For as long as I can remember I have had a passion for books and for telling stories. My grandma had a library in her house, I loved that tiny little room with its desk looking out toward the west. The floor to ceiling shelves and the books that filled them. I enjoyed being out there on rainy days and going to the library to select a book to read. My first story was written when I was about nine. It was about a horse. Then I discovered romance books. I remember sleepless nights reading V.C. Andrews and swapping books with my best friend in middle and high school. Going to the library, pulling Austen from the shelf, and sitting on the floor in the poetry section (which was not often visited) to read. While those books certainly captured my interest they were not the only books that did. I found myself reading fantasy, history, sci-fi. I never read in one genre and I never intended to write in one genre.
I started writing my first book when I was still dealing with the aftermath of an abusive relationship. It was a healing process for me. Those long nights of staying up until three in the morning as the story unfolded before me was a sort of therapy. I remember crying as I wrote certain scenes, smiling or laughing while writing others. At the end of that story, giving Arabella the ending she deserved, well I felt a little bit of healing within myself.
When I wrote Love Overcomes I knew it was going to be a romance. When I wrote The Second Life of Magnolia Mae, I knew that it was going to be a young adult time travel. Jade was written as a young adult dystopian fantasy. All of them are romance. For me, every story is a romance story. It may not always have a happy ending or the ending that you would expect but the romance is there. Love is such an integral part of our lives that it makes sense that it would find its way into stories that I tell. My current work in progress is another fantasy. I didn’t intend for there to be romance in this one as Fala, was going on a quest to save her people, to end the war that had torn her family and world apart. Love found its way into the story, as it finds its way into our lives, unexpectedly. Love can bring people together or tear worlds apart. Those stories need to be told. So while I do write romance and I do enjoy happy endings I’m not going to make the journey to that ending be an easy one but it will be worth it. Romance isn’t just flowers and chocolate, it can certainly also be sitting up all night as the person you love is recovering from an illness just so you can be the one to offer a drink of water should they need one.
I guess I write romance because a world without romance would be too bleak. There’s enough darkness in the world, having that little light that love can give can help pull you through those dark moments. I know writing romance has helped to pull me through some dark times, maybe some day they will help someone else.