The Joy of Romance

 

I write romance novels because I enjoy falling in love, over and over again.

I fell head-over-heels in real life while studying in England, and have been married to my tall, dark-haired, charming British husband for 23 years.† However, when I sit down at my computer and slip into my fictional world set in the Middle Ages, I find myself falling in love all over again, not just with the creative process but the characters in my work-in-progress.

I love to write, no doubt because I enjoyed reading when a child. I was also gifted with a very vivid imagination, one reason why I canít watch horror movies. Writing brings me tremendous joy, but is also seriously addicting. There are times when Iím working that the world around me disappears.† Iím completely immersed in my story setting, usually early 13
th century England, the era of chivalry and alpha-male knights and strong-willed ladies. My fingers fly on my computer keyboard, my heart soars with the pleasure of the creative process, and my characters become living, breathing people, as real to me as my two cats, who like to wander in front of my computer monitor to remind me that theyíre providing moral support.

Thereís nothing like the feeling of falling in love: being giddy with happiness; shivering as tingles of excitement dance up and down oneís spine; holding oneís breath in delicious anticipation of the next meeting. All that delicious excitement is what I try to capture word by word, page by page, chapter by chapter, to sweep my readers up into the developing relationship between my characters. Itís not always easy to get the words right. Sometimes I rework scenes five or six times. However, when I read what Iíve written and get that warm glow in the pit of my stomach, that instinctive sense that finally, itís right, itís tremendously thrilling.

Thereís joy for me, though, not just in the craft of writing, but in leading my hero and heroine through difficult circumstances to finally be able to be together.† Take, for example, the characters of my latest novel,
A Knightís Seduction. Tye is the bold, illegitimate son of a great lord who captures a castle and takes the heroine hostage.† Claire, a lovely, gently-raised maiden, is attracted to Tye but is shocked by her own feelings and determined to thwart his takeover.† Could two such very different people ever fall in love?† Yes.† Not easily, but their struggle makes for a compelling, page-turning read. The moment Tye and Claire can finally admit their feelings for one another is extremely poignant, and is all the sweeter because it has been hard-won.† When my characters finally say ďI love you,Ē and I type ďThe EndĒ on a manuscript that has taken me months to write, itís an incredible moment.† My heart is filled with such intense joy, I often have to grab for the tissuesóand I wouldnít have it any other way.

Thanks so much to Lorelei from
Loreleiís Lit Lair for inviting me to take part in Read a Romance Month! Donít miss her inspiring essay Loreleiís Joyous Journey to Romance!

Recommendations

T. Elliott Brown. Her novel Bombshells is a terrific coming-of-age story that will stay with you long after youíve finished the book.

Caro Carson. Compelling, tug-on-your-heartstrings contemporary romances.

Questions for the Author

1 - Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.

I remember very well when I experienced sheer joy: the day I was offered a publishing contract for my medieval romance novel Dance of Desire!† What a thrilling day that was.† It was a lifelong dream of mine to become a published novelist, and to finally have achieved that goal was incredibly exciting.

2 - Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

My visit to Stonehenge with my family a few years ago was one of the highlights of that vacation in England. Stonehenge is a breathtaking, awe-inspiring site and I hope to go back there again.

3 - Tell us about a sound that brings you joy (or a memory attached to sound ó music, laughter, wind chimesÖ ?)

My husbandís laughter.† I canít help but smile when he laughs.

4 - What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy youíve never forgotten it.) Why?

I recently read Colleen Gleasonís Young Adult/Steampunk novel The Spiritglass Charade. I love Steampunk stories, and this one was a fun read.

5 - And for fun, the joy of choice ;o) ~ Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) - trying for a little diversity! ;o)

Chris Pratt.† I thought he was terrific in Jurassic World.

 

Bio

 

Award-winning author Catherine Keanís love of history began with visits to England during summer vacations.† Her British father took her to crumbling medieval castles, museums filled with artifacts, and historic churches, and her love of the awe-inspiring past stuck with her as she completed a B.A.(Double Major; First Class) in English and History.† After finishing a Post Graduate course with Sothebyís auctioneers in England, she worked in Canada as an antiques and fine art appraiser.

 

She wrote her first medieval romance while her baby daughter was napping.† Catherineís books were originally published in paperback and have been translated into several foreign languages.† Her stories have won numerous accolades, including the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.† Her novels also finaled in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the National Readersí Choice Awards.

 

Catherine lives in Florida with her husband, daughter, and two spoiled cats.