Romance Genre Problem, by Feather Stone


They say sex sells. Damn! I have a problem. Since I began writing The Guardian’s Wildchild, a suspense / paranormal / romance, I hesitated to pin the romance genre to it. There’s virtually no sex. The relationship between the two main characters wavers between physical aggression and deceit – until the final chapter. If I told Captain Waterhouse that he was falling in love with his prisoner, he would have executed my muse and sabotaged my keyboard.

Every person / reader has a personal view about romance, its role in their lives, and its importance in a novel. So how do I write a romance novel that doesn’t follow the rules.

My Thoughts About the Romance Genre

The problemdancing? It appears that for a novel to be considered in the romance genre, there must be an intimate liaison between the main characters. Period. Here’s my confession. In my “romance” novels, there is no overt intimacy, no sex.

What I aim to achieve in my romance novels is a fire that goes beyond sexual urges. More than two characters who surrender to a five star romance. More than just a plot that drives them together. My goal is for both characters to dig deep into their moral conflicts, cultural adversities, and a history of ghosts and personal agendas.

The characters must awaken to selflessness, embrace the darkness and imperfections of the other. And, they must not surrender what is precious within themselves in order to be more attractive or alluring to the other.1985 Graduation

Romance is the dance which paves the journey to loving another. It may become sexual. Even if it doesn’t, their bond can be glorious, beautiful, powerful, eternal.

In essence, I see the sexual encounter, if it happens at all, as the epilogue rather than the romance’s grand finale. The true climax in romance novels, and in life, is to awaken to the beauty of another’s soul, overcoming barriers, and enjoying the bliss of passion.

Yes, I’m a bit of an odd duck.