I’ve been asked this a few times. I’ve read where I have to identify my brand in order to stay consistent. And so here’s my answer.
It’s not this:
Romance: (1) a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. Or this (2) a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.
So to put it in plain and simple terms–I write relationship books.
Anyway, so my therapist said something very poignant in our last session. She said, everyone is on their best behavior in the beginning of a relationship.
In real life the woman usually sacrifices being her true self to appease the man, and the man is feeling pretty happy because he’s thinking this one isn’t crazy. But at the same time he’s a little cautious because he’s waiting for the crazy since every single woman he’s ever been in a relationship has at some point shown the crazy. The man is also on his best behavior–not controlling, not demanding, not screwing with your self-esteem.
But anyway… we’re talking about women here.
So what’s the source of the crazy?
That’s simple. Insecurity and/or the lack of expectations fulfilled. That’s what makes women step in to cuckoo. And depending on a woman’s background it’s either one or the other. For us city girls, who early on, instead of marriage were looking for a CEO seat, it’s insecurity. For those traditional women who were seeking the perfect match and family early on, well, their crazy is unfulfilled expectations–99.9% percent of men are unable to morph into the Prince Charming the script says he should be. And for us extra ambitious gals, usually we’re around men are who are just as ambitious and struggling for a CEO seat of their own. Those guys will never book it until they feel financially secure and stable career wise–and heck, neither will we! See… unlike our traditional sisters, who don’t understand the power of the puss*. The, you bang this you buy this. Nope. We just want to bang, none of us want to buy because bangings become the short term injections of love we need to get by, and slowly we gnaw at each other’s level of trust one banging good time at a time (my editors would never let me get away with this sentence but his my blog so I can! 🙂 ).
And OMG… How many of my insecure crazy girlfriends have I consoled over the years. And how many times have they consoled me! We can’t see how it should look because ROMANCE/CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE are vastly not written with us in mind.
Honestly, I can’t get through a romance book. The moment a female protagonist’s friend encourages her to become a call girl because the protagonist hasn’t had sex in a long time–I huff a long sigh, and say, “no, not for me.” Or when the John, because that’s what a guy who pays to be with a woman is, but no, in these books he’s some handsome, debonair guy, who’s got his head together, and not some poor soul who more than likely has a profound sexual addiction, which keeps him from having normal relations with women or men, depending on what he’s into, I just groan and say, “give me a break. Or the guy who hires a call girl because he wants to keep the gold-diggers away– I LOL at those and then close the book. OR… Some ALPHA male who’s some how likable. The women in my world KNOW that alpha males are little boys parading as big men. They feel little on the inside so they have to play big on the outside. The minute he starts telling you how he likes you to dress and behave so he can show you off??? Umm, not only will he feel like a JERK to the woman but like, um, issues… like, A LOT of issues that it’s going to take more than THIS relationship to cure. Perhaps I would give him my therapists phone number instead of ME. And then there are the cheeky women, who have a lot of venom to spit even though she’s around a bunch of dangerous men who will rape her and then gut her in real-life. No one ever handles a situation in a real way in romance–it’s all so ideal.
I can’t write those stories.
My relationship romance is nothing like that stuff!
I write about the Insecure crazies. Those are the ones I know personally. We insecure crazies are very similar, especially us urban melting pot ones–women and men, black, brown, yellow, red and white. That’s why I’m very careful about which city I set a LOVE in the USA book.
Regular romance is for the fitting a square peg into the round hole crazies. So instead of writing the truth, they say give me the ideal and make that sh** work or else I will scribble HATE IT and I HATE You on your review page. So… sorry, if you’re looking for that, there’s no way I’m going to able to fulfill this expectations. I wish I could–heck with my writing style, I’d be a multimillionaire! But alas, I can’t even punish myself to do it.
Relationship romance, which is what I write, takes time to develop. It recognizes that two people are on their best behavior when first meeting. The endorphins are pumping. The new love chemicals are stirring. The sex is so good that their heart, souls and loins might BURST! And they’ve been with enough people to understand that this ONE is different. I can reveal my heart’s secret to this person and not feel judged, or as if he/or she wants to change me. And they can handle my heaviness. I’m drawn to his/or her scent, and I’ve never smelled one like it in my life. The taste of his/or her mouth is so satiating. The sound of their voice… Their laugh… Their nearness… Their understanding and willingness to stick it out when sh** gets real–because it will get real. As one of my favorite songs says, it’s about taking it day-by-day and a wait that’s worth it. Also, the other person NEVER asks you to sacrifice yourself–why would they when the person you spent your life becoming is who they’re falling in love with in the first place. Sure, sacrifices and compromises will be made but they’ll feel natural, not forced and will occur as you love one-day at time.
Anyway… So in my books, you’ll always get a red hot beginning–the fateful beginning of two people who are feeling something different with THIS partner, something they’ve never felt with anyone else. Fate’s will can only be proven, one day at a time. And then one day, they, we, will look in the other’s eyes and all our fears about making that forever commitment will be dissolved and you’ll just know you’re supposed to make the rest of this life’s journey together for richer or poorer, through sickness and through health, until death we part.
And so yeah… That’s my brand. Relationship romance.