Stories have been around since the dawn of time, since the birth of communication. Stories have always served a vital role in human culture, yet in our modern “sophisticated” world, it’s all too easy for many to dismiss novels as “escape.”
Though, in fairness, spend ten minutes on Twitter and escape ain’t necessarily a bad thing. All genres have unique purposes. Fans of one genre might not “get” fans of another.
As writers we also have our biases, maybe even think some genres are more valuable than others. Or even that genre fiction isn’t valuable at all. Yeah , we’ll post on that another time. It’s okay.
Though today, we’re going to talk about Inspirational Romance, I will admit…
We All Have Our Pets
For instance, I love horror. Some people think I’m nuts, but horror relaxes me. Why? Fear often does the most damage when it’s gray and nebulous. Few things are more terrifying than the unknown.
In fact, Stephen King in Danse Macabre makes a really interesting point that the most terror-filled moments are when we are creeping up the stairs and this unknown thing is banging at the door.
The reader tenses, feels sick, his nerves are shredding with every passing second and when the door is opened? There is a scream!
But it is not just a scream of terror. It’s also a scream of relief.
The human mind has a remarkable ability to be able to process and face what it can see. So when the door opens it’s a ten-foot bug, the reader screams but at the same time (though perhaps subconsciously) thinks, “Whew! At least it wasn’t a fifty-foot bug. A ten foot bug? I can make a plan.” And if it was a fifty-foot bug, the reader would think, “Whew! Well at least it wasn’t a five hundred foot bug!”
Y’all get the gist.
Horror helps ease our general anxiety by putting a name on a monster we can see, face (open the door) and then defeat. We might need Xanax and a bag of cookies when faced with trolls and mob violence, but a movie like The Purge places that generalized fear into a specific story and the hero overcomes. The thing is exposed.
We read (and write) stories for all kinds of reasons. Personally, not only do I love horror, but I love mystery, suspense and thriller because for me? I crave a sense of justice in an all too often unjust world. In a recent guest post about my new book, I said this:
Thus today, I’d like to hand off to a long-time follower of mine on social media and Facebook friend. It’s always a joy to bring guests who write genres different than mine, to hear from them. Jamie Lynn Booth writes Inspirational Romance and I thought, in light of all the doom and gloom we face each and every day, that this might be a cool topic to discuss. Why the world needs Inspirational Romance. Take it away Jaime!
I want to start off by saying it is a great honor and privilege to be asked by Kristen Lamb to write something for her blog. Thank you, Kristen.
So, why does the world needs more Inspirational Romance? It was Kristen’s idea, and I loved the topic.
I think we can all agree on the fact that there is an incredible amount of evil in our beautiful world. On the other hand, there is also just as much love and beauty. The sad part is that the media doesn’t show nearly enough of that. All we hear about and see on the news is the violence, for the most part. With Facebook, Twitter, newspapers and television, it’s basically what we see the most of.
For me, I do my best to not focus on the negative. I know it’s out there and I keep up with some of it so I don’t get completely lost. But for me, I need to keep my heart and soul with the love and romance that is longing to be held, grasped, desired and wanted. We all have love in our hearts. We all want to give and receive love, right? Love is a natural emotion. In my opinion, the most powerful one.
So, when I sit at my desktop I already know pretty much what I want to write about. The idea has already been placed in my head. First, before I begin working on my WIP, I have to ask for guidance from God. Without Him, I wouldn’t have this gift in the first place. Then, I let my muse run free.
I believe with the stress of everyday life we need inspiration. For a lot of folks, love has been lost or desired, we need an uplifting romance to fill the void. To be able to sit in your most comfortable chair, out on the deck, or in your bed and allow another scene or world take you away. I believe it’s not only therapeutic, but magical.
There are times in all our lives when we need to be inspired. Times when we all need to have God, or whatever Higher Power you believe in, to comfort us. Reading an Inspirational Romance about someone who has or is going through struggles but gets through them is powerful. A message is embedded within. When the character breaks through the barrier and finds love it makes it even better.
Most of us can relate on many levels with what we read. I love writing a novel that not only reaches into the depths of your soul, but grips your emotions. In everything I write, somewhere within is a part of me. Something I have experienced.
A great example of this is my new release, Never Again. Which is releasing on June 13th and is the first book in the series.
Blessed with a good life and the perfect love, Sam couldn’t be happier. On vacation with her adoring husband, she is convinced that everything is exactly as it should be…until it’s not. One accident sets off a string of events that forces Sam to watch her life fall apart piece by piece. Loss, grief, betrayal—and the revelation of a long-kept secret have Sam questioning whether she will ever be able to find the happiness she once had.
She’s broken, her heart shattered, her trust ruined, and her faith is tested as she tries to survive the Hell her life has become. Now Sam needs to decide if she’s brave enough to move on, or if she’ll never again find a love worth living for.
I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been broken. We’ve been in that spot where we thought we had nothing left. It was too much to simply put one foot in front of the other. Have you been there? I know I have.
Yet, through Inspirational Romance, we can connect with characters experiencing similar circumstances, trials, emotions and brokenness and, though we might be not able to see light in our dark moment? Through them we can. Regular ordinary people without superpowers or space ships and with more broken places than baggage, finding the courage to dare to move forward. To not only move forward, but, in the end trade their ashes for beauty.
Thank you Jamie! Really appreciate you taking the time to blog here. I know it’s work and can be pretty terrifying for the first-timers, so thanks for being brave.
I LOVE hearing from you! (and remember comments for guests count double for my contest).
What are your thoughts? I know we have some Inspirational Romance folks in the crowd who probably can add to this. Why do you love it? Read it? Write it? What is it about Inspirational Romance that speaks to you and why do you think the world needs more of it? I know I do.
Other genres! What do you love and why? Who does the world need more fantasy, science fiction, YA, whatever? I want to hear from you too!
****Just FYI, in an effort to combat spammers your comment won’t appear until I approve it, so don’t fret if it doesn’t appear right away.
Talk to me! And MAKE SURE to check out the classes below and sign up! Summer school! YAY!
And to prove it and show my love, for the month of JUNE, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).
Obviously, I have my areas of expertise, but I’ve wanted for a long time to fill in some gaps on classes I could offer.
Cait Reynolds was my answer.
She is an unbelievable editor, mentor and teacher and a serious expert in these areas. She consults numerous very successful USA Today and NYTBS authors and I highly, highly recommend her classes.
OMG, Like How to Write Fleek YA July 7th $40 with Cait Reynolds
How to Dominate Your Sex Scenes (No Safe Words Here) July 14th $40 w/ Cait Reynolds
Gaskets and Gaiters: How to Create a Compelling Steampunk World July 21st $35 w/ Cait Reynolds
July 28th w/ Cait Reynolds $35/ GOLD $75/ PLATINUM $125
Classes with MOI!
Plotting for Dummies July 13th $35 ($250 for GOLD)
Blogging for Authors July 20th $50 ($150 for GOLD)
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OTHER Classes with Cait Reynolds
Research for Historical Romance Writing – Or, How NOT to Lose Six Hours on Pinterest July 8th $35 for Basic/ $75 for GOLD / $125 for PLATINUM
Shift Your Shifter Romance into High Gear June 30th $35 Basic/ $75 GOLD/ $125 PLATINUM
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Growing An Organic Platform On Facebook June 24th $40