Erin Nicholas: Writing Romance Is Like… 15


Thanks Leah, for letting me stop by on my blog tour!

Since November is the anniversary month of my first published book, I decided to go on a tour and chat and give stuff away!

The “theme” (I use the term loosely) is Writing Romance Is Like…

And every blog stop has a different comparison that will give you some insight into who I am, how I write and my slightly weird sense of humor. Oh, and you can win stuff! Every commenter gets entered for a chance at a book from my backlist. And if you really want to have some fun: follow me around to all the stops on the schedule (on my website) get the answers to the questions (on the form on my site) and then e-mail them to me by December 15th to get entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or MyBookstoreandMore.com. Come join the fun!!

And now…

Writing Romance is Like…
A Grown-up Hallowe’en Party

Okay, maybe it’s a few days late, but the Halloween party comparison does apply (even if I don’t write paranormals). At a good Halloween party you get to dress up. You get to pretend, be someone (or something) else. Maybe even try something new. It’s expected, encouraged, applauded even.

Writing is the same. In a good work of fiction, romantic or otherwise, it’s expected, encouraged and applauded if you can pull your readers in and make them forget about the real world around them for awhile and care about the characters—even want to know them or be them on some level. As a reader and a writer I live vicariously through the characters between the covers of the book. In fact, as a writer it’s even more fun sometimes because I can make my girls wear things I’d never pull off, say things I’d never dream of saying, go places I’ve always wanted to go, have sex in places I would never (probably) have sex… well, you get the idea. For instance, I had a heroine throw a cell phone at her boss—who hasn’t wanted to do something like that?

I had a hero who undressed the heroine in a store dressing room. Who hasn’t done something like… Anyway, the point is, reading and writing romance is a fun way to see what it’s like to be someone else for awhile and take a break from the real world. I wouldn’t tolerate some of the mega-alpha heroes in my life for long, or the spies who are always jetting off on secret missions, or the save-the-world-but-I’m-never-home-for-dinner guys—but for a few hundred pages I can definitely let my imagination wander. I think that’s one of the best things about all fiction really.

But it can be a tough balance—making characters relatable but also just enough larger than life to be fun to read about. They can’t be too over the top or they aren’t believable. But if they don’t do something a little bit beyond what Average Joe would do then we don’t care. Think about your favorite hero or heroine—what makes him or her real for you? And what makes them…even more? Are they fun, brave, confident, generous? For me, I love when the hero or heroine does something huge—a public spectacle—for the love of their life. Some of my favorite books have that scene. Because that’s something in my real world that doesn’t—and won’t—happen! 🙂 What is something that will always turn you off of a character? Or turn you on?

Thanks for stopping by today! Come with me next week too! 🙂

(November 9th: http://ErinNicholas.blogspot.com)

Excerpt of No Matter What
by Erin Nicholas

(the cell phone scene :))

Adam wanted to keep her talking. He loved her voice, the look in her eyes and the few stolen moments where they were just a man and a woman getting to know one another. “If physical therapy is the perfect job for you,” he said, “Why were you working as a bartender when I found you?”

“Tony didn’t research that?” she asked.

“If he did, he didn’t tell me.”

“You didn’t ask?”

“I didn’t care.”

She looked at him for a several seconds. “You didn’t?”

“You were the best for Emily. That’s all that mattered.”

“Why does it matter now?”

It was his turn to think for a minute. “It doesn’t,” he finally admitted. “I was just curious.”

She gave him a little smile. “Then in that case, I’ll tell you.” She got up to refill her cup. “I resigned. The plan was for that to be temporary.” She turned to face him and leaned against the counter. “But then I threw my cell phone at my boss, gave him a black eye, and ended up fired…forever. Then I marched into a public ceremony and called the philanthropist of the year an asshole. Which means no one else will ever hire me.” She shrugged. “Except you, of course.”

Adam wasn’t sure what to say, or do. Blinking seemed to be all he could manage.

“I can’t believe you didn’t hear about it.”

He was thinking the same thing. “I’ve been…distracted,” he said as explanation.

“Still, you must know Dan McCormick. Surely you have acquaintances in common.”

“Dan McCormick?” A thought occurred to him. He’d heard Dan had been named something-of-the-year. “Dan’s the asshole?”

“Oh, you have no idea,” she said emphatically.

“But he was the one you publicly denounced?”

She nodded and sipped from her cup, watching him process what she’d told him.

“Wow.”

“Did you know that Dan and I were engaged?”

He stopped with his cup partway to his mouth. “You were engaged to Dan McCormick?”

“How did you know that I was the major fundraiser for the rehab wing at the hospital and came up a million dollars short but not know that the million was supposed to be my wedding present from Dan and when we broke up he took the money with him?”

The words, and their meaning, seemed to take an extremely long time to sink  in. “Apparently Tony isn’t as good at research as I thought he was.”

More about Erin Nicholas

Want to know more about Erin? Well, you can visit her website www.ErinNicholas.com or learn more about her on her group blog NineNaughtyNovelists.blogspot.com or her personal blog ErinNicholas.blogspot.com. Or you can find out about her books over at Samhain: http://samhainpublishing.com/authors/erin-nicholas

And you can also follow her on Twitter or friend her on Facebook.

Note from Leah:  Don’t forget to leave your email addy  in your comment (put spaces on either side of the @ sign so spammers don’t harvest it) so Erin can contact you. Oh, and the contest will be open until 11:59 pm Sunday November 7 and the winner announced on Monday November 8th.


15 thoughts on “Erin Nicholas: Writing Romance Is Like…

  • PG Forte

    Another great post–and so true. If we wanted total reality, we'd all be reading non-fiction.

    And where's the fun in that? *g*

  • Victoria

    You're right. We need characters we can relate to, but who do the things we can't or won't. That's why we are so drawn to them. I love the strong, smart, ballsy women and alpha men. But I hate the 'alpha' men who think they are right so they don't listen to the women, really hate patronizing in any form. Readers are smart in so many ways it is too easy to talk down to us. I think that's why we like women writers so much, they get the tone and balance right.

    vickykerr@sbcglobal.net

  • Zina

    I hate guys who are jerks, as in only thier oppion counts not that of the heroine, in other words if they act like neanderthals and constantly force themselves on others. Oh crap Don't know if I'm getting my meaning across, my heart just isn't in it today, I ranover my cat this morning and had to put him to sleep, so I'll drag myself off now. Thanks,
    Zina
    seawitch6464 @ yahoo.com

  • Erin Nicholas

    Thanks for stopping by everyone!
    PG, nonfiction? heck I live nonfiction every day! 🙂
    Victoria, Cara and Zina– I'm with you. Alpha males can be hard to write well because it's easy to make them into jerks and sometimes hard to redeem them 😉 Though some of my favorite heroes are alphas. Lucy Monroe comes to mind– she writes great alpha guys. Also Susan Elizabeth Phillips. My guys are definitely guys too! 😉

    Zina, so sorry about your cat… ugh, my heart goes out to you.
    Erin

  • Cathy M

    I love an alpha personality in the hero and even for the heroine, but in real life, that would be totally exhausting.

    I love a character that is smart, has courage, honor, a sense of humor, and brings out the best in their partner.

    And like your characters in, No Matter What,puts that all together with some smart and funny dialogue.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  • Sarah

    Yes! I love when the h/h does something big to show their love 🙂 One of my fav scenes in "10 Things I Hate About You" is when Heath Ledger sings a song on the football field for Julia Stiles – too funny!

    smaccall@comcast.net

  • Juniper Bell

    All I can say is thank God for fiction. It lets us experience things we would never dare in real life. Love this post! Thanks Erin!

  • Kelly Jamieson

    I had no idea how you were going to pull romance writing and a Halloween party together but you did it! And you're right on. I love your characters Erin!

  • Erin Nicholas

    Oh, Cathy, thanks for saying that about No Matter What! 🙂 Sarah, I love that scene too (doesn't hurt that it's Heath doing it :)). Juniper, a scene you might like is from Cherry Adair– sex on a camel. Seriously. 🙂 Thanks, Kelly… I'm not always sure how I'm going to do some of the things I set out to do either 😉
    Erin

  • RKCharron

    Hi 🙂
    Thank you for the great post Erin.
    What turns me off in a character is unrealistic damsel-in-distress characters.
    🙂
    All the best,
    RKCharron AT gmail.com

  • lindseye

    I dislike when a character dithers about a decision. I do it myself but I do not want to read about the same thoughts more then 2 or 3 times in a story. Reality is not as neat and tidy as fiction can be.

    linze_e at hotmail.com

  • Stella (Ex Libris)

    Hi Erin! I have to confess your ost title drew me in because I was curious in what writing romances is like a Halloween party 🙂

    I agree, I love reading romance novels because it is nice to escape to a funny, romantic exciting world once in a while, and I agree once more: I enjoy the story if the characters are believable. For that I only require that they stay true to themselves and do not change their colours unexpectedly.

    Lying and cheating will turn me off a character, and if a character shows some generosity, sign of their compassion and warm heart, I'm gone 😀

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Erin Nicholas

    Thanks for stopping by everyone!!

    The winner of the choice of download from my backlist is: RK Charron!

    I'm going to e-mail you too, but if you see this first, contact me at Erin@ErinNicholas.com!

    Thanks again! Hope some of you will stop by my future stops too! The next one is my own blog:

    http://erinnicholas.blogspot.com/

    and you can see why I think Writing Romance is Like… Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches! 🙂

    Erin

  • Andrea I

    I don't like self absorbed characters, those that think only about themselves.

    andrea.infinger @ gmail.com

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