My name is Patricia Charles and I WRITE ROMANCE!
Yes, I know that all caps mean I am screaming, and yes, I am screaming. Not because I am angry, but because I want to show that I am not ashamed. No, I’m not. It is my choice.
There is still a stigma of writing romance. Even if I were being published by one of the big traditional publishers, there would still be the atmosphere of not being a good enough writer for mainstream fiction.
Last week in a mystery-reading group, we were discussing a novel where a teen-ager plotted and committed murder. Part of that conversation included music, television, games, the Internet filled with violence and. where teens could find anything they wanted.
As I was leaving, I thought of my two novels: one a contemporary romance and the other romantic suspense. I felt less ashamed of the romantic suspense, which I often call a mystery. Why? Because many of the people I know read mysteries. But not romances. Again,why? I haven’t a clue, but that’s the way of things.
I have a romantic suspense in progress for my series in the Crescent City, and I’m actually contemplating toning down the murders and violence. In my opinion, there is just too much murder and violence in every aspect of media and especially in real life. Now there are television programs about murders, fires and emergency calls in New Orleans. Okay. I watch it. I even tape it, but that doesn’t mean I have to write it, right?
So I have decided to try to take the high road, but still write an excellent book. There is an old song that says something like, “All the world needs is love” and that’s what I hope I will spread through my words. More love. And I will not be ashamed to say, “I write romance.”
Here’s an excerpt from my contemporary romance Unconditional Surrender. It is set at a Civil War Reenactment. I hope you enjoy. Spread the love.
Steeling herself, Kirsten faced the man she would love forever.
In the time since she last saw him, he’d changed very little. He still exemplified everything a cavalry officer would have been in the 1860’s…
A shock of dark hair tumbled from under his slouch hat and curled over his navy blue frock coat. His beard, scruffy as if he just woke from the night and hadn’t shaved yet, wasn’t streaked with gray from age and worry. His eyes were the color of the sky against his suntanned face. Broad shoulders under his wool coat tapered to his waist then to long, sinewy legs clad in knee high boots.
As he neared, she recalled his tousled hair when he woke at her side and how his original declaration of love caused her to sob so hard she couldn’t answer. Most of all, she remembered the look in his eyes as they glowed with desire.
Yet today was different, not just because they already had loved each other or because he proposed and she accepted. Her heart still trembled as it had every time she looked at him, but today was different mainly because of a young boy, perhaps two years old, sat before him on the saddle. The child was a close duplicate of Creed from his black hair covered with a Yankee kepi to the boots on his tiny feet. He looked up at Creed with a smile and adoration.
Her heart tore apart. She strained to breathe. Was that his son? It had to be. They looked so much alike. Is this what our son would have looked like? She knew he had to be happy. He had everything, didn’t he?