Welcome to Day 22 of the Romancing September Across The World Blog Tour. The question I put out to all of these authors was “What challenges do you face in writing romance in today’s society?”
Don’t forget to go over to Rosie Amber’s page and check out her page too. I’ll put the link at the bottom of this post.
Today my guest author is Candace Knoebel and I want to thank her for blogging with me today. Here is a little about Candace and her book Embracing Flames.
What Challenges do you face writing romance in today’s society?
The biggest challenge I’ve found with writing romance today is sticking true to my values. There are so many different categories of romance and they all sell equally well. For me, I am not comfortable with writing erotica or explicit scenes. I haven’t approached that road in my writing just yet. But I know there is a huge market for it and a lot of avid readers who enjoy reading the simplicity of a love story, sex and all. So I guess that leads to the question, do you try to go mainstream or stick with what you believe in?
With Born in Flames, the focal point of the story was never meant to be about Aurora (the protagonist) and Fenn’s relationship. It was about her journey to self-discovery and self-belief. Don’t get me wrong, there is an element of romance in there and a hint of a relationship to come, but the story is so much more than that. However, I noticed in the feedback that a lot of people were missing the romance element. They wanted to see more of the gorgeous hero and how the feisty heroine would fall in love with him. Like most YA today. When I thought about it, I saw that the story would eventually come to be about their relationship. They were right. I myself always want to know more about the relationship than the actual story.
This in turn led me to struggle with how much romance I wanted to add in book two of the trilogy (Embracing the Flames) that was mostly epic fantasy.
When I wrote Embracing the Flames, I tried to incorporate a little more romance without selling out or jumping out of my comfort zone. Naturally, there would have been romance any how. Fenn and Aurora are drawn to each other (as they are soul mates), so in order for the story to progress, their relationship had to too. The next question would be: How far is too far in YA? Since my characters are between 18 and 20 (depending on which book you are reading), there would obviously be the conflict of the progression towards sex in the relationship.
I now found myself questioning how to broach that tastefully without jumping out of YA. I chose to leave subtle hints. While there is kissing and lots of flirting, I didn’t jump into the actual details of what transpires when they approach their ‘first’ time together. It was mentioned. I feel it rings true to who I am and to who my characters are and their values. If I went any further with it, I would have to move the genre into NA.
It has all been a learning experience. I have to remind myself how I feel when I read a good romance and then try to write from there. Stick to what you are comfortable with. I don’t think romance can be written wrong. There is an audience for everything. It’s just finding the right one for you.
Echelon out ♥
Candace Knoebel is the award-winning author of Born in Flames-a young adult fantasy trilogy. Published by 48fourteen in 2012, Born in Flames went on to win Turning the Pages Book of the Year award in February of 2013.
Candace Knoebel dreamed of being a dancer ever since she could remember. With a love of all things art, she saw herself moving to New York and pursuing her passion as an artist. But all that changed on October 10th, 2002 when she met the love of her life. Her dreams diverged and after marrying her high school sweetheart and having two beautiful children, she realized she missed her creative side. Through lunch breaks and late nights after putting her kids to bed, she built a world where she could escape the ever-pressing days of an eight to five Purgatory. Since then, she crawled out of Purgatory and has devoted her time to writing and sometimes heelying.
Aurora Megalos accepted her destiny without blinking-even if it meant succumbing to her dragon side. Deemed the Progeny, she left the ordinary life she knew and has done everything in her power to learn the ways of her new home and what it means to be part dragon. But when her mentor, Astral, suddenly disappears, she is forced to take the reins with war on the brink. She sets out on an epic journey to find what her arch enemy, Zordon, is after. What she discovers is far worse than she could’ve ever imagined. She will be tested and pushed to the limit. Lives will be lost, love will be found, and most importantly, a battle will begin.