07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Contemporary Romance – What Makes It Fun To Read...And Write

By Susan Lute
According to Wikipedia, in 2004 over half of the romances published in the U.S. were contemporary romances. That's probably still true, though today, as then, there are many sub-genres that rise and fall in popularity. What makes the contemporary novel fun to read? Different romance genres take the reader to different places. Romantic suspense puts them on the edge of their seats. Paranormal romance crawls inside their skin, taking them to the other side of reality. A good historical will transport them back in time. For me, what makes contemporaries fun to read is that ultimately they bring the reader home, whether they are about Jenny from the block,  girls in the city, life in small towns, community, families. Finding love in today's confusing and fast-paced world can be a challenge. Contemporary romances remind the reader, while falling in love can have it's ups and downs, it still feels like nothing else in this world.

I like to watch House Hunters International because it's all about couples leaving everything they've known behind to start over in a brand new life. Reading a contemporary romance is like that. Fun. Exciting. Triumphant. Really, these stories could be about any of us.

To write a contemporary is sometimes more challenging than any other romance genre because the framework of suspense, 1830's London, warlocks, and shape shifters are elements that can carry a story all the way to the end. In a contemporary romance the location can become a character, but it's the characters themselves that move and shape the story. There is nothing more exciting than finding out what moves the hero and heroine, what molds their hearts, how love changes them and helps them grow.

I especially like to write the unexpected, and  roll reversal stories. A Marine heroine who is lost, and the man paying dues for his own mistake who shows her the way home – Jane's Long March Home. A single dad bringing his heart-wounded daughter back to his hometown, only to find the girl he left behind about to spread her wings, determined to escape small town life and take on the big city – The Return Of Benjamin Quincy. A former Marine suddenly responsible for his grieving nephew, who takes a job as “secretary” to the boss determined to prove to her CEO father she can fill his shoes – A Marine's Christmas Proposal. Currently I'm writing a small town contemporary, slightly humorous I think story, where our heroine is the Sheriff. Finding out if she will get her man is almost more fun than going to Disneyland.

What is your favorite contemporary romance novel, and why?

Susan Lute is a traditional and Indie published author of Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction, and Paranormal Romance, The Dragonkind Chronicles. You can find her on the web at her website, www.susanlute.com, Pinterest, Facebook, and Goodreads

I'm  giving away three copies of Jane's Long March Home. Leave a comment and sign up for my newsletter to be put into a drawing to win.


Judith Ashley said...

So glad you could join us today, Su. What drew you to writing military romance?

While I write contemporary romantic women's fiction with mystical spiritual elements, I mainly read historical romance.

The last contemporary romance I read was Jamie Brazil's "Prince Charming, Inc." Jamie sure did her research or she's lived in San Francisco in one of the historic Victorians! Fun read with interesting characters, snappy dialogue.

Susan said...

Thanks for having me :) I loved Prince Charmin, Inc. Definitely a must read. Jamie is a very talented author.

I grew up in a military family, so I naturally gravitate to those heroes. Their jagged edges make sense to me. I have a few more to write, then I'll be working on a small town series set on the Oregon Coast. Somewhere in there, I'll be working on the dragon books :)