Meggan Connors: Romance Novels Give Us Hope

I thought long and hard about what I was going to write about for this blog post.

I hope that you’ll forgive me, as my blog posts tend to be pretty personal. I’m not some fountain of wisdom, and I can’t hope to say anything that will change the way you look at the world. I can only tell you about me, and what changed mine.

So, to introduce myself, I’m Meggan Connors, and I write romance.

I was sixteen when I read my first romance novel. Sure, the love story is important, but that’s not what first drew me to them, or what continues to inspire me now. What I love about romances is that they guarantee a happy ending. No matter what I (or any author) throw at the characters, you know that, in the end, love will win out. I can pretend the characters lived happily ever after, the very picture of domestic bliss, whether they’re in the Wild West in 1874, Regency England, or the moon in 2112.

Real life isn’t like that. Real life is a mountain of college debt and a car that needs new tires. Real life is a screaming toddler or a preteen who needs braces. It’s a dog that just ate your favorite pair of shoes, and an unruly boss. Real life doesn’t always come with a happy ending, and when it kicks you in the teeth, you need that happy ending. I know I did.

When things are going badly in my real life, I’ll turn to romances. As a Lit geek and former English major, I’ve read tortured literary fiction. I liked it, too. I’ve read science fiction and fantasy, and loved it. I’ve read stuff where all but one or two characters die at the end, and I’ve cried my eyes out. I loved those books. But when life throws me a sucker punch, I turn to romance novels, because no matter how dark the situation, things won’t end badly for the characters.

And that gives me hope.

People (my own family included) deride romance novels, and they have their reasons. But when I pick up a romance novel, I’m doing it for the hope that it gives me. If things can work out for these characters, maybe they can work out for me, too. And when I sit at my keyboard to start writing a new romance novel, I realize that, for everything else I’ve thrown into that story, that I’m peddling hope.

In the end, my story isn’t about alternate worlds, or western poker players, or cowboys, or vampires. It isn’t about murder and lust. My stories, no matter when or where I set them, are about the good things in life: redemption, forgiveness and love. Hope.

These are the ideas that make us human, and, more to the point, humane. If life were more like a romance novel, wouldn’t the world be a better, happier place? If more of us held out hope for a happy ending, maybe we’d be kinder to one another. Maybe we wouldn’t be so afraid to fail. We’d reach for the dream without fear, because we would know that, in the end, it will all work out the way it’s supposed to.

Inspired by my romance novels to actually write one, that’s precisely what I did. I reached for the dream with both hands, though I can’t say I did it without fear, because I’ve been scared out of my mind since the whole process began. But I’m holding on to the hope that everything will be okay, no matter what happens. It’s given me the strength to keep trying, to push through the fear of failure and the judgment of others.

So yeah, I write romance novels. And I’m proud to say I do.

What about you? What’s your favorite genre to read, and why?

 

Meggan Connors’ debut novel, The Marker, was released December 14, 2011 from Soul Mate publishing. She’d love to hear from readers, and can be found on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Meggan-Connors/120715354695518) and at www.megganconnors.com

Link to publisher: www.soulmatepublishing.com/the-marker/

Link to Amazon: www.amazon.com/The-Marker-ebook/dp/B006MMYSR6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324759792&sr=8-1