As a romance writer one of the most difficult jobs is to give a reasonable explanation of love. How two individuals find it? What makes it works? Are happily-ever-afters possible in the world? And most importantly, how does the writer put it down between the pages of their book?
My definition of love is based on twenty-one years of marriage and can be summed up in one word. Acceptance.
How many times have you heard a bride-to-be say “I love him except for (insert irritation) but I’ll change that once we get married.” Whenever I hear that, I shake my head. I know I have habits that irritate my husband and he has ones that irritate me. But, I’ve learned to accept them. They make him who he is. I’m not saying it’s all roses and romance, but we’ve accepted that each is who they are. He knows I’d rather write than clean house. I know he’d rather watch movies than sports. He and I both need our time for ourselves and respect that. We accept that no one on the planet can push our respective buttons like the other. We’ve accepted that we are two individuals with our own unique needs and wants.
So how do I bring this into a romance novel? For me it’s easy. Every person has their own personal fantasy of the perfect person. Mine was a dark haired, six foot plus man. I married a blonde that is a few inches shorter than me. So when meeting my characters I decide what would be their ideal mate to them. Then I take the internal characteristics and mesh them with the person they meet but change the external. I make sure that the personalities are different enough that they will indeed have moments of wanting to strangle the other.
But isn’t that why we all read romance novels?