Variations on the Romance Genre

Monday’s post was my contribution to a blogfest… a circle of blogs related to a single theme with links to facilitate movement between them. Its theme was “Romance… or not so much” and after reading all the different posts I couldn’t help marvel at how many different relationships have a romantic flavour.

A year ago I would have denied my novels were romances and, while they were written from my Christian worldview they certainly weren’t Christian fiction. For years I said I wrote light suspense or cosy-style mysteries although they weren’t really cosies. Trying to identify a sub-genre in mysteries was impossible. I’m still not sure they are genuine romances either, and yet I’ve mellowed.  There’s romance hiding amidst suspense. Sometimes, as in our blogfest, it’s the “not so much” kind, but there’s enough caring and personal connection to qualify.

The Romance Writers of America’s website says, “Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.” That gives writers a lot of latitude, but at the same time it was here that I found the inkling of an explanation as to where my stories best fit.

Among their Sub-genre descriptions I discovered:

  • Romantic Suspense — Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.
  • Inspirational Romance — Romance novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religion or spiritual belief system) are a major part of the romantic relationship.

Suddenly my last two novels fell into place as “Inspirational Romantic Suspense”… not one sub-genre, but a combination of two.  An earlier one is “Contemporary Women’s Fiction” but there are seeds of romance and suspense in it, too. Who’d a thunk it? The self-professed critic of romances and Christian fiction is now writing a version of both.

What genres were your earliest writings and what genre are you writing in now? If there has been a change, what influenced the evolution?


Valentine’s Day Romance Blogfest

It’s official. Jordan McCollum is hosting a Romance Blogfest to help celebrate St. Valentine’s Day next Monday. It’s easy to participate, and a fun way to exercise your romantic creativity as well as meet other bloggers.

Go add your URL to the ‘Mr. Linky’ on Jordan’s page now, then write something on the theme, “Love at first sight . . . or not so much” to post on your blog Monday. After posting yours and linking to Jordan’s page, you can visit the various other links to read and enjoy all the romance while you nibble chocolate Valentines… or whatever else you may do to celebrate the day.

The guidelines and ‘Mr. Linky’ are on Jordan’s blog. So what’s stopping you? Are you going to show us your romance writing ability or not?