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I mentioned last time how there can be pushback when authors of work that is not in a Romance genre, include romances in their work. One pattern that I often see is romance included as a secondary plot arc. So there’s the traditional plot with a fight against evil (or whatever), while at the same time a romance is going on. It might be two members of the same team falling love, or a romance with someone not connected to the rest of the plot. Sometimes they even fall in love with someone from the opposite side. Oh, the drama!

To be clear, I think all of these are legitimate story arcs. A love affair can be a great way to raise the stakes in a novel. The characters not only have to solve their initial plot problem, but now they also want to impress their beloved. Or, the other side might threaten their beloved, and they have to protect them. Not only that, but a high percentage of readers are very drawn to romantic emotions. Having a romance arc is another way to keep them hooked on the story.

All this has made me look back over my own stories. What approach have I most often taken to the “Romance, Yes/No” question? So let’s go over a my books, in the order I wrote them.


Caution: Spoilers Ahead!

Many of my books have been out for over ten years, but I can still hope some of you may be interested enough to buy them, right? Right???

The Magister’s Mask was about a young woman who used magic to solve crimes and was trying to get established in her career. There was no romance.

Too Many Princes featured two princes on a quest, and had some political intrigue. There was a secondary romance for one of the princes, who ended up happily with his partner at the end. There also was a positive romance for one of the princes’ sisters.

In The Necromancer’s Bones, sequel to The Magister’s Mask, the young woman fell in love with a man who was socially out of reach, and was tormented by it. But he shared her feelings, and in the end they were talking about marriage.

Masters of Air and Fire was a book for middle readers, about a group of young dragons who all were siblings. No romance there!

In The Seven Exalted Orders, a couple of rebellious young wizards hooked up while on the run. They spent the rest of the book deciding whether they had a future together. I’d call that one a troubled romance.

The Grimhold Wolf was about a woman running away from her evil lover, who took their child and turned her into a wolf. The other POV character was a werewolf-hunting priest. No romance.

Their Weight of Their Souls was a swords and sorcery novella with a diverse group battling the darkness. In the end, there was a possible romance between two of the group.

In the world of The Gellboar, men were forbidden to do magic. The main character was a man who disguised himself as a woman to so he could get around that. No romance.

Now coming to the Skaythe novellas. The Tower in the Mist: it was hinted that there could have been a romance, but then one of them died. Dancer in the Grove of Ghosts: the two characters were heading toward a romance at the end. The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh: flirtation heading toward romance, but then one of the lovers betrayed the other one. Ouch! The Renegade of Opshar: a partnership, but no romance. Prisoners of the Wailing Tower (which will be out this fall): a young woman has a huge crush on a man who doesn’t think of her that way, but by the end he is starting to see her merits. So, potential for a romance.

End Spoilers

I’m not a Romance writer as such, but I guess I started out fairly traditional. If there was a romance as a secondary plot, it ended with a happy relationship. As time has gone on, I’m evenly split between no romance, troubled romance, and potential romance.

It isn’t that I’m against romances. As I said above, they can be a useful part of the story. In general, my stories have become more complex thematically. I supposed that I treat romances the same way. People’s emotions are complicated, and there aren’t always happy endings.


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Should your story include a romance? I’m speaking here about romances being included with stories that are not explicitly part of the Romance genre. There seem to be a lot of strong feelings about this issue.

From time to time I see people get very angry about romance being a part of other genres. There especially seems to be a sort of science fiction fan that complains about this. Science fiction is supposed to be about pure ideas, they say. Never mind that science fiction has always had other elements, such as social commentary and political theory (especially Libertarian theory). They seem to feel that the romance somehow pollutes the genre.

These rants always puzzle me. We want to read about characters who are interesting and fully formed, right? Well, romantic feelings and needs are part of every biological entity. Why should authors prevent their characters from having those feelings? If the author decided this wasn’t want they wanted their story to be about, that’s one thing. It just seems like a line is being drawn (or attempted to draw) that doesn’t need to be there.

To put it another way, I wonder why some fans are so uncomfortable hearing about romantic emotions?


Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my web siteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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