Sadly, it's something I'm not very good at as a writer. Countless times I've been told I should write romance, that romance is where the real income is, that romance is the easiest genre to write.
I've never been very good at taking the easy way.
But I love what I write. It's what I read! A good mystery will keep me up reading for hours, figuring out who did it and why. A thriller full of explosions and the clock winding down to Armageddon gets my heart pumping the way a sex scene just can't (I know, I know - TMI).
Still, from time-to-time I do think about the possibilities of adding yet another genre to my repertoire. Yet I just can't seem to wrap my brain around what kind of characters or plot a romance would take - at least one coming from my mind. Every time I start putting together the possibilities of who, what, where, when, and why, I get stuck on the how. I'll come up with a couple of characters and a basic idea, and then it inevitably turns into a mystery that must be solved, with the accompanying murder, mayhem, and all-around madness I tend to put my characters through in my stories.
I give up.
As an author, you constantly hear the phrase write what you know. I guess romance isn't something I know much about. After spending my younger years raising my son, working more than full-time, and then starting on a new career path at middle-age, dating and romance rarely entered my field of vision. Now?
These days it's all about family and friends - and readers like you, of course. Love comes in many forms, even when there is no romance involved. Love isn't flowers you may get once a year. It isn't about a fancy dinner at a ridiculously expensive restaurant. Chocolate?
Okay, that's a different story.
But love is grasping that tiny hand to keep a child safe. It's a shoulder available for a good cry whenever needed. A phone call in the middle of the night that sends you rushing out the door in spite of the circumstances. Trying to sleep in a chair beside a hospital bed - and failing. A home-cooked meal to say I've been thinking of you. A difficult, but necessary, conversation. Holding a withered hand as a soul is escorted from this life.
And doing your darnedest to write what your readers love.
So on this Valentine's Day, I may not have a romance novel to share with you, but that doesn't stop me from sharing my heart with each book I write. Thanks so much for reading.