Friday, January 31, 2014

Lyn Cote-Why Do You Read Romance?

That’s an important question to me, a romance author.  I’m going to share my ideas and I hope you’ll share yours and tell me if I’m nuts or right! :-)

Over a decade ago I received a letter from a man in Australia. He’d just read his first Love Inspired Romance. It was Hope’s Garden my third, (2000). He said that he’d recently buried his wife of 66 years (That’s SIXTY-SIX YEARS) and that he began to read romance to remember her.

WOW. That letter was an eye-opener.

Authors know readers read fiction for emotion.
Romance readers read for a special, a specific emotion--romance.

Why do we like to read about romance?

Tell me what it is that draws you back to romance?
The Happily Ever After?
The intense conflict between hero and hero?
Experiencing the physical attraction between hero and heroine vicariously?

My latest Love Inspired Historical, Heartland Courtship, is I hope really romantic.  A frontier community, a brave independent heroine and a drifter hero with a dark past--how does that grab you???

What? Tell me. Authors want to know what you read romance to find!--Lyn


Sally Shupe said...

Why do I read romance? I remember growing up, in high school, I wouldn't touch a romance! I enjoyed Louis L'Amour westerns. Now, I read romances. I think back then, too, I didn't know about Christian romances. I read Grace Livingston Hill occasionally, but that was it. I have several Christian romance authors that I read now. Finding, I don't know the proper category, but Western Christian Romances has been a thrill for me! The pull for me is the faith element. It's nice to be able to associate with the hero or heroine in a situation, that I'm not alone. Whether it's with a spiritual issue, a physical issue, or something else, like a lack of faith to believe God can move in my situation, or finding it hard to love a particular person, or not quite trusting God. I don't want the hero or heroine to be perfect; nobody is. It's nice to read that and be able to put myself in their shoes, to compare how they act and react to my own actions. Of course the HEA endings are a strong pull. It would not be the same if everything fell apart. But it reiterates that with God all things are possible. You just have to put your faith, hope, and trust in Him. Thanks for this post!
tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

Valri said...

Hi Lyn! I love romance because there is so much bad stuff in the world today! It is so nice to just "leave the world behind" for awhile and enjoy something fun! Even when the hero and heroine go through troubling times, I know that they will overcome them in the end. There have been many books that have opened my eyes to knew professions, new areas of the country or world, new experiences, or all kinds of new things! I can't tell you the new things I have learned in many books I've read! It has been a fantastic experiences! Whether it has been a Christian romance or something else. Also, I have several medical issues that cause a lot of issues with me and I depend on reading to help me get through the day. It has literally been a "lifesaving" experience for me. I don't know what I would do without it!

Lyn Cote said...

Sally, I love Louis L'Amour westerns too! Did you ever read Georgette Heyer's Regency romances?

Lyn Cote said...

HI Jennifer-so you met your spouse near Christmas too!

Lyn Cote said...

Jackie and Valri,
I hear you. Sometimes I just have to stick my head in a book and shut out all the bad stuff.

Sally Shupe said...

Hi, Jennifer! I love how you met your husband! I was working at Hardees many years ago, and mine came in and caught my eye. We were both dreadfully shy lol. It's a wonder we ever got together. But once we did, 6 mths later we were married and it's been almost 23 years now.

Lyn, I haven't read Georgette's books. I'll have to check them out. Thanks!

Steve Myers said...

Why do I read romance novels? Because I also write romance novels! But there's more to that answer. For all of the answers others have given above. That's why its also an encouragement to continue writing for me as well. I write as a reader wanting to find the excitement of a new romance, work though the awkward moments, the goosebumps, the challenges, vulnerabilities, conflicts, and resolutions.

Like several I started out in more dare I say it erotic albeit art novels of my teens. Jory, Harold Robbins The Betsy, all from a paperback novel store near my home, lopped between something new called a DISCO, A pet groomer and the Drug Store. Not to mention the girl I knew as a friend from Spanish Class that sat behind me and the opportunity to flirt a little while she sat on a pedestal behind a mechanical cash register.

In those days I was an awkward geek (my self talk) though had moments where I'd shine. I was also browsing Billboard Magazine, Variety, and unknown to my friends interning in radio stations learning to become an air personality. I was also influenced by the CBS/Earl Hamner Series THE WALTONS and like John-Boy hoped someday to be a writer. But I was also medically challenged by a birth defect that required not only periodic painful surgeries but weekly doctors office visits - so I had my secrets, fears and questions about being found out (bullied as a child and early teen) coming into my own wanting the HEA ending or new beginning with a young woman willing to let love win over the things that often limit us.

I remember a consultation in 1985 with the Dean of Urology at the UT Health Science Center in Dallas who said, "Learn to live with what you've got and let medicine catch up to you - not to experiment but actually help for it has not for you and millions of others like you. Find yourself a pretty girl to marry for whom all this foolishness doesn't matter and try to live a happier life." And I guess that's what I've been trying to do, read, and write as an author.

I am closer to the goal of being published but still light years away from the HEA ending or new beginning on the personal side. But what is it most say, "love springs eternal?" I'd add its more like 'Hope, for love, springs eternal,' and so I write as much to encourage myself in Romance Contemporary, Historical and sometimes Suspense after being encouraged by books of Collen Coble, Lyn Cote, Arlene James (a family friend), Margaret Daley, Allie Plieter, Noelle Marchand, and dozens of others. I like how it was summarized in the 1994 film SHADOWLANDS by the characterization of CS Lewis introduced to the thought by one of his students: "We read to know we are not alone."

That's what I read and write in this genre. To know we are not alone. Thank you for such an insightful series of questions and thoughts Lyn!