Friday, October 1, 2010

Romancing the Blog

I'm back!


It feels GREAT to be sorta back to the Alley! A BIG thanks to my August guests (all members of my local writer's group, by the way!) and to my fellow alley members for filling in the gaps while I was away taking care of my Annabelle.

Well, I'm STILL taking care of my Annabelle, because, unfortunately, she is still in the hospital, but I miss blogging so I'm going to try and get back into the routine! My alley members are standing by to help, though, in case I cry Uncle. Which I might...

BTW, I update my own blog at least once or twice a week with Annabelle updates, so if you want to see how she's doing, go here!

So, enough of the prelude, on to the post!


I know, those who know me aren't very surprised at this fact. I am a romantic at heart, and love a good romance novel (although I stick to the non-graphic stuff!)

But what makes a good romance novel? How do we, specifically writers of Inspirational/Christian romance novels, write a novel that touches the readers hearts enough to make their heart skip a beat? This is a pretty large question. Over my next few posts, I'll cover 5 points that I think are essential for a good romance novel. I'll do this in the perspective of an inspirational romance, however most of the points can be applied to main stream romance as well.

But today, I'd like to do something a wee bit different (and hope my alleymates forgive me!)

You see, tomorrow is my husband and I's 11th wedding anniversary. It's been a REALLY REALLY tough year for Scott and I, having spent the last 2 months or so in the hospital with our new baby.

My husband has been amazing through this time. While not perfect *grin* He has supported me, been strong for me, held me when I just couldn't stand anymore, and been patient and understanding. When I have fallen apart, He's been strong.

So today, in honor of him, I'd like to give you some examples of the romantic, wonderful things he has done for me in the past!

And yes, this does have something to do with romance novels! I promise!

Not all inclusive, but these are some of the ones that come to mind first:
  • Scott used to work at a job that had wild daisies growing along the side of the parking lot. Not caring about what all the *guys* thought, he would go and pick me some and bring them home to me after work, because he knew daises were my favorite flower!
  • Last year, even though our anniversary trip to Denver was each other's present, he STILL surprised me tickets to a pretty cool concert at the Grand Ole Opry on our actual anniversary. We dressed up in our ACFW banquet outfits and had a night on the town!
  • I was a little bummed about my birthday this last year (it feel on Easter and well, God trumps my birthday EVERY day of the week!) So, three days before my b-day, he surprised me with a present and a card that read, "Welcome to three days of birthday bliss!" I then proceeded to receive some type of card and/or present every day for three days! (and flowers on day 4... but that's a long story!)
  • When we were living in our first house, we had a pretty good sized snow, and he went out and tromped through the snow and wrote "SCOTT LOVES KRISTA" throughout our whole front yard in the snow. 
  • Scott knows I LOVE notes. So after we were first married, he would write me notes at work, and the next morning, after he'd left, I would wake up to find a note almost every morning on the kitchen table that he'd written the day before at work. Most of the time they were just silly things about what was happening at work, but they were always filled with how much he loves me, and they meant the world to me!
  • Scott and I met online in a chat-room. In that said room, we would be silly and pretend there were all sorts of things--furniture, swimming pools, a ridiculous amount of fattening food... But the Scott and I think was that there was a "Loveseat of Love" that was JUST for us. I'd come in the chat-room and he'd type, "Scott hugs Krista and snuggles with her on the loveseat of love." Okay, so nowadays, we might be afraid he was a stalker and out to hurt me. But he wasn't, he just loved me:-)

I could go on and on... but you get the drift!

My point (besides bragging on my hubby) is this: when you're writing a romance, think outside the box of your normal romantic things (i.e. flowers and chocolates, although boys, WE STILL LIKE THOSE!!!) Arm your hero with some fun romantic overtures when the story calls for it. Be creative!

Discussion: Two Options--First, for those of you *attached*, what is some fun, unique romantic gesture your significant other has done for you? For everyone (for those unattached or who don't care to share...) What is the last romance novel you read that you absolutely LOVED... and what made you love it so much?


Sarah Forgrave said...

Wow, you have a creative husband! I love the idea of bringing creative romance into my books. The hero in my wip gets creative in a big way, and I still get goosebumps when I read the ending (which has been like, 100 times). :-)

Pepper said...

Sarah, I KNEW I liked you. I read scenes from my books over and over - like watching the last scene of North & South, or Pride and Prejudice, or How to lose a guy in 10 days where Matthew Mc sees Kate Hudson in the white dress and he puts his hand over his heart. Sigh. Rewind and replay. Definitely.

WONDERFUL post. Your hubby sounds like such a romantic.
Most recent romantic thing that happened with me? My hubby texted me yesterday and wrote: Would you go out on a date with me?
I said: Yes
He replied: Sweet!
Dates are not a common occurrence at our house. It's not easy to find babysitters willing to wrangle 5 kids :-)

Great post and I hope your day is blessed

Julia M. Reffner said...

Welcome back, Krista!! Happy anniversary!! My husband and I have been married 10 years this past June.

You know what I think is the most romantic thing in the world, sacrificial love. My husband is not always a traditionally romantic kind of guy but I can truly say that though he is not perfect his love is a wonderful picture of Christ's love for the church. He sacrifices so much for us daily.

That is why I loved a recent novel I read Surrender the Heart by Marylu Tyndall. The love the hero has for the heroine is very much this kind of sacrificial love. I can't wait to read more Tyndall.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Your hubby is so sweet! Great reminder to get creative with our heroes and heroines--make them show their love and affection in ways the reader wouldn't suspect and would get a kick out of :D

Krista Phillips said...

Thanks everyone! My hubby, while he gets some grief from time to time (he's not perfect either...) does a pretty good job!

Pepper, LOVE the romance! I gotta tell ya, if my hubby texted me that, I would swoon! A DATE!!! With now 4 kids... those are rare for us too these days!

Oh, and that scene with matthew M and Kate... sigh worthy indeed!!

Valerie said...

Okay, I'm not a writer. I'm just Krista's friend, but my husband still trumps in the romantic overture department with one from 2004. :) (It's a good thing that one is memorable because he's kinda slacked off since the wedding, but I digress...)

We had been dating for long enough to know we would be getting married, but he hadn't asked me yet. At one point in our conversations during our courtship (also online!) I had mentioned that I had never had a leather Bible with my name embossed on it. When my 24th birthday came around, I gave me a present that I correctly guessed was a leather Bible with my name on it. (He's a pastor, so that wasn't entirely thinking outside the box for him! LOL!) The sweet part, however, came when I opened the box and read, on my brand new navy leather Scofield NKJV, "Valerie Lewis." (That's HIS last name... and mine now!)

Casey said...

Oh sighhhhhhh, so nice to know romantic guys exist! (I was starting to doubt) That is just SO sweet what your hubby does. Again, sigh. You have been blessed!!!

Um, last romance book....I think A Hope Undaunted was the last one I read. But probably the conflict is why I was attracted, along with stand up characters. But I am not sure I would want a conflicting relationship though. ;) SO GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Krista Phillips said...

Casey... I hate to break the news but... ALL romantic relationships are conflicting! The key to a good marriage (okay, there are a bunch of keys but this is one of them...) is coming to grips with that fact -- and knowing how to make up well (but that's a WHHHOOOLLLEEE other genre...*ahem*)

You see, while my husband DOES have his uber romantic moments, He also has his idiot ones (like all men.. sorry guys!) I won't list all those non-romantic things here because, well, it's my day to life him UP! But they are there, no doubt:-) I love him still though!!! And I cherish the romantic things he does do!!!

Casey said...

Oh I am very much aware that all marriages have conflict, I have- a-hem- seen that conflict. I was thinking more of the novel kind that Julie is so found of putting her characters through. I may be naive, but I don't think I am *that* naive. *wink* :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Writing romance must be difficult. I see your point about going outside the box to include the human gestures other than the usual chocolate and flowers. Now that will take thinking.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Krista!!!!!!!!!! Seriously, it is good to have you back...even if you need to step back in the next week or so. Your husband sounds absolutely marvelous! And daisies are my favorite flower too!!! Aren't they just the happiest flower?

My husband is very romantic. I get the occasional flowers, candies, etc, but I love it when he writes beautiful word poetry. They are so beautiful, they make me heave big sighs. :)