Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ask Cheryl A Question: Why Do You Write Romance?

This is a question I've been asked many many times. It's the sister question to, "When are you doing to write a real book?" My answer to that one is, "When they stop paying me so well to write these fake ones."

But today's question was WHY DO YOU WRITE ROMANCE?

Quite simply, because I love to read romance.

I write romance for the same reason I’ve read romance for years: I love the genre. I love losing myself in the challenges and trials of two characters who are destined to be together.
I guess I want to believe that there’s somebody for everyone and that under the right circumstances and with a bit of that magic we call romance, happily-ever-afters are within our reach.

Before you scoff and call me a Pollyanna, I assure you I’m enough in tune with reality to lock my doors and warn my children of strangers. I watch the news and I see the state of our world. But what do we have if we don’t have hope?
Romance is all about hope.

Several years ago after the release of SAINT OR SINNER, I received the most memorable letter I’ve ever received from a reader. She told me how much she’d enjoyed my book, how she identified with the characters and how she’d cried for the heroine. Like the character in my story, she’d been stalked and beaten by someone who should have loved her. Unlike my character however, the reader has permanent nerve damage to her arm. Her story touched me so deeply that it made me cry. Her true story forced me to consider what I was doing.

I sat at my desk thinking how shallow my work is. I mean, I make all this stuff up! I order people's lives about and manipulate them to suit my plots -- but it’s all fiction.

While I sit in my comfortable office with every convenience at my fingertips, sipping cup after cup of coffee and tea, and munching M&Ms, out there in the real world people are experiencing devastating hurts and losses and traumas. What I do seemed so inconsequential in that light.

That thinking lasted about -- oh -- ten minutes. And then I realized why this young woman had been touched so profoundly by my story. She said she hoped that some day she would meet a man like Joshua McBride, a man who would love her that same way. She had hope.

Romance is about hope.

We invest our time in the characters in these stories because we know that no matter what dilemmas befall them, no matter what obstacles they face or which conflicts arise, in the end love will conquer all; good will win over evil; and a happily-ever-after will prevail.

Each of us hopes there is a special someone out there, a special man or woman who will love us unconditionally and fill that place created in our heart just for them. Romance brings our hopes to life. Through these stories of love and commitment, we experience the fulfillment of the human dream.

What better reason do we need to love romance? And what better reason do I need to write it?

And by the way, I went to amazon and found the Mills & Boon cover of SAINT OR SINNER to display here and found these two reader comments I thought I'd share:

At last, a sexy romantic hero with morals! Impossible? No. Refreshing? Yes. Joshua is in love with Addie, and determined to do the right thing. Addie, however, doesn't want anything to do with him. At first. This book is great fun, with bad guys and mystery and of course, romance. (Check out the scene on the front porch.)
I liked this book, because here, the man has already changed his life, for himself, not for a woman. But he finds the right woman, who makes his life complete. Very refreshing. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance.

This was the first book of Cherly's that I read.....that was all it took. Now I am hooked. It was a story like no other I had read. It was a story filled with love, danger, and just touches the heart and sets fire to the soul. Cheryl is a talented lady and it was this book, which I read when i was 15 that inspired me to write my own novel, she has a talent that is not always found in most novels..a talent that keeps me hooked from page one. I cannot for anything...even to eat....put down on of her books before I have read it completely. This is her best work. The characters....Joshua and Adelaide are done to perfection, they come to life through her carefully chosen words. The characters and their story remain in your mind...and in your heart long after you have finished the book.


  1. "Saint or Sinner" was one of my favorite of the books by Cheryl. She is right it is all about hope...evenwhen you are married to the best man are hoping for your daughters and friends to find what you are lucky enough to have. I swear sometimes that Cheryl has met my husband of 44 years (today is our anniversary)! My favorite book of Cheryl's is always the one that I am reading at the time.

  2. Hi Cheryl, just letting you know that I've received my copy of 'Christmas Gold' (thank you, thank you) and am looking forward to reading it and posting a review. I'll also look for 'Saint or Sinner' - it sounds like the kind of story I'd like.

  3. Happy anniversary Connie!!! I agree, the one I'm reading is my favorite of Cheryl's. But "The Mistaken Widow" holds a special place in my heart. I saw a movie that was very similar before I read Cheryl's book and loved it. (I even taped it.) Cheryl's books make you forget the world and just 'believe' for awhile. Her characters become your friends and family for a short time. You feel happy for the characters and sad that the story has ended. That's what makes a GREAT writer, in my opinion.

  4. Romance novels helped me through a very dark period in my life. They will always hold a special place in my heart for that. Romance novels taught me the best life lesson of all, 'sometimes you have to write your own happy endings.' Thank you Cheryl - keep writing.

  5. What a great response to why you write romance, Cheryl. I also believe there's someone for everyone. Sometimes though you have to go through several people to find your perfect mate. But I think unconditional love only comes from our beloved pets.
    In a messed up world it's a joy to read a happy ending.