Wow…what a question to ask a hopeless romantic such as me. Perhaps, one of the reasons that I write romance is because I BELIEVE in it. But what is it? What is this thing called romance that can be so elusive? Of course, it resonates differently for each individual, but that wasn’t the question was it?
Ok, I’m going to take a shot at this…
Romance to me is not just a title of a book genre. It’s the emotion that is invoked when romance comes knocking on my door. It’s not a dozen red roses or expensive jewelry or dinner at a fancy restaurant. Not at all. Romance to me is the thoughtfulness put into a handmade card or gift. It’s wildflowers picked from the woods during a peaceful walk. It’s cooking dinner at home or eating pizza in a park pavilion during a rainstorm.
Romance isn’t invoked with money, it’s created with giving the one thing that you can’t take back or do over. It’s the time a person spends to get to know someone and then treating them to those things that show they were important enough to take the time to know them and acting accordingly. I’ve had those relationships where an expensive gift was a person’s way to show their feelings, but didn’t necessarily mean to me as much as it would to the next person. Not that it wasn’t a nice gesture but really, to me a person who takes the time to know me…really know me…is probably the most romantic thing in the world because anything that comes naturally out of that knowledge is going to be romantic to me.
Knowing someone…really knowing someone…has got to be one of the most intimate gestures that I’ve encountered. Someone observing that a lot of the clothing I wear or flowers that I notice are purple and then showing up with a birthday cake that has purple flowers because they KNOW my favorite color is purple. Noticing that I’ve worked hard all week and taking the time to do a redundant chore or two so that I can take the time to relax, even for just a few minutes, instead of coming home and doing chores. Or recognizing that I’ve put hours of time into cooking a holiday dinner and taking me in hand and insisting that I sit down and eat instead of waiting for everyone else. Someone that is patient enough to let me sleep on the sofa for a couple of hours on a Saturday night because they just knew that I desperately needed to rest after months of working toward my college degree. It’s that person that takes the time to get to know my family and make the effort to include them, rather than exclude them, from our lives. It’s going to be that person that thinks of me in the morning and proves it by sending a simple morning text to wish me a good day. It’s caring enough to answer that desperate text in the middle of the night when a nightmare shattered my sleep or a difficult issue had the effect of destroying my peace.
Romance is a quiet New Year’s Eve sipping champagne until you are both silly drunk and then making love when the clock strikes midnight. It’s sending a live plant to my work on Valentine’s Day so that the whole world knows that I am important to someone. It’s sitting on the rooftop on July 4th to watch the fireworks where there’s no crowds to fight with. It’s a quiet vacation tucked away in a mountain cabin or going hiking in the woods or going horseback riding while the frost is still fresh on the grass. It’s sitting in a pub drinking a glass of beer and watching the rain outside. It’s a snowball fight in the middle of a blizzard. It’s a song that will forever remain imprinted in my heart and mind because it was the first time we slow danced together.
If you haven’t figured it out, I’m a simple person at heart. When I write a romance novel—whether it be a contemporary, sweet tale of love or a steamy, exciting otherworld paranormal romance—you will find that the tender gestures of romance from my hero or heroine are going to be uniquely mine. My own vision of romance as it would tug at my heartstrings. It may not be what romance is to you or to someone else, because romance is going to be unique to each person. It’s going to be the things that cause butterflies to flutter in my stomach or my heart to melt. That’s what romance is to me.
For more explanations of what romance is to other romance authors, please head over to read Katie O’Connor’s view at her blogsite located at http://katieoh.blogspot.com.