1. What are some of the things you expect when you read a romance? Why do you/readers read romance?
I generally prefer reading sub-genres of romance (such as fantasy or romantic suspense) but I still expect the relationship between the main character and love interest to be the focal point and main storyline, with the genre and plot there as the setting and vehicle that carry the story forward.
I’ll stop reading a romance (or any story), if I don’t find the main characters to be someone I like or can relate to, at least in some way. They should have flaws (that pertain to the storyline) and not be perfect people, but I definitely need some reason to root for them and care about their success in both the relationship and any other conflicts they come across.
I also expect the conflict that is threatening the romantic relationship to be believable and something that is truly daunting. I want to see the characters have to go through much difficulty and great lengths before they manage to end up together! 🙂
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 enjoy reading YA romance (usually combined with fantasy or sci-fi), romantic suspense, and the occasional historical romance. I’ve also read some great contemporary romances – but I’m pretty picky about which ones I read. Generally I prefer romantic comedies or more lighthearted fare if I’m reading contemporary.
3. Which common storylines do you most enjoy and why?
A romance bookstore called “The Ripped Bodice” posted a “Quarantine Tables: Trope Edition” image on Twitter the other day with lots of trope choices, at:
Where are we sitting? pic.twitter.com/sj8DZR0slM
— The Ripped Bodice (@TheRippedBodice) April 9, 2020
I went through and picked out a few of my favorites:
Enemies to Lovers
Famous Person Falls for Normal
Matchmaking Gone Wrong
I love stories that throw someone into a situation where they are in way over their head, as well as ones where the characters have some pressing need to hide who they truly are, only to find out they must come to terms with their true selves in order to have their Happily Ever After.
4. How can writers find new twists for old classics?
I think old classics updated in a contemporary way can be fun, or change the setting or genre to give it a twist.
I recently read and really enjoyed, “A Curse So Dark and Lonely” by Brigid Kemmerer, which is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a heroine from our contemporary world who ends up traveling to the magical fantasy world, so that adds the “fish out of water” theme to the story in an interesting way.
I saw that Melissa also read a retelling of Beauty and the Beast – definitely one that many authors like to recreate in their own way 🙂