I'm often asked why I write romance. That answer for me is simple. I believe in love, commitment and marriage that lasts. What I love most about writing in the romance genre is that I can take the ideal of happily-ever-after, salt it with honesty, some realism and what a reader believes romance should be. I believe the romance genre is uplifting, emotional and gives readers hope about what a relationship can strive for.
Maybe because I was an only child and searching for the kindred spirit described in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, I sought out close friendships, not here-today-gone-tomorrow ones. I dreamed about dating and read teenage romances along with THE BLACK STALLION and NANCY DREW. The relationships in Emilie Loring's books fascinated me and I think that's when I first started noticing story structure and exactly what happened in a romance. I sought out other books that would give me that intense hero/heroine relationship and ended happily-ever-after.
I didn't date much in high school but I did a lot of dreaming. I wanted a career, but I also wanted to meet that one person whom I could love for a lifetime. I remember my first boyfriend, my first dance, my longing for a connection with someone that superseded all others. At college, I found my husband and we've been married for forty-one years.
I believe in romance and what that means. Essentially, the definition of romance is thinking about what the other person in the relationship wants and needs and giving that to him or her--whether it's a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, a massage or a break from watching the kids! Caring, tenderness, kindness and closeness are integral aspects of romance whether true to life or the ideal.
My October Samhain release, ABIGAIL AND MISTLETOE, embodies the true meaning of romance. Attraction and chemistry is only the beginning. Honesty and unconditional love are the end. Abigail is a trauma makeup artist who arrives at Brady's Colorado lodge over the holidays to help a friend of his father's. When Abigail and Brady meet, their sizzle unnerves them both. Abigail realizes Brady will never really know her until she tells him about and shows him her secret. Past experience makes her fear his rejection. But what kind of relationship can they really have without honesty?
ABIGAIL AND MISTLETOE is about caring and tenderness and acceptance...it's about romance leading to unconditional love. I think the romance genre is so popular for just that reason. At the end of the day, isn't unconditional love what we all seek? Why wouldn't I want to write about romance. Of all genres, I believe it's the one that is most universal, most heart-satisfying and most emotionally powerful.
©2012 Karen Rose Smith
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