The Meaning of Romance – A Guest Post from A. Catherine Noon

I’m happy to welcome a first-time visitor to our home on the web. A. Catherine Noon is one of my fellow Samhain authors and having her come by is a real treat for me. Help me make her feel welcome. Take it away, Catherine. 

ro·mance
/ rōˈmansˈrōˌmans/

noun
1. a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.
2. a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.

verb
1. court; woo.
2. another term for romanticize. (1)

What does romance mean to me?  What does romance mean?  What is the meaning of romance?  In subtle terms, romance is the search for meaning, the search for connection and adventure in life, the search for personal fulfillment.  Why do we keep reaching for romance stories, movies, and television shows?

The answer to this question is highly personal and different for each of us.  For me, I read to find out the consequences of decisions made, actions taken.  Romance, then, becomes the beacon of hope in the darkness, the statement to the world that yes, there are happy endings.  The boy does get the girl, the friends are united, the community is made whole again.

When I write M/M romance, it is no different.  The challenge is to find story, that authentic vein of truth we try to find in the midst of words and plot, to touch that core of character that tells me what happened and the consequences.  I fall in love with my characters, quite literally.  I’ve been asked before, “who is your favorite character” and I cannot answer that, other than to say “all of them,” and risk sounding silly.  But I do mean it.  Romance, for me, is creating a character that I fall in love with and, I hope, the reader will too.  It’s less about the romance than about the person the character becomes for me.

I don’t know if this is true for other writers, or readers, but when I read a good book or write something that touches that inner core, I feel as though the people are real.  Like the Velveteen Rabbit (2), they become real by my belief in them, both as a reader and as a storyteller.  When I finish a book, I’m disappointed that the people who live in it aren’t corporeal and I can’t then go to dinner with them and talk about the experience I just had inhabiting their world for a while.

The power of Story, then, is deeply connected to our search for meaning.  So when people ask me why I read or write romance, I simply tell them:  I do it because I need to, and because I can.  Stories move me.  What about you?  What does romance mean to you?

References

(1) Google dictionary, online web page, URL: https://www.google.com/search?q=define+romance&oq=define+romance&aqs=chrome.0.69i57j0l3j69i62l2.1699j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 Accessed 07/30/2013

(2) The Velveteen Rabbit, or How Toys Become Real, by Margery Williams, Illustrations by William Nicholson, originally published by Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York; available online at: http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/williams/rabbit/rabbit.html Accessed 07/30/2013

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About A. Catherine Noon – For author and textile artist A. Catherine Noon, it’s all about the yarn, both metaphorical and literal—spinning a yarn, knitting with yarn, weaving, sewing, painting, sharing stories and good times over a cup of coffee with dark chocolate. She teaches creative writing, creative expression and textile arts. To learn more, visit her website by clicking here.

Here’s a little about her latest release from Samhain Publishing

TigerTiger72web (1)Blurb:

Chicagoland Shifters, Book 2

Veterinary trauma surgeon and animal empath Sasha Soskoff has found everything he ever wanted with his new partners Neal, Steve and Carlos. Life feels as safe and secure as it can be among a group of ex-Marine tiger shifters. Until a homeless man is found, gruesomely mauled and murdered, near Neal’s BDSM club.

When it’s determined a rogue tiger did the deed, the jaguars’ accusing eyes turn toward Sasha’s lovers. The precarious balance of peace tips dangerously toward war.

Neal knows damned well none of his tigers committed the crime. Someone must be in Chicago without his knowledge or permission, and they’d better find him fast before uncertainty and conflict rip the tight-knit band apart from the inside.

As Sasha struggles to heal the stress fractures forming among his tiger family, he begins to wonder if his dreams of a home, and love, were too good to be true. And it’s precisely that moment the killer strikes at the heart of the tiger clan—Sasha himself.