My series The Lost and Found while not necessarily romance in genre, does contain some romance because the stories are all about loving in difficult situations. Loving parents, running from a love we know is good for us. Loving our friends who know us just about as well as we know ourselves. Each book has a set of circumstances in the plot that are dramatic and thrilling (hopefully) on their own without romance or love. So I ask myself why do even the best thrillers have some aspect of love and or romance? Is is because it is present even if what is experienced is the exact opposite of love?
Sometimes it is in the form of deep respect, an appreciation for an elder or mentor as in Jeffery Deaver’s The Bone Collector between Lincoln and Amelia. Perhaps it is friendship and the lifelong bond it sometimes creates such as in the film The Sandlot as shown in the ending scene between Benny and Smalls. Also there is familial love. The kind that creates a good kind of crazy that only exists in the family dynamic. Then there is heart wrenching family love found in books like Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper. So very many stories would be less without all the love. Even the Love Story is about so much more than the romantic love between Ollie and Jenny but in that story their love is the reason for nearly everything that happens apart from the fatherly love of Phil. In other books, the love is a result, a complication, a game changer to the plot. Sometimes it is a large part, and sometimes small, but it is there none the less.
In the first book of the Lost and Found series, Diamond Road the action and plot move along because of what happens to one of the main characters. Her set of circumstances are neither romantic or driven by romance. They are driven by her need to survive, to come out of those circumstances whole and happy. In the second novel of the series (coming later this year) Hope in Carolina there is way more romance than in any of the other books. It’s strategic. These new main characters needed to have a bond that they are not willing to lose despite the odds stacked against them. As their story completes itself in the third book of the series the plot is predominantly a drama and criminal thriller with lots of action inside and outside of a hospital and a courtroom. But what gravity would all of that have on these two characters without all the love?
If you stop and ask yourself these same questions about your own life, you realize that if we write about humans, the kind we know, the kind we are then you must admit that every story is a love story to some degree. Here is a short excerpt from Hope in Carolina that is romantic in nature. It’s about how some of the details of the world around us slip away when we are in the embrace of that certain person who holds our heart in such a way as to make us believe we are one with them.
Hope asked, “I mean have you ever kissed someone and you can’t even remember what you did with your hands? I never knew what my hands were doing, where they were. All I know was how he made me feel. One hundred percent his, and I was so totally in the moment with his lips on mine or his teeth gently nibbling at my neck or jawline. For the brief seconds we weren’t’ joined we were nose to nose with a slight giggle coming from one or the other of us like we knew something, held some prizze no one else could ever possibly understand. I still don’t recall where my hands were most of the time. It was like they melted away and his lips were all I knew.”