Many romance authors talk about how they’re writing certain themes in their books. How they sometimes write the same messages, or values, or concepts, again and again. I always wondered about this. What was I really writing about, I’d ask myself.
Obviously, some write about literal magic in their paranormal or otherworldly books. I write contemporary romance, very much rooted in the real world. But there is an element of magic in my books — the magic of unconditional love for difficult people.
This is what I’m writing about, I recently discovered. The answer came after reading a rather critical review of my recent book, ALL I WANT. It’s a review that I’m immensely grateful for, because it helped me define and identify my storytelling on a much deeper level.
The review criticized the heroine for being difficult. And that’s when something crystallized for me.
I write about difficult, often selfish women — and how they deserve love. How they find love, and keep love, despite a world that tells them they’re unworthy.
My heroines aren’t perfect. They’re snarky, sometimes scared, often strong willed, and always flawed. Sometimes they act out of fear, or desire, or stark ambition. Often they don’t know how to express their emotions (a trait that’s all-too tolerated in romance heroes, if you haven’t noticed).
The overarching message in all my books is that flawed women are deserving of love. I’m not saying that love transforms them into “better” people, or that my heroines become kinder, sweeter, or more feminine because of the love of a good man. My heroes love the flawed heroines and embark on lifetime relationships with them knowing they’re flawed. Accepting, and even enjoying, their flaws. Knowing that the difficult women, the broken women, the scared women, are worthy.
My heroines — and all women — deserve love, despite not being perfect.
Even if you’re difficult, broken, or yes, unlikeable, someone in the world will love you — that’s the magic in my books. Isn’t that what romance is about, loving people despite their flaws? Isn’t that a magical, wonderful thing, to be loved for exactly who you are?
That’s the magic I write about.
This short essay is from a post I wrote for Read-A-Romance month. Make sure to check out that site!