Why do I write romance? I’d have to say, I fell into the genre, like so many other writers because I enjoy reading romance. To paraphrase that old saying, “Writing romance is like prostitution. First you write for yourself, then you do it for a few friends, finally you do it for everyone.” I’ve been doing it for everyone for a few years now and I love it!
What is romance but fantasy for adults? The women are beautiful, smart and sweet. The men, handsome, viral and usually rich! It’s fun to write about sex, too. I mean, let’s face it – sex is funny! I try hard to get a lot of humor in my work because everyone loves to laugh. Isn’t it fun to read, smile, get warm all over, laugh, get REALLY warm all over, sigh and have to go take a cold shower? Me too.
As soon as people find out I write romances, they assume I’ve had a fabulous sex life with a variety of lovers. When they want details, I just give them an enigmatic smile, keep my mouth shut and tell them to read my books. Why should I tell them that in reality I have a great imagination and I read a lot?
When writing the modern romance, I try to keep the tension tight, ratchet it up a bit more until the reader it literally biting her tongue with worry. Will they EVER get together? Short chapters are best. And I always, always end with a good cliff hanger. I want to write the kind of romances where, it’s two o’clock in the morning, the reader is snuggled down in bed, reading my book, she has to get up at six in the morning and go to work but….she HAS to read, just one more chapter!
I try to keep description to a minimum, too, just the exciting, sexy facts. We all know the biggest sex organ in the body is the brain. I like to tease my readers just enough to stimulate their imaginations. I don’t care if they come up with an idea completely different from what I intended. As long as they enjoy the story, that’s enough for me.
Lastly I’ve discovered that you have to write romance because you love to read it – not because you want to make money and think it will be easy. First of all, it’s not easy! Let’s face it, there are only so many ways couples can meet, court, fall in love and live happily ever after. When writing romance, you have to constantly come up new ideas, fresh characters, lively locals, and let’s not forget about all that sex! Ideas are everywhere – you just have to learn to recognize them.
So far I’ve published an erotic novella, Mysterious Gift, about a man who loses his memory but gains a gift. Whenever he touches someone, he can read their mind. The gift sure helps him when it comes to pleasing his partner. Next I came up with the idea of a woman who, Poof!, accidentally blows up a laboratory and becomes….invisible. Pity the poor guy who tries to make love to an invisible woman! A student of mine actually gave me the idea for my latest novella Blood Lust. It’s the story of a New York City EMT who can only work nights because….he’s a vampire.
Janet Evanovich once said she had to stop writing romance because she ran out of positions. Writing romance means I constantly have to come up with fun ways for my characters to enjoy one another in bed….or on the couch…in the front seat of a Ferrari….while sky diving, or….wait a minute I think I might be able to work that one into my latest novel! Stay tuned.
Carlene Rae Dater is the author of nine novels, three novellas and a non-fiction book about her adventures as a volunteer at the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. For a list and links to all of her work, visit her blogs: www.carlenedater.com, www.themysterystartshere.com, or www.manicreaders.com/CarleneRaeDater, or www.Facebook.com/CarleneraeDater