Wednesday, June 9, 2010


*** This is a re-post from last year, one of my very first posts actually. The reason -- My horoscope said that I needed to have my integrity intact for the rest of the week. Let me tell you what, I really need it. I wrote a long post last night but I was whining again about how unfair agents were and my latest rejection news, and all that other crap. Damn it, I'm sick to death of me right now. And I'll bet you are too. So I decided I would find something else. And this is what I found.

I have tweaked it a little bit here and there but mostly it's the same. I stand by my words.

Integrity -- Something I've been thinking about a lot lately. If I didn't believe in the integrity of my story, my own words, then I wouldn't write it. And you say to me, well, you write romance. Historical romance. Regency romance. It's all just fluff. It's all just a formula anyway.

And I sneer, mockingly, "YES, there is some formula but I BELIEVE in the story. It has integrity. It's not vapid and stupid, and a same old same old portrayal of vain and ridiculous women parading about looking for a husband and having wild screaming monkey sex." My book has character, as well as great characters that are funny and sad and scared and human, I have sub-plots and intrigue and mystery, I have great horses and great houses and great clothing. I love my book.

And I see you shaking your head and saying, yeah but does it have sex because that's what sells. And my answer is, NO, it does not. That's not why I write Regency romance. It's not about the sex, it's about the romance, it's about FINDING the love, finding the one other person in the world who makes you feel like no one else ever has. It's about the Happily Ever After that we all long for. It's about the journey. The journey to find it.

And that's what I try and create on the page. Two people looking, searching, for the only other person in the world who will love them back, who will make their lives complete. C'mon, who doesn't love a good love story? Even the biggest bad ass macho testosterone driven man, loves love. They might not admit it, but I bet they cry too when they hear a great love story.

And tell me, who doesn't want to fall in love? Who doesn't love a happily ever after? Wouldn't it be great if we all could find that one special someone that would only belong to us?

For some of us, we haven't found it yet. And that's why we read about it. To keep that hope alive. That's what those books represent to me...finding love. There's nothing like that feeling in the whole world. It drowns out the sound of the rain, makes you lose ten pounds without even trying, even brightens your smile. The searching, the longing, the sharing, the first look, the first kiss. Do you remember your first kiss? Do you remember the first time you fell in love?

Love conquers all.

Love has integrity.

That's why I write about it.

What's not to like about love?


Susan Fields said...

I love this post! And I'll bet your romances are awesome books, it certainly sounds like you have a passion for romance! I write romance, too (paranormal romance), and I totally agree - the great thing about the romance is finding that person, the courtship, the first kiss - not all the physical stuff.

Lola Sharp said...

I love love, in all its forms and facets. Real love is a verb, it's what we do and give. Real love is blowing noses and changing diapers or bedpans.

It's loving our friends. :)

Happy humpday, my friend!

Tara said...

Preach it sista! I do remember those things. Vividly. It's why I write romance, too.


Bossy Betty said...

You go, Baby! You know what you believe in and that will show in all you do--including the integrity of your writing.

Summer said...

No matter the genre, there's always a love story in my books. And I always prefer to read a story that has some sort of love in it--books are about people, and people are about love, whether they've found it, have it, lost it, or are looking for it. It's there, in everyone's mind. And that's what I like to explore, and that's what I like to read about.

Jennifer Shirk said...

That's what i really "love" (no pun intended) about romance books the best--the tension, the falling in love part. Not the sex.

Creepy Query Girl said...

I think every genre has its own integrity. It's kind of like food. French cuisine is totally different from chinese but that doesn't make either less editable or delicious! PS- I was a regency romance junkie for a long time and had to slowly ween myself off of it so I could get things done. Great genre!

Patti said...

Love is everything.

BTW: Thanks for the advice you gave on my blog. I really appreciated it.

Piedmont Writer said...

Susan -- Aww, thanks. Oh that first kiss. I just wrote another scene with one and I hate to say how swept away I was.

Lola -- Changing diapers... how right you are. Love you too!

Tara -- AMEN! Can I get an Allelujah!

Betty -- Thank you so much!

Summer -- What's a book without love? Just a book. What's a book with love? A great book.

Jennifer -- Sex is so over rated. Why read about it? It's like being a voyeur.

Creepy -- I'm sorry I've forgotten your name, again. And you're so right, every genre has its own integrity. I totally love mysteries too. Like Chinese and French. Something to love about each.

Patti -- My pleasure. Pay it forward baby, pay it forward. That's what this gig is all about.

Suzi McGowen said...

It's said that there are only 10 plots in the world, so when someone dismisses a story as a "formula", I wonder what they're thinking.

10 plots people! (No, I can't list them, but I'm sure there's a website out there that does.)It's what you do with those 10 plots that counts :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

LOL. That's why I love to read YA with romance. I love to experience the first kiss, the first love.

I love my husband, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to read romance. ;)

Solvang Sherrie said...

People diss things they don't understand. Until someone has tried to write a book, they can't know how hard it is, no matter what the genre.

notesfromnadir said...

You have loads of integrity. I really admire your reasons for writing regency romance novels. You have an excellent motivation. Everything is about motivation because that is the cause that leads to the effect.

There are times when you will be down and feeling gloomy because of the rejection[s]. You keep writing, you're very talented. You have stories to tell and there will be many people to read those stories. Be persistent and be patient. :)

Guinevere said...

Amen! I agree 100% - I like the way you said "Love has integrity", because that is so true. And I love your passion!

Piedmont Writer said...

Suzi -- I have read them and it's pretty much true. And you're right, it's what we do with them.

Stina -- I've always read romance and it has nothing to do with or without a man at the moment. There's just something so compelling about those butterflies in the stomach, they get me every time.

Sherrie -- I know, it's so funny. Just the other day I was talking to one of my 'Mommy' friends and she said, "Oh I would love to write a book" and I said do it. She of course came up with 890 excuses. Oh well.

Lisa -- Thank you so much. That means a lot. As for patience, well, not so much, persistance, like a pit bull.

Guin -- Amen Allelujah! Even in the worst of circumstances, if you still have love, that's all that matters.

Christine said...

I know what you mean about integrity. I recently said the same thing to a relative who thought we should "hedge the truth" cause it was our right. And I said, "we will not. (me and DH). And he was so angry about our decision. And I said "we will not because we are people of integrity and honesty." I stand by that line. I may make mistakes. When I do, I apologize. But I try my darnedest to be a person of integrity. And I try to imbue my characters with that resolve--tho' they do make mistakes, too. That's how they learn and grow :-)

Sorry about the R's--write your next book while you query--it will take your mind off of the pain (or increase it --here I am with a 4th plot revision on my 4th book--)

Piedmont Writer said...

Christine -- I was caught between a rock and a hard place not too long ago and my integrity as a person was called on the carpet. I went nuts. How dare they! I may not have much, but I do have integrity. And yes, I make mistakes too and apologize for them. That's where integrity all comes into play.

Actually I'm writing two books while I query. I'm hoping to have them both finished by the end of the summer so I can revise and query again by Halloween. Here's hoping.

And welcome to my little world of crazy.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love this. I can tell when I writer writes with integrity. The honesty seeps through her/his writing and connects the reader. All readers connect with love, I believe. Sometimes it's love between aliens and other times it's love between the sexy Sam and sensual Susie. Keep doing what you love, girl, and love that you're sharing your journey.


You make an excellent point here. In fact, the notion of a "formula" can be extended to pretty much any genre, any field--it's the point of view that matters, the perspective that the author brings. I like the notion of "integrity" that you discuss here--we all bring something special and unique to our work--some new contribution to the field that comes from deep within us. As long as we put ourselves in it, of course, and engage with the story with full emotional connection. Thanks for the re-post-a pleasure to read it.

Tess said...

You're right everyone loves a good romance. That's why they put them in almost every story ... the dark broody ones, the sci fi ones, the action adventure ... they all have a relationship component. Interesting thoughts.

Piedmont Writer said...

Lynn -- Love is love, and you're right it doesn't matter who it's between as long as it's love.

Samuel -- Thanks for that. I think as writers integrity needs to be an integral part of the story -- if you don't believe in your own words, who will?

Tess -- It's important I think to have a relationship component in all stories. How are we supposed to relate otherwise. We are human after all, and who doesn't relate to realtionships.

Paul C said...

One hopes too that love extends past another individual to include the world around. Uplifting post.

Jen said...

I love, love!!! Integrity is excellent to have and this post was very uplifiting! I find that my whiny days are best to keep the posts extra happy!! I annoy myself when I complain and whine to much... I love to know that I'm not alone!

Matthew Rush said...

Just an FYI - I'm not the least bit sick of you, Anne, but I am glad you did this post! Integrity - what a rare but important attribute.

Piedmont Writer said...

Paul -- If you have love, there's always more than enough to go around. At least that's what I've always thought.

Jen -- Nope, you're not alone here.

Matthew -- We must always try and achieve that (integrity) in our work. Otherwise it's just rambling.

Elana Johnson said...

Romance is one of the best-selling genres, just for the reasons you state.

Hope things start to look up for you agent-wise. I've been there. *hugs*

Talli Roland said...


Love is everywhere - I feel like I'm about to break into son! But it's true.

Keep going, Anne. :)

Talli Roland said...

Oops - I meant 'song'. It's 8 pm and clearly I've had too much wine at this stage. This is when I should stop commenting on blogs!

Ed Pilolla said...

sex is the modern day answer for love. sex is the easy veneer subject that's cute and clever when no one knows what to say about love. love that you love love.

L'Aussie said...

You are so opposite the Sex and the City writers. That's what they lack - integrity - and talent, to say the least. Don't be despondent. Love rocks..:)

Piedmont Writer said...

Elana -- Been on the Query Tracker all morning scoping out more hopefuls. Gotta keep pushing forward.

Talli -- Sing away! Dance, have more wine! It's all about love!!!

Ed -- That's so refreshing, coming from you, a man. Most men think of sex, not love. It's nice to know you have a tender heart.

L'Aussie -- Rock n' Roll with the punches! Thanks for the compliment.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Anne! You definitely nailed what romance writing is REALLY all about. Romance sneaks its way into my work but it very rarely works out for the characters. The way I see it -- or have come to see it, as the characters share their stories with me -- is that when you write Romance, you're writing about that ONE GREAT LOVE. Even if it doesn't end happily, what matters is that it existed in the first place. That's what I've managed to capture and learn from my Romance writing experiences. :o)


Piedmont Writer said...

E. -- Oh that ONE GREAT LOVE. Tristan and Isolde, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, Scarlett and Rhett. What's not to like about love.