1. What are some of the things you expect when you read a romance? Why do you/readers read romance?
When I read romance, which is most of the time, I expect an emotional connection. That is the single most important part to me. I want to feel the love developing between the two (or sometimes more) MCs. I expect strong characters that I have an interest in. If the characters are completely unlikeable or boring, I usually do not continue on with the book. A happily ever after or happily for now ending is also important to me as a reader. Cliffhangers are my nemesis, and I generally will not read another book in the series if I am left hanging.
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 pretty much all sub-genres of romance. I love historical romance, paranormal, romantic suspense, m/m and f/f, contemporary, and more. You name it, I read it.
3. Which common storylines do you most enjoy and why?
Brother’s best friend is a favorite storyline of mine. Second chance romance is another. When these storylines are done well, I love them. Because, let’s face it, a lot of times they are not. I think I like that type of story because part of the relationship has already been formed. There’s a history there. When the author provides just enough of the history for readers to understand the relationship and connect us to the story, not so much that half of the book is past events, it gives us more of a chance to fall in love with the characters and route for them to make it through whatever conflict they have going on.
4. How can writers find new twists for old classics?
I think one way writers can find new twists for old classics is to develop strong characters that are unique and modern. For example, I recently read a beauty and the beast retelling, but the author didn’t use the modernity of men and women today in the story. She used the helpless girl, overbearing and aggressive guy, and the same conflict of the man being “beastly” because he was scarred. I think a good way to put a new spin on old classics is to know our era. Know how people have evolved. Know how gender roles have changed. Know how sexuality (or at least representation of sexuality) has changed. Know how female and male characteristics have changed. Use these things to make characters that are strong, unique, and interesting. After all, (personally) I usually remember the characters in a story above the details of the plot.