Q. You are best known for your middle grade and young adult fiction. What made you turn to writing adult romances?
A. Many of my young adult novels have a love story somewhere in their plot. These include Lilbet’s Romance, and the follow up Dessi’s Romance. Even my latest: That Stranger Next Door features a broken romance between a young Jewish girl and a Catholic boy. In Hades, my verse novel, brings a street boy and a wealthy girl together. Tackling romance novels was taking the concept one step further.
A. Can you give us some tips on successful writing romance?
Q. 1. Read. A surprising number of people who think they can write a romance don’t read romances much less do they read anything else. Good reading equals good writing and it’s impossible not to follow this most important rule.
2. Here’s what a romance reader expects from a romance:
A hero she loves and a heroine she sympathizes with.
A believable conflict. Something must keep the hero and heroine apart, and it can’t be anything cleared up too easily and quickly.
A happy-ever-after ending. The couple don’t have to get married or vow undying love but it should be clear that they’ve resolved their differences and are mutually committed.
3. Emotions. Readers read romance because they want to feel. Romances can have any number of dark moments but at heart they are life-affirming and the ending is always positive.
4. Action: Although romance is about feeling, characters need to be doing things: having conversations, going to work, throwing things, etc etc. The plot is important.
5. Points of View. Don’t jump between points of view. Most romance is written in the third person, and in the past tense. You can change that if you like, but you might make things more difficult for yourself.
6. The love relationship is most important. Your reader wants to see your hero and heroine falling in love. And remember: the ending must always be positive.
7. Physical attraction. Romances are about sexual love relationships, even if your characters never do more than kiss. Physical attraction and desire are important parts of your characters’ love journey, and your readers want to experience them. URST is alos important. Unresolved, sexual tension.
Unless you are tackling something tremendously literary and innovative, you must be aware of these basic rules before you dare throw them out.
Q. Can you tell us about Penelope’s Ghost your first romance novel? What is it about?
A. “Fleeing a humiliating end to a passionless marriage, Lisa Harbinger seeks refuge in a posh summer retreat on Australia’s lush South Coast.”
Q. And your newest romance?
A. Emily’s Ghost will appear in late January, the setting is also on the South coast of Australia. Some of the previous characters appear, if less significantly.
Q. What is Emily’s Ghost about?
“When Billie inherits a decrepit house from her unknown aunt Emily, she hardly expects neighbour Sam, to be so attractive, so helpful, yet so elusive…”
“Have you written anything else for adults?
A. My adult crime novels, now up as ebooks, have been grouped together under the title of TheGrevillea Murder Mystery Trilogy’. I have written many adult short stories. Some have won prizes. And both my ‘how to write’ texts, the latest being Mentoring Your Memoir.
Both romances are published by Boroughs Publishing House, and appear on all standard e-book sales sites including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Diesel ebook store, Baker & Taylor’s Blio, Aldiko