Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The allure of the romance...

I've just returned from the annual RWA National Conference and it's always so very cool to be surrounded by that many other fans of romance. The literacy signing is exceptionally cool as we get to meet many of you, our readers. We so appreciate your kind words. After a week with fellow romance lovers I'm left wondering what it is that keeps us returning to both reading and writing romance.

The allure of the happy ending is, indeed, great, and many of us read romances exclusively because of this very element. But I think at the heart of things, romance is a bit more and the real reason we all cuddle up with our favorite heroes and heroines (either writing or reading) is all of the stuff that actually leads to the happy ending. The enduring power of love is nothing short of awe-inspiring. I'd like to think that most of us have felt it in our own lives. But even before that, you can know, believe in your heart of hearts that it's out there. This, too, is a great pull to the genre. Yet it's still not quite what I want to put my finger on though.

There is a key difference between villains and heroes - heroes must grow and change, but villains don't have to. This is, I believe, the true draw of romance. Most of us are eternal optimists, we like to believe that no matter how the day goes, in the end all will be well. We know the world doesn't always work that way, but we still wake up the next morning hoping for the same thing. In the romance world, everyday doesn't always end pleasant, but we know it's coming. The characters we read/write about are flawed and they have fears and dreams and secret desires – all attributes that you and I have – and like real people when the going gets tough, our characters (eventually) face those fears and make big, scary decisions. They grow and they change and they overcome. They walk through fire and they come out on the other side stronger and more able. They tackle their big issue and they resolve it before they get their happy ending, so we know that happiness will endure past the last page of the book. It's this what gives us the real hope? Seeing people overcome adversity and pain and fears. Isn't that we all want in our own lives? To overcome and battle our own demons? And triumph! Yes, yes, this really is the happy ending. Were it not for the growth and the change, then the happy ending in the relationship would be a bit watered down and unsatisfying.

So three cheers for our strong characters, they do what a lot of characters in other books do not. They win and they are better people in the end.

You can read about my own strong characters overcoming their own challenges on July 28th when Seduce Me hits bookstores everywhere. Be sure to check out my website, www.RobynDeHart.com for the latest reviews and an excerpt.


penney said...

This sounds good I'll be getting it, thanks

Robyn DeHart said...

I'm glad you think so, Penney. Hope you enjoy it!