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Saturday, August 23, 2014

What the Heck is a Contemporary Military Romance?

By Jessica Scott 

So glad to be here at Romancing the Genre’s today! Sarah and Judith asked me to write about what do I really love about military romance but it dawned on me that we might not necessarily have the same definition of military romance. 

When I was pitching BACK TO YOU to agents and editors all those years ago (and yes, this process started way back in the pre-Cambrian era of 2008 for Laura and Trent) I would always write in the query “an 85,000 military romance”. And at the time, Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooter series was really the bees knees for military romance, right? I mean, hello, Navy Seals anyone? Some would argue that the military romance genre is a thing because of Suz but hey, I think that’s a post for another time. 

Anyway, military romance seemed to trigger thoughts of how does this compare to Suzanne’s SEALs or Joann Ross’s Crossfire series but what those books had in common that mine didn’t was that they were romantic suspense. 

And when agents and editors started reading my book, it was a story about home and hearth but it was set at Fort Hood. 

Who the heck writes about home and hearth and soldiers? The first thing that comes to mind is Robyn Carr’s Virgin River and Joann Ross’s Shelter Bay (seriously, if you haven’t checked out either of those series, go start. now. I’ll wait. Okay, you’re back? Cool:). So I started saying in my queries that my books were contemporary romances like Robyn’s but set in the military with current soldiers instead of former soldiers. 

But even then, my books didn’t quite snuggle up to Robyn’s or Joann’s either. But they were closer. 

It turned out, my books didn’t really fit in the genre of military romance because there weren’t a lot of contemporary romance novels "set in the military". 

My books are about soldiers coming home from war but who, for whatever reason, decide to stay in the military. I write about deciding to stay and fight the good fight, despite all the goo and the stuff that is so darn hard about coming home. 

These books are personal to me because my husband and I had the same conversation every single time he came home from his four deployments. We had the same conversation when I came home from mine. 

And so that’s why I write contemporary military romances. I want to write about the soldiers who stay, the soldiers who love the army but still have to figure out how to deal with all the changes that going to war brought. 

I hope you’ll check them out. My very first print book BACK TO YOU is on sale now. 

xoxo
Jess


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2 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Jessica, Thank you for joining us on Romancing The Genres and thank you (and your husband and all the others) for your service to our country. My family and friends who've served and stayed do have a dedication to being a part of the military. They sacrifice time with friends, seeing children grow up, miss the changing patterns of family life. I definitely will check out your books!

Sarah Raplee said...

I believe there is a big market for your books. There are so many military and retired military personnel out there, and this is the story for so many of them. Plus all the people who know them and wonder what the life is like!

I love books about people who put their lives on the line so the rest of us remain safe. Thank you and your husband for being two of them.