Friday, February 5, 2016

Romance is romance is romance!



On Wednesday I ran down all the different sub-genres of romance found on the shelves these days and mentioned my tastes ran to the ‘vintage’ type--stories happening in the 20th century from WW I through the 50s. (I have to admit my nose is a bit out of joint to consider the 50s as ‘vintage’ since that’s the era in which I grew up. However, age creeps up on all of us! But I digress.)
My first book dealt with a wealthy man, embittered because he was left blind after WW I, and a woman who lost her fiancé in the same war and ultimately found herself impoverished and responsible for her brother’s young stepdaughter. I loved Alan and Lenore as portrayed in Where Is Papa’s Shining Star? A sequel, Finding Papa’s Shining Star, followed, and then I wrote Dancing with Velvet, a love song to my home town as it was during World War II. Celeste and Kent followed the traditional route: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back to live happily-ever-after. But the twists and turns along the way gave depth to the story. But again, I digress (and shamelessly self-promote).

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Other kinds of romance, often overlooked, can be some of the best:
~~second-time-around in which people meet after previous marriages which ended either in death or divorce
~~May-December in which a younger woman falls in love with a much-older man
~~romance with obstacles in which one or both lovers must also deal with a life-altering handicap
~~young love/puppy love in which the players are supposed to be too young to know what love is, much less make a life-long commitment
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The Showboat Affair (written as Gwyneth Greer) deals with second-time-around combined with danger and suspense. Nick, widowed for 20 years, meets Jean, newly-dumped in favor of a younger woman after 30 years. They meet, fall in love, and find their adult children will do almost anything to keep them apart. And someone is even willing to go even farther.
Recently I wrote a May-December romance/romance with obstacles (which I won’t title since it’s under consideration by a publisher), which takes place just after WW II. Ruthann, a young teacher, is pursued by Drew, the superintendent of schools who has a daughter her age! Because
of an injury during the first world war, Drew faces the loss of his leg.
Finally, in what I term ‘the great American novel’ which I’ve only been working on for 40 years and will probably never complete, young love blooms as Peggy and Vic meet as 15-year-olds during the Depression. She’s been handed off to a step-aunt because of her mother’s illness; he’s the son of the town drunk. They become best friends and realize their survival depends on the two of them together forever. But, as I said, the entire story looks to rival Gone with the Wind or War and Peace in length, so it will probably never see the light of day. . .
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Perhaps it’s my age--or perhaps it’s the era in which I grew up--but
I view romance as much more than a tumble in the hay. And, in truth, happily-ever-after depends on real love, not just physical attraction. I don’t even want to think about the soaring number of single-parent homes resulting in brief liaisons and/or lack of commitment by one or both partners. I like to think I summed up my own feelings in what Ruthann says to Drew: “I believe in love. Mostly, I believe in you.”

You can read more/view video trailers at my website.

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