We're delighted to welcome our very first guest blogger--Nikki Duncan! Nikki's first novel for Samhain is Sounds To Die By. To learn more about Nikki and her books, visit her Web site, http://www.nikkiduncan.com.
Okay, so when people find out someone writes romance, there seem to be three camps of thought.
Camp 1 is readers. They want the names of the books so they can go buy them.
Camp 2 is entertaining, at least for me. These people are the ones that assume romance writers have amazing, adventurous romantic lives. We have highly active, imaginative and adventurous sex lives. Our husbands are all super lucky that we practice our scenes on them. If it’s in our books then it must be real.
Camp 3 is frustrating and in need of education, though most of them aren’t open-minded enough to hear the logical points. This is the group of people that believe romance novels are dirty and nasty. They are not real books or they’re a waste of shelf space, or that a person should be ashamed to read one. Some feel that romance leads women (readers) to have false expectations from a relationship, after all who can expect to have what the couples in romance novels find?
So here’s the reality of our real lives. We romance writers do not live in alternate universes or on other planets. We do not pretend to be strippers, hookers, cops or whatever else to catch a killer. We don’t battle demons or have relationships with shifters. Sorry to disappoint.
There are some elements of our stories that are real. My favorite authors and books all offer the same things.
~ An escape from whatever is going on in my life for the time it takes me to read the book.
~ A meaningful relationship between two people who love each other.
~ A hero who know how to respect a woman, and while he may be a jerk on occasion, he has core values and does not cross the lines into abuse. He doesn’t hit her or belittle her.
~ A hero that always tries to make the right decisions.
~ A couple that is dedicated exclusively to the relationship and is perfectly happy to be with their chosen mate/spouse/significant other.
~ A couple that likes to be with each other. They are happier together than apart.
~ A couple that accepts one another despite and sometimes because of their flaws.
I shrug off a lot of the questions I get asked when people find out I write romance, but when someone asks if I base my heroes after my own husband, my answer is yes. Those people that feel a woman has unreasonable expectations if she tries to hold out for a romance novel hero are wrong. My husband and I just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. It hasn’t been all sunshine and butterflies, but he is my hero. He is the father of my children, my confidant, my biggest supporter, and my best friend. If you read my stories, you will find my husband in every one of my heroes-he is the best parts of each one.
My first story, SOUNDS TO DIE BY, just released from Samhain Publishing. The hero in that story is a grumpy blind man with some of the most amazing abilities. He also encompasses all of the character traits I’ve mentioned. They’re both flawed and far from perfect, but only together do they find the connection we all want.
So tell me, what’s your view on romance? Can you have what the book heroines find? Do you have it already? Is it all a figment of our imaginations?