I’d like to thank author Cheryl Adnams for contributing this guest post about writing romance as part of a Random House blog tour (the next blog on the tour is 1girl2manybooks). Cheryl lives in Adelaide, South Australia. After discovering a love of writing in high school, she went on to complete courses in screenplay writing and a Diploma of Freelance Travel Writing and Photography. Having travelled extensively, Cheryl lived and worked in the United States, Canada and then for a tour company in Switzerland and Austria. Back home in South Australia now, she has a deep love and pride for the Fleurieu Peninsula and Adelaide Hills regions – particularly the beauty of the beaches and wine region of McLaren Vale. She attributes Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb for inspiring her to get back into her lifetime love of writing. When she’s not writing, Cheryl is avidly reading as many books as she can fit in around her busy full-time job as a training facilitator. You can keep up with Cheryl on Facebook and on Twitter.
Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am the most cynical person they know when it comes to relationships. Don’t get me wrong – I have had my fair share of relationships (and quite possibly someone elses share as well) but I don’t spend every day wishing I were in love. So, I hear you ask, how does a cynic become the writer of romance novels?
I could say that behind all that cynicism hides a closet romantic dying to get out. Or that behind all the bravado lies a Bridget Jones disciple sitting at home having a relationship with a bottle of wine and afraid of being eaten by Alsatians. Neither is an accurate description of me by the way. But do you have to be romantic to be a romance novelist?
The answer is a resounding no. Writing romance comes out of my imagination the same way horror oozes out of Stephen King’s imagination. And it’s not like he spent his time hobbling writers with a sledgehammer in order to write ‘Misery’. Equally, romance writers in the erotic romance genre will tell you that no, they don’t necessarily indulge in kinky S&M on a daily basis in order to write their novels. (Maybe some do, I don’t want to generalise).
My point is, the imagination is a wonderful thing and research helps cement the facts. But erotic romance writers don’t have to be into whips and chains in order to write erotic novels. Murder writers do not need to commit the act in order to write a murder novel. Hence, a romance writer does not have to be particularly romantic in order to write a sweet and beautiful romance novel.
The other point I would like to make is that whether you are into horror, murder, thriller, paranormal, sci-fi or other books, there is often an element of romance – if not at least sex – in all of these genres. It’s just cleverly disguised by all the suspense, violence, zombies and space ships, that you don’t realise that you have, in fact, fallen victim to romance.
I’ve been writing romantic stories since I was a teenager. But I need to admit that when I decided to become a serious writer in my twenties, I knew that I would need to write a serious work of literature to be taken seriously. The overuse of the word serious here is deliberate. Romance may not be taken seriously as a genre in some circles. But romance is one of the largest read genres in the world and one of the largest money making genres in the world. Now that’s love, baby.
My first romance novel Bet On It was released in May 2014 and my second novel Chasing the Flames was released on September 24. Both books are selling better than I could ever have imagined and I am now in love again.