Tag Archives: love

Insta-Love, is it real?

Thursdays Bite

the manic event of love

Lately I’ve been listening to podcasts, one of which is the DBSA podcast conducted by the ladies of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Dear Author. This is a terrific podcast for anyone who loves romance, romance authors, or smart ladies debating the romance world. First of all, let me say that as much as I love listening to the podcast, I’m scared to death one of these amazing women will read and review something that I’ve written. They are super-smart and not afraid to state their opinions. And boy, do they have opinions. Which is good for reviewers. They should have steady and strong opinions and be willing to stand behind them. I respect that and it makes for good radio, um, podcasts.

Despite my immense awe of these reviewers, I find myself disagreeing with them on one thing you find often in romance, they don’t seem to like books where the love hits hard and fast. Insta-love.

two hearts w/  ribbonIt used to be called love at first sight. And these aren’t the only reviewers I’ve heard who don’t like it. But me? I’m kind of partial to it. At least when it’s done well and the author sweeps you up in their story and doesn’t put you down for a second.

Why? Why am I a believer?

Because I’ve experienced it. Yep, I’ll admit it. I have had insta-love.

It hits hard and it comes from nowhere. For me it was a kind of recognition. I looked up and said to myself, “That one.” And underlying it was a strange sense of déja-vu, of knowing that I knew him- that I’d always known him.

Even though I didn’t think I’d ever seen him before.

I think it may be genetic because it is rampant in my family. My parents were engaged to be married after only knowing each other a few weeks. They were married after one month. And in case you are doing the “wink-wink” there must be a baby involved, my sister wasn’t born until two years later, so that wasn’t it. No, if you listen to them, love was instantaneous.

There are stories from my family’s history of couples that fell madly, passionately in love and, despite their parents opinions, ran off and got married. And were disowned. (Play the dark music here) Thankfully my grandparents didn’t do that, but I think it was a near thing. My grandmother always thought my mother could have done better, even though my mother has always been strong in her opinion that it was love right from the very first moment and my dad is a terrific guy.

I believe in love at first sight. I believe it’is real. I have first-hand knowledge, and second-hand knowledge. If what we romance authors write are romances, and love at first sight is very romantic, why do so many reviewers (and readers) not accept it?

I think there are a few reasons. Keep in mind none of this is scientific, it’s just my brain wondering how I know it exists while so many people deny it.

Number one: for some of them, possibly they haven’t experienced it. Whether through fate, or genetics, or never allowing themselves to believe, it hasn’t happened for them and (like having a karmic or supernatural experience) I don’t think you can be a true-believer without experiencing it. Just as I believe-because it happened to me, they don’t believe- because it didn’t happen to them. Many people have true love without the instant falling. It takes a few dates, or it might be with someone who was a friend, or it might even take years of off and on to realize this person is the one. Not everyone falls in love the same way. That’s why we read romances. Everyone’s story should be different.

Then there is reason number two, it’s hard to write love at first sight. It’s terribly difficult to write of someone who falls in love the second they see someone and have it be believable. I don’t think many authors pull it off, so the reviews are justified. Maybe the reviewers would give some of these stories A++ if the authors pull it off. We believe it in the movies. We canhear the change in the voices, see the pupils widen and the lips part. And, since we are very visual, we go with it. Even if afterwards we might say, “I loved it, but they fell in love too fast.”

And reason number three, if the goal of a love story is to fall in love, and that happens right away, then how can there be a story? This is a very valid point. And the answer is the story cannot be about the act of falling in love, it must be about something else.

Either the distrust of the emotion: I can’t believe I love them, it was too fast.

Or the obstacles between them: Romeo and Juliet fall in insta-love, but the obstacles between them are insurmountable.

I think the author’s job is not to avoid writing about immediate love, but to make it work. We believe Romeo and Juliet. We feel their intensity and their passion. That’s not to say that all modern romances are written with Shakespearean skill, but that the opportunity is there. We know it can work. It has happened. Authors make less believable ideas work every day.

All of my books so far are fast relationships. Sometimes they’ve known each other before, but typically they move fast. All I can say is that I like fast moving plots and fast moving relationships. In some books, you either skip whole periods of time. “Later that week” or “It had been three months of lovely dinners and shopping” in order to accomplish the avoidance of fast-love. Is that any more believable than a relationship that flares up and burns hot?

I don’t think so.

If you are interested in reading an author who has not just done well with falling in love fast, but has made a career out of it, try Tara Janzen. Her Steele Street books feature romances that occur in twenty-four hours. She sells like hot-cakes and the relationships are sizzling, fast, and sexy.

So, where does that leave us, the readers and writers of romance? Do you like stories where the couple falls hard and fast? Do you believe in love at first sight, or can you suspend your disbelief when an author is able to make it work? What other authors write steamy relationships that defy our standards of relationships and have fast pacing?

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Filed under romance, Thursdays Bite

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

Moonday Mania

a blog on the craft of writing (usually, but not today!)

No craft blog today. Instead I’m celebrating Valentines day one day early. Why not? After all, it is romance’s biggest holiday, let’s stretch it out. For some more Valentine’s day fun, check out last Thursday’s post on paranormal ways to celebrate V-day HERE.

And after you read this post, don’t forget to comment and then go to the Paranormal Freebies Site NEWS page and enter my Little Red Riding Wolf Giveaway contest that runs through the end of February.

The other day, driving home, I was listening to the radio and a song came on that I hadn’t heard for a very long time. It was our song. The song my husband and I chose for our wedding. Our song. During the first few years of our marriage, we used to play it all the time. I’d come home and he’d have set it up on the CD player to surprise me. Believe it or not my alpha man is more romantic than me. Just look at the roses on my table for confirmation.

Then, after we’d been married for awhile, and had kids and life to deal with, we only played our song on our anniversary. Holding each other close and dancing around the living room after our our affordable special take-out meal. Now that we’ve been married a little longer, I realized that we hadn’t played our song for a long time. Maybe several years. That was a surprise.

 I listened to the song in the car and I realized, it was a great pick! When we chose it, we didn’t have a song. We’d dated a long time, but we’d never had a song. It felt a bit like Taylor Swift’s song, Our Song. Not having a song didn’t mean we didn’t have that special bond or deep love. It just meant we hadn’t found the one that fit us.

So when we got married, we looked long and hard and we chose Rod Stewart’s Have I Told You Lately That I Love You. I just found out that it was written by the great Van Morrison, whose songs I have always loved.

My husband (the alpha romantic) picked it out. As I listened to it in the car last week I realized he is a very smart man. It was a great song to slow dance to in my long white dress at our wedding. It’s been a great song when we wanted to feel close. But as I listened to the lyrics now, after being married for a long time,  I realized it’s a great song for us as we grow old together.

“You fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness, ease my troubles that’s what you do.”

It makes me teary, because that’s what he does. And I hope I do even a small amount of that for him.

Happy Valentiine’s Day Jeff! I love you.

And for all of you, here is a lovely, corny, very romantic version. Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Filed under About the Author, Moonday mania