My Favorite Thing About Writing Romances
There’s so much to like about writing romances. One of my favorite things is that guaranteed happy ending. Critics make fun of those happy endings, but the public’s been loving stories with happy endings for a long time. Many great works of literature also have happy endings – anything by Jane Austen and most Charles Dickens, for example. So happy ending doesn’t automatically mean empty-headed.
Giving people a happy, hopeful ending is an important job. For a long time I wanted to write great, serious, important literature. But everything I tried came out with strong romantic elements and a bit of humor and suspense. I was disappointed that I couldn’t be a serious artiste. Then I read an interview with Rupert Holmes, a songwriter, playwright and mystery novelist. He talked about one of his children dying, and being unable to write for a long time. Then one night he found himself laughing at a Marx Brothers movie. It had been a long time since he could laugh at anything. That’s when he realized writing something funny or lighthearted was just as important as writing something dreadfully serious. Maybe it’s even more important, because in dark times, people turn to happy stories to give themselves a boost.
With Thirty-Nine Again, I tried to address the somewhat serious issue of being a cancer survivor with a spirit of humor and lighthearted adventure. I’d like the story to give cancer survivors a sense of hope. And I also hope older women enjoy reading about 40-year-old Sabrina as she discovers self-confidence and true love in the second half of her life.
To me, romance novels aren’t just about steamy sex and guys with great abs. They’re about having a positive life view. They remind us all that fairy tales can come true, that romance is always possible, and that happy endings are for real. And that’s why I write romance novels. Because thanks to my own wonderful hubby, whose been with me through all sorts of ups and downs – I really do believe in those happy endings.