“Why don’t you write a romance?” a friend of mine asked. So I explained to her that all of the main characters in my books have a love interest, even the villains. I have discovered that it brings a special dimension to any character to insert a soft center somewhere inside all of that macho posturing.
“That’s not what I’m talking about,” she protested. “You need to write a real romance. That is what everyone is reading and I think you would be good at it.”
“What are you reading?” I asked, somewhat fearful of her answer. She gave me that kind of grin women give men when they are especially clueless. I found myself looking at the cover of Suzanne Collins’ novel, The Hunger Games. I had only read a few pages before I was hooked. Writers tend to forget from time to time that ‘plot’ is a verb, and is best defined with power words like confrontation, turmoil, or trouble. After reading halfway through The Hunger Games, I am still not convinced that romance is the right genre for me, but it has made me take a new look at the personal relationships in the type of novels I write.
“I’m not sure I can write a straight romance novel,” I told her. “Please . . .” she said. “Please, please, please!”
If she had only said please twice, I might have rejected her suggestion. But three in a row? I feel myself weakening . . .