It tends to surprise folks who know me offline when they find out I write Contemporary Romance and Women’s Fiction. They usually say they’d pinned me for a horror or murder mystery author, or something along those lines.
But romantic drama? What is this, Days of Our Lives?
To be fair, I see a few factors going into people’s presumptions about my genre choices.
I wouldn’t say I’m off-putting by any means, but I can be a bit rough around the edges despite what my soft, gentle features and doe-like hazel eyes suggest. Some of my friends and I have a lot of weird, inappropriate conversations about bodily functions, and we make a lot of puns. Verbally, I can come across as fairly aggressive (i.e. I cuss like a sailor).
I’ve been told by coworkers that I’m essentially a girl with the brain of a dude.
Gender stereotyping aside in that statement, why can’t I be both an abrasive slinger of all unholy cusses and a lover of The Notebook and Safe Haven? What’s wrong with admitting that I get a bit misty-eyed every time I watch Stepmom and What Dreams May Come? Or that I outwardly love Legally Blonde and Mean Girls?
In all seriousness, though, I love many of Nicholas Sparks’ novels. I don’t read Erotica, nor am I into the 50 Shades craze. I just enjoy reading about well-developed characters. I want to feel every gripping, heart-wrenching emotion the protagonist feels. I want to laugh. Cry. Fall in love. I want to focus on the characters themselves and how they interact and, more importantly, how they react to the events happening to them and how it drives the story forward.
That’s why I write romantic drama like Waiting for You: A Story of Loss, Grief, and Love. It’s far beyond just a love story–it’s also a testament to friendship and family. As mentioned in my post A Subplot of Sobriety, Shawn is a testament to events in my own life–and the light banter between Shawn and Adam is ode to my own friendships and how we speak to each other.