But this week’s blog will not be about me. It is about the typicality of romance stories. Through my extensive readings on this genre, but also during my edits, I have observed how similar some stories seem. My first project as an editor was a classic “bad boy meets good girl” type of story. I’m sure you all know how this goes. The sexy tattooed man, possible gang member, meets good shy girl, bodies aflame, problems arise, problems are solved, happy ending.
It is not often that I am surprised by love stories any more. Writers tend to follow the same stereotypical patterns. I know it’s hard not to do so. As we say in my language, “Δεν υπάρχει παρθενογέννεση στην Τέχνη” (There is no virginity in Arts).
That’s right! Everything has been said by those before us. We follow in the footsteps of the classics, of the authors who have influenced us through our readings and that is absolutely normal. We can only hope that we can add some aspect of originality in our stories that will attract readers to buy our books. The core of the story will inevitably be the same: people trying to find love; but it’s the details, the way we will phrase that now that will make all the difference in the world.
As a fellow writer recently put it, we use a “fictional specimen of manhood”. Ladies, you all know what he meant: the tall, handsome man, with the sexy voice and a body to kill for. We have read it a thousand times and yet, it never gets old. We fall for our book boyfriends every time. Of course, I could controvert that in his mind, all female characters have long legs and curves at all the right places with no imperfections whatsoever.
Yeah, right! How many of us actually look like that or can have a partner looking like that? I am sure not that many. Yet, we adore reading or writing about such characters. That’s because we all want the dream, the escape from reality. We don’t want to settle for our imperfections; we want to imagine that one day we can have that effortlessly-looking perfect relationship. And yes, romance books feed that need of us every time.
I am an avid reader, particularly of the romance genre, but I have also worked on several love stories as an editor. As I said, it’s not often that I encounter a love story with a difference. However, I was fortunate to work with two writers recently that surprised me pleasantly.
The first one is J. Cassidy whose book “The Obvious” is truly a romance with a difference. It has all the elements of a good love story (lots of hot scenes, by the way) and yet, it will surprise you. I can’t say more since that will be revealing, but it is certainly a book worth reading.
As for the second writer, Alexander Kurtis (aka Ken Alexopoulos), I will be completely honest with you, dear readers. I may be biased. I AM biased! He is a personal friend of mine, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a great writer. I was ecstatic when he asked me to edit “I AM A COWBOY”. It really is centered on an original idea. Ok, we still have the sexy cowboy here, but the way this character behaves is something I had not seen before in a book of this genre. It does border on a satire, but it is still categorised as a romance. After all, Ken is known for his humour among our writing circle; cynical occasionally, but still humour.
Finishing, I’d like to encourage you to have a look at these two books (click on the titles) and I’ll be happy to receive your comments on them. I am sure the authors will appreciate that too. Farewell until next time!