What’s love got to do with it?
As a genre, romance fiction gets a bad rap. From being called bodice rippers to porn, ask anyone on the street about reading romance, and you’ll get an opinion. Probably not one we’d mention in polite conversation.
So, why do I write romance under the Collins pen name? Because I love the love. Literally. I love putting my characters through hell and letting them find out that if they would just get out of their own way, love might find them.
The Shawnee Rodeo series starts with a girl’s weekend for two best friends. You know, the kind of friend who has so much dirt on you, you have to keep her close, no matter what. Lizzie feels a bit left behind living a single mom life in the small town where they grew up. Barb, on the other hand, is questioning her career focused life, especially with her mom’s health declining. Both women need some balance.
When Lizzie gets her happy ever after (The Bull Rider’s Brother), Barb’s melancholy about the meaning of life continues. And that’s where we find her in The Bull Rider’s Manager.
Two friends, two different life paths, and yet both intersecting with one true passion, finding that special someone to share their lives with. For Lizzie, her true love has always been there. Barb on the other hand, is forced into a situation because she wants to help. And the more she plays at her role, the more she wants the act to become reality.
Barb and Lizzie’s struggle mirrors my own juggling of what it means to be a woman in today’s world. As a kid, I either wanted to work in NY fashion or get married and have 12 kids. When Laura came on a recent season of Project Runway, pregnant with number eight (or nine, I forget) I realize other women fight the same confliction. I felt a kinship with her, one that more modern career women may not understand. Yet.
Now the Shawnee Valley series is four books long. And yesterday, I released #4 in The Council series. Jewel of the Bayou is a caper with two people who don't have much in common. Except maybe their dislike of each other.
Who are we going to be when we grow up? That’s one question we all struggle with. But the bigger one, and the one I believe is truer is this. What’s love got to do with it?
And the answer is everything.
So Romance Readers, what have you done for love?