The language of love is often a mysterious tome that feels unreadable, so who better to translate the prose of the heart than the very authors who make romance their stock and trade?
Three area romance novelists recently sat down with the Manchester Times to offer their romance advice for Valentine’s Day.
“What brings romance into a relationship is not the generic idea, but paying attention to what your partner loves,” said author Kim Law, whose literary motto is sexy, fun, emotional.
“It’s the little things. It’s being aware and present when you’re having a conversation,” she said.
Instead of trying to impress your love, she advises, pay attention and make them feel that you want to get to know them. Then you can do all the little things.
Darcy Flynn, author of “Keeper of My Heart” and “Rouge Son,” said good intentions outweigh the specifics when it comes to being romantic.
“For me it’s being genuine. Not going over the top. I like simple things that are thoughtful to who I am,” she said.
“It means a lot to me when my husband does something thoughtful that he knows that it’s something that I will love. Maybe it’s a picnic somewhere…or buying dozens of roses and have them in the house,” Flynn said.
“I don’t need a diamond ring or some fancy jewelry, just popcorn and a movie.”
She added they stay in for a special home cooked meal on Valentine’s rather than go out.
Jeanne Hardt, author of “Whispers from the Cove” and “Hushed into Silence,” said personal attention beats elaborate gifts.
“I love a good foot rub or a back massage. There’s so much sensuality of the simple touch,” she said.
Life imitates art?
On the relationship between romance fiction and real life, the authors said that their works, while sometimes exaggerated, describe reader’s basic desires.
“What you get in today’s romances are real, but definitely blown up. It gives you that complete warm, fuzzy feeling, which is why we read romances. But it’s not make believe,” Law said.
She explained some of the scenes from her books are drawn from real-life experiences.
Flynn’s works are also lighthearted.
“My works are mostly romantic comedy,” Flynn said. “I try to keep them as realistic as possible, but to keep the humor in there, sometimes you have to go a little out there.”
Flynn’s heroines are rule breakers who get into trouble sometimes.
“I draw from (situations and themes) that I feel people can actually use,” she said.
Hardt’s novels fall on the opposite end of the spectrum. She describes them as not so much a carefree happily-ever-after, but a journey through some dark places to get to that resolution.
“My characters go through a lot of angst to get their happy-ever-after,” she said. “It is a love story, so it’s that driving force.
“I think it’s that everybody wants is to have that happy ending,” she said.