1. What are some of the things you expect when you read a romance? Why do you/readers read romance?
I expect chemistry/a spark between the main characters right off the bat, but I don’t want instalove. They need gradually build a strong emotional connection as the book progresses. There should be a believable central conflict, not something that could be resolved with a simple conversation. I don’t necessarily have to like the MCs right away, but they do need to have something about them that makes me want to keep reading. I want to see that they can each stand on their own two feet. No doormats, please. I hope for strong supporting characters that add to the story. There absolutely must be either a happily ever after or a happily for now. I expect to become emotionally attached to the MCs and feel strong emotions, whether positive or negative. I want to become invested in the main characters and see them reach their goals. There must be character growth. Some sort of (believable) transformation should take place.
I read romance and I think others do as well to escape reality. Even though each story is different, there is predictability in knowing what you are going to get when you read a romance. I believe it also gives us hope. Love conquering all is a beautiful notion.
2. What sub-genres of romance have you read (e.g., paranormal, romantic suspense)? What are some similarities that you’ve noticed among the various novels in the sub-genres you’ve read?
I read contemporary, paranormal, and romantic suspense. Occasionally I will read historical or fantasy if a blurb catches my interest. Regardless of the sub-genre, they all rely on that emotional connection between the MCs. I tend to see stronger heroines in the latter two categories, and I would like to see it more in the contemporary sub-genre. Many of the same types of internal and external conflicts are shared across the board. All these books feature a push and pull between the MCs that ultimately leads to them choosing to be together regardless of the circumstances.
3. Which common storylines do you most enjoy and why?
I enjoy enemies to lovers because I love good banter. Second chance romances are all a favorite of my mine. It goes back to the idea of love conquering all and if people are meant to be together they will find their way back to each other.
4. How can writers find new twists for old classics?
I think writers can start by thinking about what they like to read or would like to read about. Chances are there are others out there who would also be interested. What do they like about a certain genre or trope (or not like) and how can they change things around? For example, I’ve read many “dating your best friend’s little sister” books, but how about one about dating your best friend’s little brother? Same idea, but less expected. Or hoow about changing the setting? I just read a book that was an enemies to lovers office romance, but it took place in hotels and on a tour bus. I enjoyed that spin.