She Never Saw Him Coming… and the realization that I write romance

I didn’t set out to write romance when I first started writing. I just didn’t. Some of my favorite books have been as much about family relationships and friend relationships and history as love stories, or more.

Still.

The first book I wrote was a love story.

So was the second.

And the third…

Holding hands

So when I started to write STRONGER THAN YOU KNOW (which used to be called The Happiness of Joy, and then almost was called Joy and Other Complications) I was determined that it NOT be a romance. Joy’s story was going to be one of hope, adaptation, and moving forward.

But then on her way to school she ran into this guy named Justin. She never saw him coming. Neither did I. When he spoke as she walked, I was surprised, but kept going. I didn’t expect him to show up next to her in government or for him to be so awkwardly adorable. But he was. Every time I paused in writing that story, unsure of what happened next, I’d add in a little more Justin and I was rolling again.

Putting the romance in Joy’s story helped me finish that book.

Fast forward about 2 years.

I started writing this book called DEAL about a year and a half ago. I was determined that it NOT be a romance. I WAS NOT GOING TO ADD A ROMANCE TO THIS GIRL’S CRAP LIFE.

And then I couldn’t figure out how the story ended. This guy was on the periphery, but only a vague part of the story, and I knew the boyfriend had to go, but I’d kept the first third of that book and re-written the rest about FIVE TIMES before giving up and adding in a vague love interest.

And then the rest of the book re-wrote itself (sort of) and the guy ended up being so interesting that he needed his own POV.

Adding a romance to that story saved that story.

So, as often as I feel like I’m not a romance writer, really… I sort of am. And it should have been the most obvious thing in the world from the beginning.

Anything obvious you’d like to share? lol. A new writing path you’re on, or a realization you’ve had lately? Would love to hear…

~ Jo

P.S. Stay tuned for my next post called – Why I Should Not Be A Romance Writer.

(random side note – The Summer I Found You is still on its 1.99 sale ;-D)

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