity was whether he’d remember to tell them to butter the popcorn.
So I, like so many readers, must turn to books to relive the uncertainty, the thrills, the tingles of romance. When the hero and heroine say, “I love you,” it’s time to move on. Oh, yes, I will read another chapter or two to find out what happened to the dog they rescued or who shot her sister. But I’ve squeezed my emotional fix from the story and am ready for the next romance book regardless of the page count. If I’m only halfway through the current story … well I know how that ends.
He’s coming through the door at 7 pm and we’re going to On the Border to use our free queso coupon.
Readers who aren’t in a solid relationship—in love, if you will—struggle to wrap their minds around living this happily ever after stage yet. The romance phase stands between them and that horizon, and they haven’t had success just yet bridging the gap. They need romance novels to assure them it is possible to work through the emotions, the drama, the bumps that accompany the excitement.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with writing love stories, of course. But if your goal is to set your published book on the romance shelves, make sure your characters aren’t Cupid’s victims dining in Mexican chain restaurants on a random Wednesday.
Thanks so much for being here, Julie!!