1. What are some of the things you expect when you read a romance? Why do you/readers read romance?
The main thing I hope for in a romance is a strong emotional connection between the characters (that builds slowly throughout the story) and a believable and worthy conflict. I also want to be able to identify why the MCs develop a romantic relationship. Why did they fall in love? What draws them to one another?
I, personally, prefer to read sub-genres (fantasy and paranormal) with a strong romantic subplot. Though I know that world-building and complex plots can overshadow a romance, I find it makes the development of the MCs relationship more realistic and interesting. There’s usually lots of opportunity to craft strong and believable conflict that keeps the two characters apart.
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?
As I stated above, my preference is fantasy and paranormal, but I’ve also read a lot of historical and YA in my younger years. I’ve also dipped my toes into sci-fi and romantic suspense. Interestingly, I did notice similar tropes in historical romances and YA romances…and they are part of the reason I stopped reading them much. I’ve read one too many historical romances where the female MC is a naive virgin who is seduced by the powerful, wealthy, or royal male MC who is, of course, more sexually experienced than her (which, I do admit, does makes sense in the context of history). And the amount of YAs I’ve read where the female MC is beautiful, but doesn’t know it, and every male character in the book falls in love with her… are just too many to count. There is nothing wrong with these tropes, but let’s just say, I’ve had my fill.
3. Which common storylines do you most enjoy and why?
Oooh, Amy, thanks for sharing that Twitter image, that’s so fun! As the others have said, I too love an enemies to lovers storyline. Also, time travel, secret identity, and reformed rake or “playboy.” I think I like these scenarios because they all have the ability to create really strong conflict between the characters that I find believable and interesting. I also just love the banter/chemistry that comes with an enemies to lovers storyline; it’s just so sexy and fun. Guilty pleasure reading at its finest.
4. How can writers find new twists for old classics?
I like what Melissa said. I think playing with gender roles/expectations is a refreshing way to approach the classic romance tropes. Or “flipping the script” and reversing some of the more common and overdone tropes.