Indie-authors who write romance novels

Indie – short for independent; writers/authors who publish outside the mainstream

Do you read romance novels?

I’m not a fan, frankly, but I discovered some authors I liked. Meaning, I gave romance a chance at times, and although most of the books I read didn’t captivate my interest, I was pleasantly surprised that some of them did.

Do you know what I mean?

However, I prefer other genres that include some romantic element.

For instance, if you pick up a mystery where the point of the story is to solve the mystery, but a romantic situation becomes part of the plot, then that story isn’t categorized as romance even if the romantic entanglements take up a large part of the story.

That type of story would be categorized as mystery. I tend to like mysteries, with or without the romantic element.

But a romance novel, in literary terms, is primarily about the romance.

Do I make any sense at all?

Ok, let’s pull up a definition. Romance is defined as:

A central love story with an emotionally satisfying, optimistic ending.

Sounds kind of boring to me. What’s the point of picking up a romance novel if you know there’s going to be a satisfying happy ending?

But, traditional romance stories have amassed a following with hardcore expectations. They expect to read about the developing relationship between two main characters and involves drama and turmoil but ends in a predictable happy ending.

Sex may or may not be a part of the story.

Note: There are many different sub-genres in romance; for instance, Christian romance is described as ‘clean’ and would omit sexually explicit scenes. Erotic romance would be more graphically described, with the intent of arousing the reader but not deterring away from the story line. There are other sub-classifications, you can google those if you wish.

To summarize, the romance reader expects turmoil, obstacles and all sorts of drama but ultimately desires a happy ending.

Erotica is different. (I’ll discuss that another time.)

Just to clarify:

The romance-like book I’m writing is a romantic story with some steam, but would not fit the erotica category. (I think…)

I haven’t reached an ending (yet), happy or otherwise. I’m still entangled in all the drama and turmoil… 🙄

Note to self: stop using the words drama and turmoil in this blog post. 😀

To be honest, I’m struggling a little bit with how to categorize my story, mainly because I don’t follow the rules. By not following the rules, I find it difficult to adhere to the structural classification already in place.

Anyone with experience in the publishing industry able to chime in here? Keep in mind I’m self-publishing…

To date, I created two likeable characters who embarked on an adventure together. I know they were likeable because I introduced them over a year ago on another blog and received enough fanfare to validate that there is interest in these characters and that story.

Here’s the gist:

The story begins with a bang (not that bang) and continues with another bang (ok, yeah, that one, hah). Then there is a lot of bang-less turmoil strife and drama emotional upheaval (see what I did there? lol).

Translation – there is foreplay leading to sex before the nitty-gritty of the story takes shape.

In traditional romance, the consummation of said bang doesn’t happen until the end (aka Happily Ever After ending) and I just don’t wanna do that. Meh.

Boring.

Instead, my characters have some fun and then, all the drama uncertainty starts afterwards. (Seems more realistic to me in terms of contemporary times and all that…)

Like I said, I don’t follow the rules. I also don’t really know the rules, but I digress…

Here is where I need to thank my cougar followers, those of you who date and write about your OLD* experiences on your own blogs: you know who you are. You have provided me with AMPLE fodder which I peppered with some of my own experiences. I can only hope that I will succeed in attracting a readership despite my rather deviant ways of story writing.

*OLD = online dating

Anyway, don’t worry, it’s not an erotica book. It doesn’t have any mention of kink in it. If however erotic stories are your cup of tea then head on over here and buy and read this book and then leave a review. Authors love reviews!

Now, let’s try some questions for you romance readers:

  1. What do you want from a romance novel?
  2. Would you be willing to read something that departs the standard romance expectations?
  3. And how much of the steamy stuff is required to keep you engrossed?
  4. Are you interested in contemporary topics that consume the online dating world (teens/tinder generation/cougars/OLD*)

So that’s what’s been rattling around my head today. Isn’t it wonderful that I get to sit and write to my hearts’ content these days?

Consider yourself warned – I have A LOT of time on my hands.

See you in the comments.

22 thoughts on “Indie-authors who write romance novels

    1. Yes! That is the most important thing. 🙂

      I wrote a romance story and feel very attached to it but I’m not convinced it would appeal to too many people. My male character is a little flat.

      But as you said, enjoying writing it is key.

      Thank you for this comment.

      Like

  1. I’ve started reading a lot more romance since I started writing romance novels and historical fiction romance. But I agree, I don’t want to be bound by the rules. I want the story to contain some social issue or problem that is not part of the romantic plot. I can go along with the HEA, but my MC’s tend to find their love in the middle of the story. Can they keep it up though? That’s where real life comes in. Another Romance Rule I ran across was that neither of the main characters can leave or die. Well, I don’t like that either. How many marriages today end in divorce? I want my heroine to find true love with her fifth husband. I smell a series here. Ha.
    I do think romance writing should make you fee loved. Who doesn’t need a hug after the year and a half we’ve had? If the writer can make me love the characters, that is all I ask.
    As far as the steam, I prefer some of that. I didn’t used to, when I was listening to audiobooks on the way to work, I’d fast forward through the explicit parts. Now I am studying how they do those bits. It ain’t easy to write, and I have probably rewritten them more than most scenes. I appreciate a little more half-steam, the teasing, the innuendoes, the bits where I show you a little and then take it behind closed doors.
    In general, I say you should write the book you want to read. At least you’ll like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a fantastic comment, and so helpful! I agree, write the book you want to read yourself.

      I dabble in erotica as well and found that the best stories combine both, romantic plot and character development, and enough steam to get you, and keep you, feeling good. 😉

      Thank you kindly for taking the time to read and comment on this post. 😘

      Like

  2. I follow another blogger who has self published in the “romance” genre, and what I understand, it’s a difficult market.
    I enjoy her writing, and enjoyed the one book & 3 chapters of another I’ve read. I’m not that into romance, but I like a good story.

    I’m probably not your target audience either. I skim through the sex scenes if they show up in a book I’m reading (when I was still reading😭) because they get boring TBH. I think some reality, like the noises and the weird faces, and suddenly needing to pee RIGHT NOW! would be fun in these scenes. Laughter is good!🤷🏼‍♀️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would love to see that in a movie sex scene lol…Honestly the most interesting sex scene I’ve ever seen was Donald Sutherland getting his foot bitten by Julie Christie during a sex act from the film Don’t look now. Random weirdness like that would be a welcome change even to read.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve read quite a lot of romance, and it’s not that unusual for the sex to happen before the love story, even in quite old fashioned novels. Mills and Boon/Harlequin novels often have a one-night-stand leading to a secret baby. 😁
    As for your actual questions:
    1. I want ultimate predictability; if I wanted a sad ending I’d stick with real life!
    2. I certainly would, but I wouldn’t be reading it for the same reasons as I read classic romance. I read many genres though, so you might well get a different answer from someone who sticks to romance.
    3. I could live without any, and would rather that than the weird awkward words that ashleyleia mentioned. Different stories call for vastly different sex:romance ratios though, there’s definitely no rule.
    4. I can’t see why not!

    Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this very helpful feedback. 😍

      It’s going to remain a mystery for now what my story will entail ultimately. And what kind of ending I have planned.

      Thank you kindly for reading and especially commenting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t read romance. In fact, I generally object to it, because I am offended by the idea that romance, budding or otherwise, is the central theme in living. They are usually from the female perspective–and I doubly object to that, since it stereotypically characterizes women as more concerned about men/romance/looks/happily-ever-after, than about the things that fill my mind and day…current events/work/outdoors activities/social and ethical conundrums/chores/ and yes…my relationship. Romance is an integral part of life, but I don’t find it segregated from the rest such that I’d follow a story for that, relatively shallow, and generally sexist content.

    That said, I do like a story that engages on the level of interpersonal relationships. All of them. Family/parent-child/work and yes, romance. How people sort through all of that, while at the same time living, that’s fascinating stuff–especially as relationships change and morph because of aging, or trauma, or long-standing personal issues or resentments.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I appreciate your candid view. Quite honestly, the purely romantic stories aren’t very interesting to me either, but there is this thing called blogs, and online dating by cougars (which is a stupid term but hey, I didn’t invent it) and when I read these people and their dating adventures I enter a totally different dimension. I get deeply engrossed by their perspectives, their definitions, their validity of what it means to be with a partner (of either sex) and how this defines them on their terms.

      Then there’s the kitschy sexy stuff. The erotica. That in itself can get quite…shall we say…creative. I have discovered things I had no clue about and launched into reading about it simply out of boredom with the same old.

      Suddenly, I’m writing out stories like this. It’s so foreign to me, which challenged me and then, yes, validated me when I received compliments for writing in an engaging way. I mean, it’s all fiction, but I touched some readers into believing my fictitious characters came to life. I helped transport them into a world that doesn’t exist in their orbit.

      Anyway, it’s complicated. But there you have it.

      You are obviously not my target audience, but hey, if you ever feel like reading my stuff just for the writing side of things, by all means, I’d be honoured.

      Happy planting (we’re getting snow next week apparently). 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always try to respond fully to your posts, in the interests of voicing a perspective you might not otherwise hear. I feel like I’m one of your research subjects.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d personally rather read a non conventional romance. Life isn’t always a predictable happy ending. Sometimes I think about things my wife and I do and wish reality was depicted in the movies. Sex and or Romance can be funny at times and tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

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