Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Farewell to Romance

Back in 1998, after I finished the manuscript to my first novel, "The Touch," and shopping it around to agents, I was told by an agent that what I had written was a romance. 

A romance? Well, it was about a relationship and had an upbeat ending but it was also about a woman in an abusive relationship. I had a relative who wrote romances and she advised me to check out the Kentucky Romance Writers of America group. So I did. And I joined in  1999. And I also joined the Romance Writers of America.

I wrote two more contemporary novels -- "A Long Highway" and "Foolish Is The Heart" -- about relationships that could probably fall under the romance genre. It's such a gray area that they could be labeled as mainstream novels. I've read quite a few "literary" novels that could easily be considered romance.

I maintained memberships in the groups because I got a lot out of them -- things that are beneficial to any author such as promotion, marketing, dialogue, plotting and much more. I enjoyed reading the Romance Writers Report magazine and e-Notes from the national organization and the camaraderie, support, and friendships I developed in the state group at bimonthly meetings. Needless to say, I was the only male in KYRW, and one of a few in RWA.  

I gained a deep appreciation for romance writers. There are some very talented writers in that genre -- great storytellers and supportive of one another. It's no wonder that romance is the biggest seller in fiction. 

In recent years I veered off in other directions in my writing. "A Confidential Man" is a murder mystery, "Shooting Star" is young adult, and "Laments" is a short-story collection. My next novel, which will be released in October, is another young adult story.

So when it came time to renew my national dues after 14 years in RWA, I decided it was time to move on. However, I encourage writers interested in romance to join the national and local groups. It's well worth the time and investment. I know I never regretted being a member.

Until the next time...


  1. I think I've tried just abut every genre, except romance. I don't think I'd have the courage.

  2. Roger, I don't want to say it's easy but really it's a love story. A writer can make it as simple or complex as he/she pleases. There are all sorts of romances, from Regency to contemporary to erotica to supernatural. The main thing is to have a happy ending.