Posted Jul 31 2015, 8:43 pm
Lorelei was one of the first romance reader advocates I met when I got published and for someone sort of introverted like myself, it’s never easy to reach out to people. From the start, Lorelei was so sweet and positive and every time I talk to or message or email her it brings me joy. She’s just the best and to me meeting other readers and writers who love romance has been one of the biggest sources of joy on this journey!! Check out Lorelei’s wonderful essay for RARM. I can’t think of anything better than to have a love of romance in common with friends!
It’s kind of funny to me that I read and write romance, because in my own life I’m completely practical. I’ve been married a lot of years and at this point, my idea of romance is my husband emptying the dishwasher without being asked. Okay, that never happens but a girl can dream…
Still, I don’t need flowers or candlelit dinners (although I do love burning scented candles – but mainly to combat the dog smell in our pet friendly house!).
But I do love thoughtful, personal gestures and my husband knows me well enough to make them count. Even if it’s something small like picking up a new flavor of coffee creamer (one of my obsessions), it’s the things that make me know he was thinking of ME and what I would love that make it special.
That’s the part of romance that brings me the most joy. The story themes and tropes may be similar across books and even sub-genres, but I love to see the unique ways authors handle the emotions, conflict and ultimately love between each individual hero and heroine. The joy of romance is synonymous with the butterflies I get reading or writing those special moments when the characters connect.
My favorite and happiest is always the moment right before the kiss – when you can feel the tension and the desire and the emotion and that amazing connection that romance gives you. It makes me feel connected to the stories I write and the ones that are on my keeper shelves. No matter what’s going on in my regular life, I can count on romance to take me away to a place of joy. And with how challenging life can be and all the unhappy images that bombard us every day, that is such a gift.
The more books I write, the more I love romance and am proud to be a part of this amazing community. So even though I’m practical, I’m also a hopeless romantic and I always will be!
Fellow Harlequin Special Edition author Chrystine Butler is an auto-buy for me. Her Welcome to Destiny series is full of great heroes and wonderful love stories! www.christynebutler.com
Lana Williams writes wonderful historical stories with a pinch of paranormal in them – both Medieval and Regency settings. Historical romance is my personal romance candy! www.lanawilliams.net
Jennie Marts is just as fun and funny in her books as she is in real life. Her Page Turners series also has the cutest covers ever! www.jenniemarts.com
Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.
I had a happy, sappy, joyous moment two years ago in Ouray, Colorado. In the summer of 1993 I spent a couple of months camping around southern Colorado–jobless and homeless with all my things stuffed into black garbage bags in the back of an ancient Honda. I had a tent, a dog and a fierce determination to make Colorado my home. I camped for a week outside of Ouray because of the nice couple hosting the Forest Service campground. Then I went back in 2013 with my family after building a life for myself near the montains. It was so cool to visit Ouray again 20 years later – this time with my husband, the kids and dogs (plus the guinea pigs and gecko) in a wonderful rental house. It was a very full-circle, joyful moment for me. Sniff, sniff.
Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.
I grew up living in an older home with a big front porch and my favorite thing as a kid was a weekend morning or summer evening on the porch swing reading a book. We don’t have a porch swing in the house we live in now, but we do have a couple of great rocking chairs on the back patio. But if I’m ever in a small town or near a shop and see a porch swing, I have to give it a swing – it always brings me joy. It’s hard not to smile when you’re gently swinging!
Tell us about a sound that brings you joy
There are so many songs that bring me joy, not just for the music but for the memories they elicit. My parents always had the radio on, especially on car trips, and they loved to sing along. So whether it’s John Denver’s Country Roads or Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, or the Beatles or Billy Joel, every time I hear a song that was one of their favorites, it brings back a happy memory of family vacations, camping trips and hanging out listening to actual records. And then there are my own ‘80s faves – Madonna, Duran Duran and a gazillion other throw back songs. That was (of course) before music streaming or Youtube so to hear a favorite song on the radio at the perfect time was a big deal! My husband and I love to play our ‘oldies’ for our kids and make them dance around the family room – embarrassing now but I hope it will become a joyful memory for them too.
What recent book have you read that brought you joy. Why?
Wow—there are so many books to choose from that have brought me joy. I just re-read Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery with my daughter. That would probably be my most memorable book and the one that inspired me the most when I became a writer. As a girl, I wanted to be Anne Shirley and also to have her as a friend. The love story that ran through the series between Anne and Gilbert Blythe is still one of my favorites. In my own stories I love to create characters readers want to spend time with as well as a great love story.
And for fun, the joy of choice: Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer
I’ll admit I loved Captain Von Trapp (Edelweiss, anyone?) but Chris Hemsworth is my favorite all-time Chris!!! I love him best as Thor, especially in the first movie. I even have my own Thor action figure on my desk for inspiration. My kids know better than to touch my Thor. ☺
I’d love to give away 2 copies of my latest release with Harlequin Special Edition, Suddenly A Father. Comment on this blog or on my Facebook page with the romance sub genre that brings you the most joy (historical, contemporary, paranormal).
Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. More than twenty years ago, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Today her home includes one great husband, two beautiful kids, several furry pets, and a couple of well-behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion for writing stories with happy endings.