I am a heroine-centric reader and writer. My heroines tend to be a bit of a mess, but they are all finding their way out of the mess. I tend to catch them on the journey down into the valley, so to speak. While my heroines may be in the process of becoming, regardless of what stage of life they’re at, they all have agency. I feel more sympathy and understanding for them, which may lead me to paint them in watercolor.
I write heroes who are really into their heroines, often from quite early on in the narrative. I’m not interested in aloof, mysterious heroes who may or may not be open to love. Sometimes my heroes pretend to be that guy, but they are desperate for her. I write heroes who in the process of falling love, learn about their vulnerability and how to share with at least one other person their exposed heart.
I write settings that feel like characters, because I think people are shaped by place and history. I am more interested in how, why and where than what; plot doesn’t drive my stories.
I like books, music, art and politics and my characters do too. I’m not writing autobiography, but if two characters fight about Dickens, that’s shorthand for the differences between them.
If I am writing it, there will almost always be a scene where two people walk around in the dark and say things they wouldn’t during the day. There will almost always be exchanged written words: letters, texts, emails. There will always be kissing.
For my characters, love is hope. Love is optimism. Love is a talisman against all the bad they see in the world.
Sometimes writing romance in our world feels added on. Unnecessary. But when I remember why I write, I know there is nothing extra about it.