World Bending

~ By Molly Jameson I had a reputation for exaggerating as a kid. I liked to think of it as creative license. I don’t object to reality necessarily, so much as I’d like to rearrange some things to make it entertaining. So it makes sense for me as an author to bend the living world to my will, to make it fit the story I want to tell. My thought process was fairly straightforward. I like to look at gorgeous international destinations, designer clothes and shoes, and many of my dream holiday spots are museums and old buildings rather...

Austen’s Universal Appeal

~ By Marilyn Brant  Note: This post originally appeared here. When I was a fourteen-year-old high school freshman in the 1980’s, my English lit teacher had the audacity to foist a supposedly romantic novel on our class. The story took place in Regency England and was considered a “classic,” which I figured was literary shorthand for “deadly dull, full of obscure symbolism, and probably selected by the members of the department while drinking too much spiked punch at a staff holiday party.” After listening to our teacher’s introductory lecture on the book and its author, I was underwhelmed. So, I...

Readers, Writers and Protagonists Setting Healthy Boundaries

Warning: This post makes references to violence and sexual assault. If you’d rather skip this post, we completely understand.  Note: Much of what I share in this post I’ve learned from taking empowerment self-defense and martial arts classes at an organization called El HaLev. Learn more by reading or watching “Beauty Bites Beast” by Ellen Snortland. ~ By Melina Kantor It seems to happen more often than not. I’m getting into a book, grateful for some much needed down time, and then. . . The hero shows up unexpectedly and unwanted someplace where the heroine feels safe. Maybe it’s her...

Metamorphosis: Romance Trash-Talker to Romance Reader-Writer

How I fell into the lustful and loving arms of Contemporary Romance Novels… ~ By Rissa Brahm Note: This post originally appeared here. Confession! Only a year and a half ago I was a full-fledged trash-talking anti-romance-novel snob! A total Judgy Judy bitch (!in my mind, not out loud!) toward anyone reading or writing “that smut, that waste-of time crap with the mushy happy endings!” And now? Now, not only can I not get through my towering (virtual Kindle) pile of to-be-reads (my go-to genre is of course hot contemporary) but I’ve run my fingers and wrists ragged having...

Writing Contemporary [REPOST]

~ By Victoria Pinder I was describing the plots of my two books due out the week of my wedding, (God has a funny sense of humor sometimes), and my friend laughed at one part of the plot and said ‘you watched soaps once.’ My answer is yes I did. I was once a huge Days of Our Lives fan. I cheered when Carrie finally slapped Sami for all her evil deeds, but once upon a time, I liked Sami and Lucas too. I wanted to be Hope and marry a man like Bo Brady who loved her, despite everything....

Writing of Love

~ By Marilyn Brant  Note: This post originally appeared here.  Because February is the “Month of Love,” after all, I thought I’d talk about something related to it. Something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently… Since I’m a writer who enjoys shifting between genres, I’ve found it interesting that I’ll sometimes get questions on one of the genres I write that I don’t get on the others. For example, no one yet has ever asked me why I like writing mysteries. They’ve never wanted to know if my coming-of-age mystery The Road to You is based on any of my real-life experiences...

Interview / Q&A With Kensington Editor Peter Senftleben

The Contemporary Romance Writers Chapter is thrilled to have Peter Senftleben, Associate Editor at Kensington Books, here today to share his expertise on contemporary romance! Please pull up a chair and get a pen and paper, because you’re going to want to take notes on the awesome and useful advice Peter has laid out here for writers at all levels. Afterward, stick around for Q&A with Peter. Post your questions as a comment and he’ll be available to answer.    ABOUT PETER Peter Senftleben is an associate editor at Kensington Books, where he is managing his own varied and distinguished list. ...

Choices – Creamer, Cookies & Genre [Repost]

~ By Debra Elise Some days there’s just too many damn choices. Which brand of creamer, salsa or cookies do I buy today? Well, I guess the last one isn’t that much of a hardship to endure, but my point is, some days I don’t want to have to choose <insert childish whine>. I just want to walk into my local Freddy’s and quickly pick up ten or so items on my list and get on with my day without debating the merits of Brank K vs. Brand W. So, in our hum-drum daily existence (but I really hope your...

From Historical to Contemporary

~ Nancy Henderson If someone had told me I’d be writing contemporary romance one day, I would have said they were crazy.  I’m a historical romance author.  I don’t even read contemporary romance.  Surely they were off their rockers. Then I read one. I was bored.  I had nothing to read, and my mother tossed the book to me.  “It’s really good,” she said.  “You should learn to write them.”  (Mom does not like history.) I regret to say I don’t remember the author, but I believe it was a Harlequin Super Romance.  I was skeptical. I was a romance...

Choices – Creamer, Cookies & Genre

~ By Debra Elise Some days there’s just too many damn choices. Which brand of creamer, salsa or cookies do I buy today? Well, I guess the last one isn’t that much of a hardship to endure, but my point is, some days I don’t want to have to choose <insert childish whine>. I just want to walk into my local Freddy’s and quickly pick up ten or so items on my list and get on with my day without debating the merits of Brank K vs. Brand W. So, in our hum-drum daily existence (but I really hope...

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