What is the best part of a book? I guess the answer depends on your taste, but to those like me, there’s only one real answer. The romance, of course!
Think about it. Many popular books and movies include a romance. Classics like Gone With The Wind have a lot more going on than a romance, but it’s Scarlett and Rhett’s relationship many people remember when talking about that movie.
You can read literary, mystery, suspense, action/adventure, sci-fi/fantasy and any other kind of book and still find a romance. Some people may not want to admit it, but it could be the romance that keeps the pages turning.
But to enjoy a book that’s more than a romance, the trick for the author is to keep the action going so the pages without the hero and heroine together (or thinking about each other) will turn, too. Remember the old saying about anticipation being half the pleasure? In a layered story, the romance is just one of the layers but all the rest—the action, tension, plot-building—enhance the characters and setting to give the book a more rounded feel.
My favorite part of writing this kind of book is to see how many elements can be used as realistic barriers to keep my hero and heroine apart—until the ending, of course. Then those barriers have to tumble like the walls of Jericho, in a way that uniquely works for those two characters.
So today I’m off to build barriers, ones that are meant to fall with a happy ending, but must be strong enough to keep those pages turning as the reader wonders how they’ll tumble. What kind of a job could be more fun than this?