Well is it?
This may seem a funny question for a ‘romance’ writer to ask but there it is anyway. The idea behind the question has been hanging around in my head for weeks so I have decided to take the plunge and talk about it.
Clearly I have given the subject some thought, and what I am asking is ultimately is there a point in your life where you think ‘I can’t be bothered anymore, let’s leave the romance to the youngsters?
Oh I can hear you all in uproar, “Did she ask is romance dead? Don’t be so ridiculous my husband / wife did something dead romantic the other…the other… now hold on, I know there was something quite recently…or was that last year? It could have been. We are only in April after all.”
Ha ha, I am only jesting with you. The reason I am only joking is that the forgone conclusion I have reached after weeks of thinking about the subject is that of course romance is not dead, it is just that it changes as it matures (the relationship not the people – don’t get stroppy with me) so that romance is no longer about flowers and chocolates and dramatic epic romantic notions that you promise yourself you are going to remember forever.
No, romance becomes something integrated into our very being and it is there in everything that we do.
One of the reasons I have been thinking about this so much is because my novels are based at the New Adult end of the market. They are centred around a group of mid-twenty year olds as they get to know each other, fall in and out of love and ultimately get to know themselves.
We all remember that right? The rush? The not knowing? The buzz?
I remember it all too clearly – that’s why I write about it. I recall with only too much clarity the ‘should I text shouldn’t I text’ moments. I remember that split second of thinking ‘this is it, this has just got to be it,’ only to find out later that it more than likely wasn’t.
Romance is a game that we all like to play, the endless circles of emotion that keep us spinning around until we are dizzy with it.
I remember the moment that I left the game. I recall it like it was yesterday. It was the day I met my husband, well the day that I made my final play in the game. I knew it was different, that this time I needed to play to win and I did.
Now we stand in the kitchen and chat about our day whilst cooking dinner and he moans that he is tired, and I moan that I am tired and we decide to eat our dinner in front of the telly because sitting at the table would probably involve using too many exhausted muscles. I think to myself was that it? Did we end the romance by stopping the game?
But the romance is not dead with us, it is something tangible that runs through the very core of our relationship it has just changed its guise. Romance is now my husband walking out of the bathroom and saying “Honey I know you are tired so I have started running you a bubble bath.” Romance was yesterday when he came home from work – walked away from his desk hours early – all because I had hit my head and he was worried that something terrible would happen to me. Romance is in the fact that every so often he still gets out his guitar and plays the song that we danced to at our wedding. It is in the silence that hums comfortably between us at the end of a long day.
My friend told me a little gesture that her husband recently made and I am sure she won’t mind me sharing it with you. She had mentioned in passing to him that she really liked the idea of an electric heated blanket on the bed but she was worried it made her really old (for the record it’s been a very cold winter in the UK) so she decided she would not bother. A few days later she went to go and get into bed and thought ‘this is a bit weird, why on earth is the bed hot.’ Only to find that not only had her husband remembered what she had said, he had been to buy the said old granny electric blanket and instead of shoving the box at her he had snuck upstairs and put it on the bed, remaking the bed as he did, so it was a complete surprise.
How romantic is that. It’s not flowers, it’s not chocolates it is something far more fundamental it’s about listening and understanding and doing something for someone because you love them, so why the hell not.
No my friends romance is not dead at all; it just changes, the same way we all do. Improving with age getting stronger and deeper like a fine wine that gets more enjoyable with every year that passes.
If I can scrape through the top layer of romance – true romance, the stuff that lasts – and somehow put it into my books so the reader truly believes in it then I know I will have succeeded in being a Romance Writer and I will be more than proud to have that label.
So when you read a book by Anna Bloom there may not be that many epic rollercoaster love scenes, there probably won’t be that much sighing, gasping, and clutching of the bosom, instead there will be the still undertone of something so basic that half the time we all forget it is there in our everyday lives.