The Trials and Tribulations of the Romance Writer

                                The Trials and Tribulations of the Romance Writer
                                                      Guest Host Noemi Betancourt

Studies show that romance is the bestselling fictional genre in the country yet it’s also the least respected. I have been an avid book reader from the age of 3 but only started reading romance novels about five years ago. I used to think it was nothing but mindless fluff and that any idiot could write a romance novel. Folks, I have to tell you of all the stories and genres I have written in my life, romance is the most difficult. Whatever the genre, I write stories that I myself would enjoy.To that effect, I avoid simpering swooning heroines who get tied to train tracks and cliffs wailing for their hero to come rescue them from the bad man in a cape. My heroines are strong independently minded women who can hold their own and yet are just vulnerable enough at times that their heroes are able to do what they do best. I like heroes who are good guys and whether they’ve made mistakes in the past, come from a shady past or what have you, they still do right by the heroine.
The minute I read about a hero who is verbally, emotionally or physically abusive to the heroine that book takes flight. By the way, did I mention I’m a book flinger? True heroes never strike or rape women, burn down an orphanage full of nuns or dropkick puppies into traffic. Unfortunately, there are some highly publicized romance novels making the rounds recently where the heroine’s brains, if she ever had any, seem to have fallen out of her head and the hero behaves in a manner that in real life would warrant jail time and/or a restraining order. As a romance novelist, the question becomes, do you follow the status quo and write a book with a plot that makes no sense and characters you can’t stand simply because it’s the formula that’s trending or do you follow the road less traveled and write a story you can be proud of?

Then there’s the question of how naughty do you want your book to be? Do you want to stop at blushes, hand holding and kisses with the camera panning away as your couple caresses each other by the firelight? Are you comfortable with taking things a little further knowing that not only strangers but friends and family will be reading your descriptions of pert nipples and parts athrobbin’? Are you considering describing your characters performing acts that would make a porn star blush and plunge your book straight into the land of erotica? How many times will your hero and heroine knock boots? Will you tease the audience throughout the story, building anticipation until the end? Would you prefer your characters to be in a committed relationship or even married before they finally do the deed or will you sprinkle their lovemaking throughout the story?

When your story is complete and it’s time to work on the cover how will you get your readers’ attention? There are readers who love seeing the fuchsia cover featuring a brawny half naked man with long flowing hair and pouting nipples clutching a trembling female falling out of a silky gown while other readers are embarrassed to be seen with these covers in public. These are all things you need to consider when writing and publishing a romance novel.

When I told my mother I would be publishing a fantasy romance series she scoffed, “Why would you read that trash, let alone write it?” Conversations between this “good Christian woman” and myself always included her opinion that romance was nothing but smut. Meanwhile, to my knowledge, she has never actually picked up a romance novel. What most people don’t seem to understand is that as with any other genre out there, romance has its good stories as well as bad. Some books are just so awful they’re an insult to the English language while others hook you from the beginning and take you on a ride you’ll never forget! We’re all familiar with the adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” and with actual books as with people, this remains true. So if you’ve never picked up a romance novel before, give it a try sometime. If you have and you’ve been turned off or feel burned out by what’s out there, dive back in. There are so many divisions within the genre of romance itself that there’s always a new experience waiting for you.     


My Guest Host was Noemi Betancourt. She lives in a seaside bungalow on Florida’s Sun Coast, indulging in her other passions: cooking, caring Noemi Betancourt Author Photofor her gallant husband (a disabled vet from the British Isles), and the three fur-babies who rescued them. Her first book Heros and Hearts  is a Fantasy Romance that was launched on November 24, 2012_by BookRix GmbH & Co. K,  Her second book, The Crystal Palace Chronicles Part Two will be released on  May 3


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