A while back, I wrote a romance, a first for me. In truth, all the books I write have romantic aspects, but in this one the love story was the focus. (The book is The Headman & the Assassin.) The mainstream romance genre has a whole lot of rules, which I find pretty funny. In real life, love and romance are two areas where predictable outcomes are the exception.
Actual romantic life is more like “the rules are, there are no rules” and “cut your losses before they cut you.” I prefer semi-reality. As an independent publisher, my romances don’t have to follow the conventions of the genre.
What are the rules of romance? In the romances published by the major publishers, plots are required to go like this: Boy meets girl. (Right away, you see the limitations of the form.) They fall in love, with lots of explicit sex. More than lots.
A terrible barrier comes between them: she discovers he's married and has six kids. He discovers she's got a terminal disease. They part, but struggle to overcome the Awful Barrier. (No sex in this part.) Then an elephant falls out of the sky and they’re really in trouble.
Many romance writers are really clever about getting their hero and heroine out of the pickle they're in. There's more explicit sex. They get back together, and the book ends.
We all know how realistic that is. What if they get together, get married and face the next forty years together? What’s that story like?
The industry has other rules. No one under 18 has sex, explicit or not. This bears no resemblance to real life. Drive by your local high school or walk through any shopping mall, and you will find absolute proof that kids under eighteen have sex. Often almost in public.
The romance industry says the book has to end happily, just like all romances everywhere.
Which is why we have independent presses.
My renderings of romantic feelings are outside the parameters of the traditional romance genre. That means that a happy ending is not guaranteed. (Though it could be happy.) This is like real life.
I will guarantee that an elephant will not fall out of the sky, though pretty much anything else might. You won't see what's coming and you can't second-guess the ending. The sex in my romance is steamy, though not particularly explicit. By my standards, anyway.
My work is character driven, which means you will want to marry the hero or heroine at the end. Maybe sooner than that. (I'm in love with Will Duane and Wesley Silverhorse, as well as Bud Creeman from Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem.)
Good heavens, I’m in love with all of them. I fanaticize about Leroy Watches of Leroy Watches Jr. & the Badass Bull. And also Sam Baahuhd, hero of The Headman & the Assassin.
I figure that if I’m not in love with my hero, why should anyone else care? If a character can’t make me swoon, what good is he? That’s not lust, that’s desire.
The warm fuzzy feeling I get when I write Sam or Leroy spreads all over my life, which is why people crave romance. Run a few pages past your eyeballs and bingo, a fantasy fulfilled.
These compelling characters are not so much fantasies as archetypes. An archetype is the original model for a particular type of person. These characters originate deep in the psyche and derive their strength from that. Archetypes move romance.
Many of them exist: the perfect lover, the witch, the really nice guy like you wish your brother was/had been. The seductress, warrior woman, warrior. The hunk. On and on, enough to populate all the romance in the world.
Long may they reside within us! Long may writers give them life and breath.
The Long Awaited Sequel to NUMENON: A TALE OF MYSTICISM & MONEY
WILL WE HAVE PEACE OR OUR DARKEST NIGHTMARES?
Will Duane owns the tech revolution. It's 1997; Will's been the richest man on the planet for twenty years. He can sway governments and ruin lives. Will's latest mission brings him into conflict with all that's holy.
He and his corporate hot shots reach their destination, a Native American spiritual retreat. Their luxurious motor homes enter the Mogollon Bowl, a geophysical anomaly where anything can happen. Now Will can spring his trap.
Grandfather, the powerful shaman leading the retreat, seeks a world where love is king, a world of peace and harmony. This vision has haunted him all his life. His corporate guest is the key to making his vision real. Grandfather knows exactly what Will Duane wants.
A malicious force steps into the action. Both men's hopes are dashed, as a sacred place becomes the playground of evil. A malevolent power tries to claim their lives and souls.
You won't forget this modern day fable, a high-speed, high stakes fantasy with visionary roots.
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Genre - Visionary Fantasy
Rating – R
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