The Page a Day Writers Group

Confessions of a Single Romance Novelist

Posted on: January 30, 2010

Being the only single member of the group, I felt it was my duty to be the one to post this one, especially with Valentine’s Day coming up.  Or, as I like to call it: The Day that Confectioners, Florists, and Hallmark Get to Make Single People Feel Worthless.

Of course, being the romance writer, I do have my Romancing the Stone fantasies, but truthfully, I would have punched Jack T. Colten in the nose more than a few times on that journey.  Trustworthy, my butt!  I only write the occasional Alpha male, and he’s usually damaged in some way shape or form.  I’m a Beta girl to the bitter end, because, as one of my colleagues at work pointed out, I’M the Alpha.

Sometimes it’s nice, being the single writer.  I don’t have children or husbands tugging at my sleeve saying, “What’s for dinner?” or “I put the dog in the microwave to dry him off after his bath, okay?”  I can keep working in peace with only the occasional need or disaster prompted by myself or the two felines who let me live with them.

I also don’t have to worry about the jealousy that can sometimes occur with the women who write romances and the men who love them.  Any man of mine is just going to have to deal with the fact that I have pictures of gorgeous men all over my house and computer.  I need to look at the men I’ve cast in my projects, and if that means staring at pictures of Clive Owen and watching video clips of him all day, so be it!

That can wear on a girl’s Honey, however.

But this also means I don’t have husbands and children to help me when I need it.  Like, fixing me a cup of tea so I can stay on that writing roll without losing the comfort of my hot, caffeinated beverage.  Consoling me when I get those rejection letters, or supporting me and saying, “We know you can do it, (insert term of endearment or parental title here).”

I also don’t have a man always available to either…

A) Ask Exactly How Men Might Think in a Particular Situation

I had a scene in a WIP with a major supporting character wondering about his employee/close friend (the hero) who is in love with his sister.  The supporting character worries that his friend will end up with a broken heart.  I know men have feelings.  They have them, they really, really have them.  I just know they don’t like to spend a lot of time thinking about those feelings unless they can do something about them (Oh, aren’t they all just darling little action heroes!). That scene is still incomplete because the supporting character is still thinking like a woman!

B) Ask Little Things about Their ‘Equipment’ and How They Feel about It, along with Their Thoughts about the ‘Equipment’ of Other Men.

For example, in This Pale Mortal Shell, our villain, Tristan (who is now a ghost), has plans to take over his brother’s body for his own use.  One of the first things he plans to do is, of course, go boink his wife.  But, I had a thought about those first few moments in the new body.  I was forced to ask men I was not totally intimate with: “If you were in another man’s body for the night, would you take a peek at the willy first?  You know, especially considering you’re about to go use it for a bit of fun?”  Though embarrassing to all of us involved in this question, the answer was a unanimous “Yes, of course I would.”  But at what cost?

Or even C) Get Inspiration for Those Naughty Sex Scenes I Have to Write.

Most would think this is the easy part, but I have been a pretty good girl in life.  Though I’ve been sexually active since my mid-teens, I haven’t had all that many lovers.  I suppose some of them were fairly creative.  Still, I would say each of my novels has at least two major sex scenes (where the act is fully described) and several ‘building the tension’ scenes where we make out and at least get a little ‘over the sweater action’, or more!  So, it’s difficult to come up with new and interesting things when one is a little rusty on the act herself.

I think I do still fantasize about meeting that perfect man.  I mean, I guess I wouldn’t write romance if I didn’t.  But at 41, and not a size 2, it’s hard to meet a man in this town.  Still, I remember that my mother didn’t meet my stepfather until she was 42(ah, the answer to life, the universe, and everything!), and I truly believe he is her true love, not my father. I also just found out one of my other colleagues just got married for the first time three years ago.  I’ve never asked the gentleman in question how old he is, but I’m certain he’s pretty well past 50.  Granted, he’s a man, and let’s face it ladies, there are more of us than there are of them in this country (52%F 48%M), but I still have hope.

I will add that as soon as this guy shows up, I’m going to ask him where the heck he’s been, then smack him ala Cher in Moonstruck and claim that he’s late!

Then we shall, hopefully, you know, live Happily Ever After…

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1 Response to "Confessions of a Single Romance Novelist"

Loved this post, Deb. Looking forward to reading more about your happily ever afters — both on the page and in real life.

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Who are we?

The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

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