Do I Need to Be Romantic to Write Romance?
Last week, I had a lunch with an friend acquaintance. In the midst of discussions about the economy and such, I mentioned I made extra pocket money by writing romance. She. Was. Incredulous. Not that I could write or get published, but because of the genre. Her exact words: “Romance?! How can YOU write romance? You’re not a romantic person.”
She’s right. I’m not a romantic. Jewellery, flowers, poetry? Blah. I don’t see the point in weighing myself down with dead animal matter. All I wear is a necklace with a cross because I’m Roman Catholic and a watch because I’m anal retentive and always need to know the time. Flowers require maintenance–and they die anyway. And poetry? Unless it’s a dirty limerick, it’s wasted on me.
(Of course, most females don’t consider me feminine because I never wanted a pony when I was younger. While other girls dreamed about brushing out a horse’s mane until it’s silky smooth and shiny, I couldn’t get past the exorbitant cost of stabling and feeding the bloody thing.)
Anyway, I’m not into moonlit walks along the beach, candlelit dinners, or other things Hallmark and 1-800-FLOWERS tell the public they need to do to prove their love for that special someone. *gag* I don’t need big, materialistic gestures. I don’t WANT big, materialistic gestures. The significant other makes me happy when he notices my printer is running low on paper and goes out to buy me a new box–not a single package, a BOX–of paper or when he comes over in late October to swap my tires because he heard the first snow is going to fall on the weekend. And while I was pretty much out of commission because of my back, he brought over a stack of Ultimate Spider-Man comics for me to read. (BTW, I love-love-LOVE Brian Michael Bendis.) These little gestures are not traditionally considered romantic, but they are thoughtful as hell and mean a lot more to me than a chip of colored glass or a fistful of flowers.
So, I’ll never write a romance where the hero showers the heroine with lavish gifts and they’ll never hold hands and stroll along a beach–unless they’re undercover and conducting surveillance. Instead, they’ll be thoughtful. They’ll try to make the other person’s life a little easier, a little happier. Is that good enough for a romance?
And how do I make me the SO happy? Tell him I just bought Killzone 2 and baked a carrot cake with real cream cheese icing.