Why I Love Romance

Last October, I attended a workshop where Susan Mallory challenged the participants to make a list of 50 reasons they write romance.  When times are tough, or if the author is having difficulty facing the blank page, they could pull out the list and remind themselves why they wanted to do this.  As someone who uses “what if” lists to advance a story’s plot, I know that as the list fills up it becomes harder and harder to come up with new ID-100181933reasons to love writing romance.  That’s when the “good stuff” happens.

So I made my list.  I haven’t had to pull it out to remind myself why I do this, but I thought I’d share some of the answers with you – as I know you love romance as well.  Don’t worry.  I won’t bore you with all 50.

1. Fans!  Where else can you work where people randomly send you messages from all other the world saying that they love your work!  It’s amazing and deeply, deeply appreciated and unlike any other profession I’ve encountered.  Romance fans are the absolute best.

2.  I love that reading, especially candidates for RITA awards, is considered essential for the job.  Reading Research books is essential as well.  How cool is that?

3.  I can write in pajamas.  I can write on my screened in porch.  Heck, I write in airports waiting on my plane.  I plot while I do aerobics (yeah, I’mID-100233401 the one going right when everyone else turns left.  I’m lost in my book world.)  And all I really need is a notebook and pen (but I have laptops and iPads, of course  🙂  ).

4.  Speaking of travel, in 2014 I was in Atlanta, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Newark, Jacksonville and New York City – all for writing purposes.  Heck, I was even re-routed to Minneapolis airport – twice!   😛  Being a published author is like having a passport.

5.  I love what I write.  I love that my name is on the book.  I love that I’m considered i i’ve nteresting at cocktail parties (and funerals…but that’s another story  🙂  ).  My hope is that my books will be around when i am not.  My God – I’m immortal!!!   😛

ID-1002269316.  I’ve fallen in love with each of the heroes in my books.  I think it keeps you young.  I think writing keeps the brain engaged and hopefully keeps dementia at bay.  Time will tell.

7.  Writing causes me to look at the world differently.  I look for possible plots in everything I see (i.e. the Charm gates in New Orleans).  I look for settings and local sayings and such.

8.  Book signings are the coolest things ever!

9.  I love that I write in a genre that requires a happily-ever-after ending.  No dispressing endings for me.  I love that I write books where a hero sacrifices to win the love of the heroine.

10. I get to acknowledge friends, family members, all those that helped me in this journey in every book.  It’s like a very public THANK YOU.  I think that’s cool.ID-10091687


So what about you?  If you were making a list of why you love romance, what would you say?  As it’s January, and we all know that January means new calendars  :-P, I’ll give  Affaire de Coeur 2015 calendars to three commenters.  You’ll be able to have romance every month with Affaire de Coeur.  So let’s chat about romance.


Photos were provided by freedigitalphotos.net

In order the artists are gualberto107, photo stock, photoraidz, and stuart miles.


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  • Helen says:

    Is he coming back to this heat

    Have Fun

  • Helen says:


    I do love those reasons and I love romance stories for the HEA that journey has so much love romance fun suspense angst and so much in it as I am not a big traveller I get to visit so many places around the world all from my recliner and I get to travel back in time and into the future. Also I have met and made so many awesome friends personally and on the net that I call friends I know I can chat to them about a book I am reading and many other things>
    Romance is the best and I thank all of the romance writers for giving me such wonderful journeys and adventures 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Helen –

      I love that as a reader you can experience so many settings. I just finished a book set in Oklahoma that made me feel the heat when it’s so cold here 🙂 One of the things I like most about reading romance is the emotion. No other genre makes me actual feel the words as much as Romance. And yeah – Romance readers are the best! 🙂

  • Jane says:

    Hello Donna,
    One of the best things I love is that I can be transported to a different setting and time period depending on my mood and it’s satisfying to experience all the HEAs.

    • Hi Jane!

      I agree! I never realized how important the HEA was to me until I read some books without one. Why invest all that time in something that doesn’t leave you feeling fulfilled and optimistic of the future?

  • Amy Conley says:

    Donna, your reasons are wonderful. If I could just add one reason, well it could be considered more, it would be I can BE my character in any time or place. This is the reason I read fromance, so I would write it for the same reason.

    • Hi Amy –

      Remember – you only are seeing a part of my list – LOL. Yes, it’s wonderful to actually BE another character and feel their emotions. I love that my characters always know exactly what to say in any situation 🙂 I wish I had that ability in real life!

  • Shannon says:

    Why I love romance…
    1. The HEA.
    2. The heroines. They’ve become “more” and better.
    3. The heros. They range from hot to tortured to besotted.
    4. The secondary characters that linger after the hero and heroine.
    5. The first kiss, when the magic appears.

    • Hi Shannon –

      I was just thinking about you! I’d been contacted by the new group that is doing that Hagerstown workshop. Still debating whether to do that this year.

      I love the first kiss! I should have included that one on my list. In fact, I love the whole sexual tension that is palatible through the beginning of the book. Can’t fight the chemistry 🙂 .

      • Shannon says:

        I know about the deciding part. I have the option of a retreat, a one day conference, or maybe NRWI. They all cost about the same. The thing is that I have a late August wedding, and I need to move in May. I more than understand the dilemma of what to do.

        • Shannon –

          FWIW – It’s not the NRWI anymore. There’s been a change in who is running the show. Now it’s the Mid-Atlantic Fiction Writing Institute so something similar. Just saying in case it looks different.

  • Erika Kelly says:

    Wonderful post, Donna. I was going to say I love writing romance because it’s so challenging–I love every part of the process no matter how much I rail against it in the moment!–but that’s why I love writing. I love writing romance in particular because writing stories is so all-consuming that I need to fill my world with good, positive, happy things to keep me sane (and happy). With romance, I’m spending my days and nights with characters who are fighting to overcome obstacles and slay personal demons, all for the golden prize of true, enduring, and deep love. I’m driving the whole story to that HEA, and that is just an awesome way to spend my time!

    • Hi Erika –

      it’s awesome, isn’t it? But it’s hard work as well – especially when writing the middle. I ‘m reminded of the saying that it’s not that we love to write, but rather having written. 🙂

  • Laurie G says:

    1) HEA I need to know there’s going to be a happy ending.

    2) Escape from my everyday life

    3) Educational- I learn about different countries and their culture and customs. I visit the popular tourist sites and attractions. I learn a few words of their language.

    4) Jobs- I learn about different careers. I also learn about how the career is managed and expectations.

    5) Interpersonal relationships both as friends and lovers
    Love the first contact, the attraction and chemistry!

    6) Community – strong bonds that develop between lovers of romance

    7) Time periods and settings are varied. Romance can take place any where, at any time.

    8) wonderful authors who work so hard to bring us an entertaining, well-written story.

    • Hi Laurie!

      Must say that I’m proud to write in a genre where a HEA is expected. I can’t stand to read a book these days that doesn’t end well. Love your comment about occupations. I hadn’t thought about that. perhaps because I write historicals…but then I thought about all the research I did for Whisky Laird and it makes me say – Yeah! I like learning about new occupations! 🙂

  • Mozette says:

    I love romance for a variety of reasons; and some of them are different to what people think.

    1. I’m single, so it helps my mind work over things when I don’t have a love life, a boyfriend or anyone to be romantic with.

    2. It helps me write my love and sex scenes… yeah, I use romance books – and their sex scenes – as reference to help with making my love-making scenes very realistic.

    3. Reviews are my last one. I find writing reviews for romance books are fun… it keeps people interested in romance – no matter who they are. 😀

    • Hi Mozette!

      Interesting take on the list. When I first started writing, I had such a hard time thinking of how to express emotions -in deep POV for anger, suspicion, and attraction, I started a card file of examples from other romance novels. It’s different thinking and reading about such things than writing them. Looking through the card file helped me see how I could do the same thing in my unique voice. So I understand about using romance novels as a research tool. Thanks for that different perspective 🙂

  • catslady says:

    I love the fact that I can get totally lost in a story. Everything else goes away for a while. The people I can be and the places I can go and the things I can do. And with romance there is that knowing that all will be well in the end – what we all want in our lives!

    • Catslady –

      That’s what I love about writing a romance as well. I can go anywhere, be different types of people and get totally lost in my world…plus I get to fall in love with all those heroes! 🙂

  • Elaina says:

    Romance provides me with an escape and is the best entertainment that I enjoy since I read romance avidly and don’t watch T.V. Romance takes place in locales which are unique, intriguing and wonderful. Romance is always appealing and gives me hope.

    • Elaina –

      I don’t watch very much tv either. Those stupid reality shows can’t compete with a well-constructed novel. I love the escape option – although I’m currently reading a suspense novel and have bad people chasing me all day long! 🙂

  • anne says:

    I love romance because it transports me to another era, a realm and a setting which I can feel, picture and learn about. Romance has a variety of characters that are extraordinary and unusual. Lastly romance is sheer bliss.

    • Hi Anne –

      Romance is pure bliss.

      That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? 🙂 It’s not surprising that Romance has such a huge market share. What surprises me is that it’s not 100%. Everyone should read romance 🙂

  • ellie says:

    Captivating, enthralling and most of all weaving a spell from which I can’t extricate myself.

  • Fedora says:

    I love the journey to the HEA and beyond–it’s also a reminder of hope and the power of love. And it can be a fun “take me away” kind of experience. And I agree, everyone SHOULD read romance!

    • Hi Fedora –

      I’ve already talked about my love of the HEA 🙂 It’s definitely a “take me away” sort of an experience. I do enjoy reading about two individuals falling in love especially if they seem so far apart initially. It’s a good reminder that there’s a common ground everywhere.

      Thanks Fedora!

  • pearl says:

    Romance and love are elusive and neverending. It seems to be a quest for one and all which consumes us. Reading about the angst, trials and tribulations we face is inspiring, as well as heartbreaking but we continue to have an interest because of the THE END.

    • Hi Pearl –

      Haven’t heard from you in a while. Hope everything has been okay.

      I really enjoy all the comments about THE END. It really is important, isn’t it? I mean I think a romance is more than just two people agreeing to be faithful in some context (marriage or otherwise) but I like the artful twist to getting to that point – and it’s always reassuring when we DO get there 🙂

  • What a great post and a great list, Donna!

    I love that I can immerse myself in historical research and not have to justify it – Hey! I’m writing a book, I NEED these research books.

    No matter how bad my day is – reading a romance novel or writing one of mine – puts it all in perspective. No matter what, life is still beautiful.

    I get to return to England. The three years I lived there were three of the very happiest of my life. In reading and writing I can return to the green hills, the snowy landscapes and the quaint little villages.

    I like the people in romance novels – mine and those I read – better than I do most of the people I meet at work. Sad, but true.

    Something of who I am and what I believe will stay behind after I’m gone. I don’t have children (except for the furry kind) so my books will be my legacy.

    • Why thank you, Louisa –

      I know! Isn’t it a great life! I really believe being able to write romance is a blessing. In spite of what many people suggest, it’s not all that financially rewarding – at least not yet and not for me 🙂 – but it’s truly the best job ever. I get to do what I love and the benefits are fabulous. We are truly blessed.

  • Sally Schmidt says:

    I’m not a writer, but as a reader I love romance because it so perfectly fills a void no other type of writing (or watching) does. It’s spicier than a cozy, but not as harsh as a Lifetime move. As in a silent movie or on the stage, the characters are often a bit larger than life, emoting for all they are worth, and I love it! Even when bad things happen, I am hopeful and excited to see how everything will be resolved and how the characters will work things out – and having a few hot nights doesn’t hurt, either ;-).

    Somehow I stopped reading romance for a few years and have just rediscovered some authors I used to enjoy and found a lot of new ones. I’m happy I came back.

    • Hi Sally –

      We’re glad you’re back! You’re right the characters are larger than life, and their emotions tend to be larger and ever-present – and they suck us right in :). Love it!

  • Donna,
    I love and agree with all your reasons. I have loved reading romance since I was 12!
    I want to be transported and romance always delivers.
    I love the romance community, so many friends who love books and who are so supportive.
    And I love writing romance because I believe in love.
    Your books always make me want the next one.