I often thought it would be easy to write the perfect romance. And why not? I’m a woman, the majority of romance novel readers are women, of course I can do it! I mean, I know what women want to read, right? WRONG!
I’ve been walking around with the idea of becoming a published author, for many years now. It all started when I was still in high school, and very obsessed with the boy-band B2K. MSN was very popular at the time, so there were many groups dedicated to this group. The most famous group, was called B2K Fantasy. Many (crazy) fans wrote numerous stories about them. The fanfiction message board always bustled with life! I am guilty of writing a story or two, as well. My story received many “bumps,” which are the equivalent of “stars.”
Coming to China didn’t change my desire to become a published author. Moving here made me realize that, if I can realize my dream of moving to China (been writing about it in my journal for YEARS!), I can definitely become a published author. I first started writing about my life, my dating experiences, but I quickly changed my mind. There were a few topics that were a still a little emotional, a little too touchy, so I stopped writing that. But, I will finish it this year. What was my second project? Writing romance!
I’d read many Harlequin novels before, so I know it’s a huge market! Romance writing became more appealing to me.
I blame my sister for introducing me to Harlequin romance novels. She still reads them, and believes in the bullcrap they sell. Just because I don’t believe in all of that shit, doesn’t mean I can’t write it… Right? Maybe because I am such a cynic when it comes to love, romance writing has proven difficult. Do I believe in love? Of course I do. But do I believe in love at first sight and the whole happily-ever-after? Not by a long shot. I don’t believe in the super-duper old Harlequin novels I first started reading. You know, all the women were virgins, blond, skinny, damsels in distress, poor, and all the men were super MACHO, billionaires, Greek or Italian. YAWN.
Reading those books, writing romance seems easy, but I can tell you it’s not.
The Harlequin books have come a long way! They have evolved so much! The women are ballsy, career women, have their own money, and express themselves freely, especially in the bedroom. But… it all still comes down to the happily-ever-after. I have read many of those books, some of them good, some of them bad, and some of them MOTHERFFFF ugly! Reading about all those White women finding love, I couldn’t help but think, “What about us Black ladies? What about the Latinas? The Asians? The Mixed chicks? Don’t we get a story? And why are ALL the women inexperienced virgins, but they suddenly become a porn star in their billionaire’s arms?”
Harlequin has since expanded it’s genre to include stories about Black women! Hooray! Romance writing has become interesting for me!
But… writing the romance novel women want to read, is not easy. Especially if you have to write from the Hero’s POV. I have never written a man’s story before, a man’s thoughts, so I have no idea what a man sounds like. Not really. I have criticized many a Harlequin novel before, thinking: “If they can publish this garbish, they will publish my book! I am way better at writing romance than these authors are!” WRONG!
Writing romance is harder than I thought. I still have to hear from a few literary agents, but I am sure it will work out fine. Especially writing the man’s POV is quite challenging for me. He really has to sound like a man, and not some manly-girl. Most of my beta readers said he sounded like a girl, and that my characters sounded alike. I guess I still need a lot of practice.