Guest blogger: Kylie Kaden
Everyone’s idea of what’s romantic is different. One girlfriend measures her partner’s romanticism by how often she gets Tiffany’s jewellery (and by the Facebook gloats she regularly posts, I think he’s doing okay). Another can’t get enough of Bikies—with beards. (Each to their own.)
But for me, the most romantic words I know are: ‘I’m taking the kids to the park’, followed closely by ‘dinner’s in the oven.’ So it’s just as well that romance offers a vast array of sub-genres, as the definition of ‘romance’ for women is as individual as the women themselves. Whether it’s someone that offers beef stroganoff, beards or bling—it’s all about being with someone who knows what you need.
The same could be said about the books you read. From raunchy to ranch, historical to hip, the romance genre is not a one-size-fits-all gig. It’s all about finding the right one for you.
So what’s my breed of romance?
I love books that teach me about the human condition; how it’s bolstered by love, shattered by separation, tested by adversity. Books that provide an insight into one person’s life and how it turned out that way: what life experiences moulded them into the person they became? I have a background in psychology so it is no surprise that those interests flow over into my writing.
My new release Missing You is, in a word, about relationships. It shows the complexities of family bonds, the strength of loyalties when they’re tested by adversity, and the impact each one has on the other.
The plot focuses on a struggling young mum who leaves her son with her elderly dad in the dead of night, and doesn’t come back. As the police and her family search for Aisha over the following days, it slowly unravels that, while it looks like she has the perfect life, all is not what it seems behind the white-picket fence. Their concerns quickly turn to fear when blood is found in her abandoned car.
But this is just the plot. I believe the books that stay with you are all about the people you meet inside. The plot is just a vehicle to put those relationships in jeopardy, ramp up the conflict, and see how they react.
Missing You introduces Aisha: an offbeat beauty, struggling to be the mum she never had. Ryan: an opportunistic charmer, coming to terms with being the dad he never knew he wanted to be, and Pat, a stuck-in-his-ways grandpa lumbered with the care of a difficult four-year-old grandson Eli: who sees the world differently to the rest of us. Sure, there is a mystery lurking in the periphery of each page, but it is equal parts a love story. The heart of the book lies in shared snippets of Aisha and Ryan’s once-happy marriage—their extraordinary love shackled in an ordinary life, and they struggle to keep their relationship alive with the realities of parenting a high-needs child. Along with the mystery, the novel asks, in the context of the realities of modern marriage, can love conquer all?
But don’t be too worried—it may not be all romance, but the story still follows the integral convention for romance novels: a happy ending. And that, I believe, is the cornerstone to any relationship (and good read!). There may be rough patches, but you work through them, make diamonds from the rough.
John Lennon said ‘it will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end’. Life doesn’t come with any guarantees, but a romance novel does. And that’s just one of the many things that unites the genre, whatever your breed of romance is.
Thanks for having me!
When Aisha met Ryan she fell hard for his good looks and easy charm. Why worry that he didn’t want children or a 9 to 5 job? Nothing and no one would come between them.
But with the birth of their high-needs son, Eli, their extraordinary love is shackled into an ordinary life, their passion blunted by responsibility.
Until Ryan can’t take it anymore.
Now, following a mysterious phone call late one night, Aisha leaves four-year-old Eli in the care of her elderly father Patrick – and doesn’t come back.
As Patrick struggles with the grandson he barely knows or understands, his frustration with his missing daughter and absent son-in-law quickly turns to fear.
Particularly when blood is found in Aisha’s abandoned car …
Free sample chapters of missing you are available here.