Do you know August is Romance Awareness Month? Is it time to pay a little extra attention to the one you love? Why save your affection for Romance Awareness Month or Valentine’s day? Displaying romantic gestures can happen every day of the year. Am I right? Fold the laundry because I’ve had a hard day, or turn up the heat or toss a throw over me because I’m cold. Little things can say a lot. To me, these are romantic gestures. They don’t have to be huge.
Love notes and quotes warm my heart.
She lay in the darkness made bright by the filtering moonbeams, stretched her arms above her head, and gave herself up to dreams. She felt no shame, no regret, but a still ecstasy, a wild exultation because of her love. All life, all bliss, all beauty would be hers and his, because they had given their hearts to each other. ~Dorothy Scarborough, Impatient Griselda, 1927 [a little altered –tg]QuoteGarden Love Quotes
How do you get romantic with the one you love? Ooohhhh, wait. That’s kind of personal so just tell yourself.
Okay, okay, no more moaning and groaning now. Since it is Romance Awareness Month, and I’m an author of romance, I’m briefly covering the romance readers and writers side of romance. The majority of my followers aren’t romance writers or readers of the genre, so if that’s you choosing to read this, I hope I don’t bore you. I must be doing something else right to have y’all following me. Thanks!
The following romance reader stats are from *Romance Writers of America® (RWA)
Who is the romance reader?
- Female: 82%
- Male: 18%
- Average age of the romance reader: 35–39 years old
- Ethnicity: 73% White/Caucasian, 12% Black/African American, 7% Latino/Hispanic, and 4% Asian/Asian American.
- Sexual orientation: 86% heterosexual or straight; 9% bisexual, pansexual, or other bi+ identity; 2% gay or lesbian.
Just an FYI. My newsletter demographics tell me many of my subscribers are close to my age. And heck, I read (and write) romance as a senior, so it’s good to know that I’m not alone.
RWA also says:
Romance fiction is smart, fresh and diverse. Whether you enjoy contemporary dialogue, historical settings, mystery, thrillers or any number of other themes, there’s a romance novel waiting for you! *Romance Writers of America® (RWA)RWA.Org
Writing romance might sound easy. Pick your characters, think up a story, find a setting, do some research, write it.
Whoa there, partner. Pull in the reins. Not so fast.
It’s not easy to write romance, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun to bring characters together and guide them to a happily-ever-after or happy-for-now ending. Don’t you dare forget the happily-ever-after or happy-for-now ending!
One thing I love about writing romance is the emotion, both in the story, settings, characters, and within myself. And the Happy Endings. Yes, I cry during writing. I figure if I don’t feel a deep emotion, you won’t, either. I’m proud to know I can write romance even though many snub their noses at me as if romance isn’t a real thing. In the past, I’d hold back saying what genre I wrote because I couldn’t stand seeing “ew” on their faces. Come on, it’s a billion-dollar business. (Not my business. Ha-ha.)
From Book Riot: It’s unquestionable that romance books sell. At $1.44 billion in sales per year, romance is the best-selling genre, nearly double the next highest genre of crime/mystery at $728.2 million. It’s even seen an increase in sales during the pandemic as more readers are looking for a guaranteed happily ever after.Gina Nicoll Oct 8, 2021
If you want to write romance, first you need to know what is necessary in the genre.
Once again, I’ll add another fact from Romance Writers of America:
Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending. Visit the link to read more statistics and facts. *Romance Writers of America® (RWA)RWA.ORG
Genres, Subgenres, and Tropes
By the way, in romance, there are many genres and subgenres. Fantasy, paranormal, sweet, young adult, new adult romance… The list goes on.
My genre is romance and subgenre is contemporary romance and contemporary western romance. Two books are also holiday romance. One of my favorite tropes to write is second chances. I also use the tropes: alpha-male, small town, and workplace romance/falling for the boss. I’ve used sports romance for my Bull Rider Series, but that keyword doesn’t work well for bull riding, or my bull riding books.
I don’t incorporate these tropes because they’re popular, but because they fit my stories. In fact, when I began writing these themes, I never heard of the word “trope” referring to books.
When I plan a book, I don’t look for a popular trope. Often, a certain trope becomes a trend. For me, I don’t write fast enough to get a book out because it’s the trend at the moment. It might not be by the time I finish a book. However, if I wrote faster, I would consider following trends.
Examples of other tropes: When I typed “romance tropes” into Amazon search under Kindle Books, some books with these tropes came up. I knew some of them:
- Enemies to Lovers
- Secret billionaires
- Marriage of convenience
- Secret baby
- Best friend’s siblings or friends to lovers
- Workplace romance or falling for the boss
- And more
Referring to the “second chance” trope… Most say second chance romance is a couple coming back together for a second chance after being apart. Jake and Beth in my book, Whispers of Forever: Mending Christmas, is a second chance romance. It isn’t my only book like this. Jake and Beth were high school sweethearts in love but torn apart. Thirteen long years later, they met again. Could this be their opportunity for a second chance (in their small town)? My series and standalones are set in small towns except for the Bull Rider Series.
Others say the second chance trope is couples finding love again as in losing a spouse or partner. This is the case in my book Seasoned with Destiny: A Gift of Love, where my widowed sixty some year-old ranch matriarch, and one of the two men vying for her hand fall in love—getting a second or another chance at love.
I’m curious. If you’re a romance reader or writer how do you see a “second chance” romance trope? I think readers who enjoy this trope will make their own decisions.
- Do you see a second chance romance as a couple getting back together after a past relationship like Jake and Beth?
- A couple finding love again with someone new like the widow and widowers in Seasoned with Destiny?
- Or maybe you see it as both?
Does it matter? I lean toward getting back together after a relationship didn’t work the first time like Jake and Beth, but I’m not against reading and writing second chances in either scenario.
I could add more, but I’ll let you off the hook. Let me know if you come across anything that isn’t correct here. Until the next time… Take care and be safe.
It’s time to get romantic!
You have the entire month of August.
Hours fly,QuoteGarden Love Quotes
Too Slow for those who Wait,
Too Swift for those who Fear,
Too Long for those who Grieve,
Too Short for those who Rejoice;
But for those who Love,
Time is not.
~Henry Van Dyke, “Katrina’s Sun-Dial,” Music and Other Poems, 1904