Yes, yes. It’s true. And I’m not just saying that because yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Although, to be honest, it does feel like we get inundated with love and romance, hearts and flowers, chocolates and candy, and everything else that is supposed to remind us of love around this day.
As a romance author, you would think I’d relish the thought. But in all honesty, it somewhat annoys me. Now, before you gasp, let me explain.
Far too often, when I tell people I write romance, their mind automatically goes straight to the type of “romance” that requires a PG-13 or higher rating. They get a picture in their head of a scantily-clad woman draped across the muscled arms of a bare-chested brute with flowing locks clasped together in a rather telling embrace. And that’s just the cover! Nevermind what you’ll find within the pages of the book. Phew! I’m fanning myself just typing about this.
What’s sad is that for a majority of people, that’s what romance has become to them. If it’s not full of lust, sex, or frequent and expensive/trivial gifts, it’s not romance. And my heart breaks at that reality.
If you ask me, I think television, movies, books and media, have ripped away the joys of true romance and caused us to have a rather distorted view of it. Think about TV shows. How many can you name where once the main couple got together, the show died? Or how many movies end with the lead couple sharing their first kiss or consummating their relationship?
And it can be quite an exhilarating adventure to discover all the many wonderful and delightful nuances associated with the concept. It’s in the look, the smile, the touch, the selfless gesture, the thoughtful gift, the assistance with the mundane that gives the other person a much-needed break, the little note left on the front seat of the car or tucked into the lunch bag to be opened at work. It can be wrapped in a surprise getaway or found in a common everyday place around the house.
To me, romance is the little things that happen in a relationship to make it stronger, despite struggles, disagreements and difficult decisions. Life comes at you hard. Romance helps keep you going each day.
And the best part of all? Even if you don’t have a spouse of significant other in your life, you can have the greatest romance of all time with your Heavenly Father. His words of love and commitment are tucked within the pages of the Bible, available for your reading pleasure and spiritual awakening/renewal whenever you need it. And He’ll always be there, never leaving you, no matter what.
That’s the biggest reason I love writing romance. Because the earthly evidence of it merely reflects the love God has for each one of His children. Where do you think romance originated in the first place? And to think…I have the honor and privilege of depicting that love and romance in each one of my books. Life just can’t get any better. 🙂
So, what about you? What are some specific examples of romance in your life that step outside the “norm” or are special to you when they might not be viewed as romance by others? Please share with us. Perhaps they’ll spark some new ideas for romance in some of our books. 🙂
* images used are used with permission from the following sources: http://www.greetings.ca, http://www.ehow.com, http://www.thezeal.com, and http://www.originallovesong.com.
Tiffany Amber Stockton is an author, online marketing specialist and freelance web site designer who lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart. They have 1 daughter and a border collie. She has sold eight books so far to Barbour Publishing, is a columnist for the ACFW e-zine and writes other articles as well. Read more about her at her web site: http://www.amberstockton.com/.