Meaningful Work

What does romance writing mean to you? I was asked this question by my friend and aspiring talk show host, Caroline Donahue. Surprisingly, I had not really given much thought to what is meaningful to me from the writer’s perspective. I knew what romance meant to me as a reader—I had been lost in so many stories, inspired, entertained, and even angered, by stories that I have read over the years. Whether a book made me cry, throw it across the room, or jump for joy, as a reader I have always loved and appreciated books and found the written word supremely meaningful;  but what about from the writer’s perspective?

In my interview with Caroline (which you can download for free from iTunes at the link below), we discussed the meaning in writing about love and romance.  Love is just about the most exciting, tragic, fun, terrifying, and at times hilarious experience a person can go through. Reflecting those journeys on the page is a rare gift and making readers identify and enjoy a character’s journey is a special and unique responsibility in my opinion.

This time in my life has brought that responsibility into stark relief. Right now I find myself with nothing but ample time on my hands to edit my work, write a query letter, and start the submission process in order to earn my PRO status in LARA (the Los Angeles chapter of Romance Writers of America). More than ever I am reading and writing and consulting the best and most successful writers in the business to carve out my career and they all say the same thing—they do it because they love it and because people love to read about romance. It’s one of the few genres of publishing that is not hurting but actually thriving. When people are willing to spend money on a kindle download or a paperback even in the face of not being able to afford car payments and mortgages that tells me that no matter what, we will always need a little love in the afternoon. As authors it is our responsibility to create those worlds, stories, and characters. I’d say that’s pretty meaningful work, indeed.

To hear my interview with Caroline Donahue on her show Living the Question, download episode 7 for free at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/live-the-questions/id512111692

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