As a married woman, I like to read about married couples who enjoy romance or who reheat romance in their relationship. How about you?
My husband and I have been married nearly 18 years and from all our history I drew elements for my White Rose novella “Love Letters.” Honestly, a lot of the negative characteristics in each character are my own. (grin) Hey, write what you know, right? But for the most part I just expanded on a way I’ve felt in the past. (And of course some of the elements are completely imagined.)
But here’s what I wasn’t expecting. As married folks read the book, people from church, friends, etc. I hadn’t expected them to say, “Oh, I could so relate with that.” Or, “How did you know?” We often feel so alone in our trials, and we imagine we’re all alone. But fiction bridges the gap to our isolation and demonstrates we have fellow ‘strandees’ who are right there with us, struggling, hoping for help to arrive.
Wahoo for the ministerial value. (grin)
I’ve been reading Christian fiction for about fourteen years. My favorite genre? Romance! So when I started writing fiction, this was the genre I felt somewhat confident tackling. At this point, I don’t always write married couple’s romance; just a couple of my manuscripts have centered on them. But I’ve enjoyed the freedom the stories allowed and ‘relatability.’
Usually, fiction about a married couple is considered women’s fiction because the over-arching plot is about the heroine’s growth as a woman, even if she is married. If romance is included, it’s a thread, a subplot, not the main plot. But in “Love Letters” I wanted to explore what would happen in a couple’s life (married 10 years) if romance was revisited after a long absence. What if the husband was avoiding strong emotions, afraid he’d be abusive (due to his father’s example of a husband) and so avoided every strong emotion? The couple has twins, but they suffer lack of expressed love.
Jordan Ambrose is looking for passion. From her husband. And, as Randy Ambrose will tell you—she’s great at pushing his buttons. The problem? He’s hiding out from any intense emotions. So their love life is lackluster. Well, except for those letters.
One of the other elements I enjoy in writing married’s romance is the sizzle factor. “Love Letters” is rated “sensual” on Wild Rose’s site because I did include a love scene (briefly and wholesomely). But because my characters were married, this wasn’t off limits in my inspirational fiction. (I agree with the passion standards of inspirational fiction, btw.) I felt bringing in this aspect made the story feel real, and that it was in keeping with showing the behind-the-scenes struggles this couple faced. And the victory in the end as they each grew in their love for each other.
I’d love to hear from you. Do you like reading a romantic thread about (or entire novel devoted to) a married couple and their quest to rekindle romance in their lives? If you’ve read one recently, please leave a comment with the book’s name. I’d love to read more.
Happy reading (and writing)!