Guest blogger: Helen Lacey
Why do I write romance?
I was about twelve when I read my first Mills & Boon novel, and eighteen when I sent my first manuscript off with dreams of being published. I had a long and roundabout journey to publication: twenty-three years of submitting and countless rejections. But I wouldn’t trade that apprenticeship. Twenty-three years after sending off that first manuscript, I sold my first book to Harlequin.
Now, every day I get to do what I love most—write romance novels for a living. And write for a Harlequin line that I adore. I’ve had a lot of readers and other writers ask why I was drawn to write romance and particularly write for Harlequin Special Edition (or Mills & Boon Cherish in Australia) and my answer is always the same—the characters, the romance and the glorious happily-ever-after.
Special Edition books have a strong sense of community and of family—whether it’s a secret baby angle, a relationship in jeopardy, opposites attracting or the favoured friends-to-lovers trope—the books are usually very inclusive of the hero and heroine’s family. Other secondary characters often move through the stories too, tempting readers with their own stories to come in the future. Perhaps that why the ‘small town’ angle works so well.
Having lived in a small seaside town for the past ten years, I often draw from the local people and places when I’m writing. The difference I’ve noticed with the big city from a small town is that there’s a generosity of time in country folk. People take time to talk, to get to know others, to discuss the weather (actually, this happens a lot … the weather is a popular subject in a small town). Maybe this is because the farmers are so often at the mercy of it. And after a decade of this sense of community and closeness, I now feel like a local in my small town. Incorporating this in my books is a real bonus.
So, why do I write romance? Because it’s the best job in the world.
June marks the release of book 2 in my Cedar River Cowboy series …
Lucy & the Lieutenant (The Cedar River Cowboy Book 2)
THE VIRGIN AND THE VETERAN
Dr. Lucy Monero feels like the oldest virgin on the planet. Still crushing on her longtime neighbor, she’s waited a lifetime for her first…and last. The man she’ll marry. And now he’s back—the star of her fantasies, ex-cowboy-turned-army-vet Brant Parker. The physician in her recognizes a wounded soul, but the woman in her burns for his touch. Lucy’s head is filled with visions of white lace and white picket fences.
The last thing Brant needs is the walking, talking temptation that is Lucy. He may be out of his army fatigues but he still carries his demons. He’s a loner, not the marrying kind that the hometown sweetheart deserves. So why can’t he stop wanting her?