Darlene here. I'm excited to announce that I'm getting ready to release a new contemporary romance novel in March!
I’m thinking this one fits a little more neatly into the category than my other two romances did. While I like contemporary romance, I also like books with multiple story lines, and multiple points of view. I think they tend to be a little fuller, a little more real.
What I like best is fiction with romantic elements. Unfortunately, no one has that specific category anymore. When I first started writing, Romance Writers of America offered that as a romance sub-genre. The first year I published, they did away with it. And none of the retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, offer that distinction. So I have to choose general fiction, romance or women’s fiction. Then I worry that there won’t be enough romance for the people who really like traditional romance, and there will be too much for people who don’t like romance at all.
It’s kind of a quandary.
I entered my first novel into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition last year. It did well. It got past the first stage. And then passed the next round, too. So it was a quarterfinalist in the Romance category – top five percent. But at that point, it was judged by a romance reader at Publisher’s Weekly, who stated that the novel was not a romance. Erg. Had I put it in General Fiction, I’m afraid the exact opposite would’ve happened.
To sum it up, even when I’m writing romance, I like there to be a little more to the story. That means my characters will have multiple issues going on – some completely outside the boy-meets-girl scenario. If you’ve ever read books by Barbara Delinsky, I’d say my books are similar in style. They tend to be realistic. I hope the characters are like people you might be friends with, people you can relate to in real-life situations. The women are generally strong and self-sufficient. The men are, too, but they aren’t super-macho arrogant ultra-alphas (alpha-holes, as I’ve heard some described) who sweep the heroine off her feet, toss her onto the bed and have their way with her.
I like books that are grounded in reality and relationships, so that’s what I write. That being said, the new one is, indeed, more of a true contemporary romance. It’s fairly mild in language and sex, so if you like a lot of hot, steamy sex scenes, this might not be your cup of tea. But if you like stories and romances that develop between interesting characters that seem real, remember March 28th – release day for “Something Good.”