I think I always knew I’d be a romance writer. I can remember thinking about it when I went to bed at night. For several years in my early teens I’d think up stories about dark prince heroes who were misunderstood by society, but who would and could be healed through the power of my love. I dreamt about being kidnapped in a coach as I was taken to my palace, held for ransom and then falling in love with my captor, and never wanting to leave him. I saw the face of a dark-haired man in my dreams, like it would become my future. And in a way, it did.
I don’t know if this is what every young girl dreams about, but I did. I was drawn by the power of love and how it made people become better people, how it transformed everyday existence into something miraculous.
Stories such as Beauty And The Beast and Phantom are filled with a similar sister fantasy. The power of love takes a hulking power dark individual and reveals in them their true higher self, the beauty of that special part of them that allows love to warm their doorway. Gives them the courage to act with integrity, to do the right thing in the end. The Beast allows Belle to go, and she decides she loves the strange creature who will sacrifice his own future to assure her of one. The Phantom, driven by his obsession with Christine, finds it in himself to free her when she confesses her true love for him.
In my Navy SEAL stories, I try to portray an elite warrior, trained to the highest of combat readiness, one of a handful who can pass the tests physically and mentally, who are driven to do what they do for the love of their country, the men they serve with, and the innocents they strive to protect. They are driven to do the right thing, even when it costs them their lives. Because they have that ethos, that love of life and the bond of brotherhood, anything is possible. The highest calling to them is that juice of life that makes them want to be the best of the best.
We get criticized often for our simplistic stories of love and the Happily Ever After we write. Almost like there is something more noble about writing “the way it is,” instead of writing about the fantasy of what could be. As romance readers, I know you would disagree with that. You’d probably smile and feel sorry for the person who said such folly.
But no one can dispute the facts that over 50% of all the books that are sold are romance novels. And far from being a fad, the trend is spreading throughout the globe. What a fantastic time to be a romance writer.
What about you? Do you believe in the transformative power of true love?