I’ve tried, but I’m not a romance writer. Romantic suspense, mystery with a romantic element, dark comedy with a suggestion of romantic comedy, Gothic with a ghostly romance—YES, but not a pure romance novel.
I respect the romance genre and enjoy reading historical romance, romantic suspense and sometimes even the ‘rom coms.’ So far, my experience with contemporary romance has been something between ick and meh with an occasional glimmer of ‘I like these characters but wish they were solving a mystery together and not merely falling in love against a contrived set of odds.’ Still, as a reader, I keep trying.
As a writer, I’m cognizant of the importance of romance, love, sex, relationships, connections, etc. in the imaginary lives of my imaginary characters. I just want to make sure that the romance forwards the plot and/or illuminates the characters and that I’m not shifting the focus of the story. This is a delicate balance and I’m often riding a line between genres.
Do you have any thoughts on how much or how to add a dash of romance without flipping the balance toward romance? Please share.