Thanks for joining me on the 2012 MARA-thon! This includes a national blog tour, as well as a physical book tour through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California. During the entire MARA-thon, please be sure to download your FREE prequel short story, When Whales Watch at www.MaraPurl.com/downloads. As of January 1, you’ll be able to find purchase links for all e-readers at http://marapurl.com/books/when-whales-watch.
This is posted from the road during my All-Indie-Bookstore book tour titled MAPPING THE JOURNEY OF YOUR HEART. Revisit the entire tour at any time by visiting www.MaraPurl.com/calendar where you’ll see event details, links to the bookstores, and soon, photo archives. To thank my blog hosts, I created the Double Blog Tour which includes “blog-backs” like this one. The Blog Tour will be archived at http://marapurl.com/fall-blog-tour-schedule.
One of my favorite sites for discovering All Things Romance is the fabulous website Www.RomanceJunkies.com. I most certainly am not alone in enjoying this site, which gets one million hits every month! So it’s an honor to be invited back to share book two of my series, Where the Heart Lives. My post for Romance Junkies is about structuring my one-hundred-episode radio drama into novels, and how this organically grew into the five serial novels that will comprise the Milford-Haven pentalogy. I wrote about this from the perspective of both “head” and “heart”—the underlying theme of all my blogs.
Romance Junkies.com is essentially a review website created and maintained by Cat “Chaoscat” Brown and her husband Todd. As Cat began her own writing career, and quickly realized that promotion was the key to a successful book, she created the site to help herself, her fellow authors, and readers who love romance novels—a win, win, win scenario.
The first thing that happens when a reader finds a book she loves, is that she wants to talk about it with others who also enjoy reading. Accordingly, Cat and her team also created a blog that’s “designed to be a bit edgier than the main RJ site.” Kim, the RJ Blog coordinator, posted on the “about” page: “We want all the interactions to be fun and thought-provoking while still respecting all of our visitors in the process. . . We welcome all who wish to express their opinion. Don’t be afraid to share with us, just remember to disagree with tact and maturity.”
I thought that was a terrific challenge, so in my guest blog post I tackled the tricky question of “serial romance”—a category that doesn’t yet exist, or didn’t until I began writing the Milford-Haven Novels. “Serial” is different from “series.” Indeed, lots of romance series exist, but each sticks to the signature structure of the romance novel: the couple meet at the beginning and marry at the end, with any and all imaginative obstacles overcome between the two. My novels, however, do not follow this structure. Things are a lot more complex in Milford-Haven, where the first partners who meet may not be the ones to find happy endings; where self-discovery is a key component of all relationships; and where people from the past have a way of popping into the present unexpectedly.
If you’re thinking the structure of my books sounds more like that of a soap opera, you’d be right! Milford-Haven did start out as a soap opera and it found an audience of 4.5 million in the U.K. on BBC radio. The interesting thing is, the audience for soap opera and the audience for romance novels is virtually synonymous, a fact not lost on soap opera producers, as I discovered when I performed regularly on Days of Our Lives and found again when I did some writing for Guiding Light. Yet until now, traditional romance readers, writers, publishers and groups had found serial story-telling objectionable. Though I do have thousands of loyal fans, and have won numerous Romance literary awards, I also get angry comments about my books having “no ending.”
In my experience, life doesn’t tie itself up in neat little bows. Instead, as snarls are untangled and deep realizations surface, our big “aha” moments shed light on our path and we have an epiphany. As a result of this “inner” work, something adjusts in our “outer” world: we find the right partner; our career takes a better turn; we resolve a family argument.
By featuring my work, Romance Junkies is doing much to open the minds of readers and allow me to suggest a more expanded view of romantic writing—one that not only more closely mirrors the complexities of real life, but also suggests that we use both our heads and our hearts to tackle life’s toughest issues. Maybe that’s how we find true romance.
For more information on the evolving world of The Milford Haven Novels, visit my new website www.MaraPurl.com where you can subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on social media, enjoy photos and videos, discover more special offers and more.