I’m writing about raven-style courtship rituals today.

You see, it was my friend Amanda Johnston’s birthday the other day and I missed our usual tradition of writing each other something. In this case, it was a bit of softness, a bit of romance. I owed her it (still owe it to her, to be honest). So naturally I had to research courting rituals to write about.

It isn’t that I don’t understand the dynamics of a romantic relationship but everyone has their different ideas of what romance is like. All you need to do is pick up a romance novel written either by a traditional or an indie writer to know that we all have our different ideas of what is romantic. Some of us like the softest of romance while others like the hard, intense relationships. Provided the relationship isn’t abusive, I tend to favour intensity. But I’m also a sucker for a soft gentle romance.

The best sign of this is when I wrote the romance novel, Before You Go, which was the softest I had ever romanced before. It involved a soft couple who danced around romance for most of the novel before delving into a passionate romance without it ever being a formal ‘date me’ situation. It was a soft romance really with some passionate interludes. Because of that I really wasn’t sure how to write it except to put it down as a contemporary romance.

I wrote Before you Go for my mom, who is an avid romance reader. She can probably read circles around most romance novel reviewers and she’s also a very varied reader at that. She has her preferences but I remember asking her what she wanted, which was a cute feel-good romance. I did the best that I could. There was some serious subject matter to the novel itself. It dealt with anxiety at its core, a condition I deal with myself, as well as the nature of staying true to your dreams. My mom loved it but also was a great beta reader as she pulled it apart to show me why certain things did and didn’t work.

Before You Go was a fantastic learning experience for me as I had never written a straight up romance before. Sometimes you need to change genres to clean your palate. I ended up writing A Twisted Faire shortly after that and to say the two stories are very different is a bit of an understatement. As much as I adore fantasy, sometimes I feel a bit exhausted writing it. Romance, for me, is a genre that I can write a little easier and follow a pattern that I like. Fantasy tends to get a wee bit out of control quickly. Sometimes it’s a good exercise.

I haven’t touched romance in a while but there’s always romance in my books I think. Love features heavily in the books that I write because it is the one emotion I want to understand better. What drives us to love? What pulls us apart despite that love? Those sort of questions keep me up. An Unseen Magician is a non-romantic book that I have upcoming that settles solely around the journey of Meg Thorne but there is the slightest hint of something deeper than I intended. When I wrote the original outlines, I didn’t intend for driving forward with a certain character but he ended up taking a far larger role before I knew quite what was happening. The subsequent books hold a romantic undercurrent within the Unseen Chronicles, expanding on the theme in A Twisted Faire.

This whole stream of thought began because I decided to write soft romance for my friend. It’s not a bad way to spend my extra time today I think.

Words written: 3000

Blogs written: 14/365

Social Media Channels advertised to: 2