by Madelle Morgan
How do authors create those romantic fantasies we all enjoy so much?
The advice given to newbie writers is ‘write what you know’. I hear the collective moan from aspiring romance writers out there: Yeah, if that’s the path to success, then I’m doomed. No one would want to read about my life.
Avid fans of romance certainly don’t want to read about an author’s real love life unless it could be convincingly portrayed on a cover like this:
Today I will let you in on a Trade Secret. Romance authors actually do draw inspiration from their real lives. I’ve created a short day-in-the-life-of-a-romance-author scenario to demonstrate how it works...
Real life at the checkout:
“Ma’am, is this purchase a gift?” asks the pretty blond cashier with a metal post through one eyebrow.
“No,” Romance Author (RA) responds.
“Ma’am, the chart on the pantyhose package says this product is for women up to 5’6” in height and 150 pounds.”
“I’m 5’4” and it’s the last pair of Gossamer Silk.” But I weigh more than 150 pounds. At least I did the last time I dared step on a scale three years ago, RA admits to herself. Her shoulders slump under a faded sweatshirt.
“Fine,” RA says through gritted teeth. “I’ll put it back on the shelf. Thank you for noticing.”
Later at the computer, Romance Author taps away on a work-in-progress:
Samantha dipped her head to slip one gossamer silk-sheathed foot into a Manolo Blahnik stiletto pump. Soft natural blond curls concealed cheeks flushed from her date’s heated gaze.
“Joe, can you zip my size 4 little black dress?"
Joe languidly quirked a dark brow. “Sweetheart, if I touch you I guarantee we’ll never make the reservation at Le Ritz,” he drawled in a deep, sexy voice that whetted her appetite. But not for food.
Real Life at the dinner table:
“You know I hate vegetables,” says Hubby, grimacing at the spinach RA tried to hide in a layer of lasagna.
Later at the computer, RA types the following:
The white-gloved waiter hovered, ready to take their order for appetizers. Samantha selected the spring salad.
Joe dragged his attention to the menu, the first time he’d taken his eyes off her the entire evening. “The Oysters Rockefeller here are made with spinach?” Joe inquired.
“I’ll have a double portion.” When the waiter moved away, Joe leaned in, his ocean blue eyes locked on lips she’d moistened with champagne. “I’ll need the energy later.”
And so it goes...
Here’s a bonus Trade Secret revealed: No matter how difficult romance authors pretend it is to craft their stories, we enjoy the fantasy escape from real life when writing them as much as you do reading them!