FEBRUARY 2016 ;e Costco Connection 79
arts & entertainment
The Costco Connection
Members will find romance novels, as well
as pens, paper and tablets, at all Costco
warehouses. Many romance-themed films
will also be available in February.
scene, chapter by chapter. Join organizations
such as Romance Writers of America,”
advises longtime Costco member Debbie
Macomber, a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author with more than 120 million
books in print.
Read what you want to write. Paula
Eykelhof, executive editor at Harlequin
Books, Canada, offers, “Read widely to learn
what appeals to you and readers.” Become
BFFs with the characters. It might sound
wacky, but writers often “talk” to characters
and cut pictures from magazines to help visualize them.
Eykelhof continues, “Romance is a flexible genre. It can incorporate other story types,
such as mystery, suspense, the western, paranormal and fantasy, with the developing
romantic relationship as the backbone.”
Practice the craft. Remember when
you learned to drive? Writing is also a skill
that takes time to learn. The more you write,
the better you’ll become. Negotiate time for
yourself to read, write and think. Those who
wait for the perfect time to craft a romance
are not writers. They’re waiters. Eykelhof and
Tara Gelsomino, executive editor with
Crimson Romance Books, agree: Before sub-
Pouring your heart into the
art of romance novel writing
mitting a manuscript, hone your storytelling
and writing skills.
They encourage writers to enjoy the process. Be fearless about adding quirks or twists,
and don’t shy away from beloved plot devices
like mistaken identity. Being creative is fun
Gelsomino, former managing editor of
Romantic Times (now RT Book Reviews) and
executive marketing manager at BBC
Audiobooks America, says, “Submit a well-written, vibrant and error-free manuscript
and it’ll be noticed. Always include a true
conflict between the leading characters.
Books are rejected when the leading characters have a bit of self-doubt but no tension.
Write a book that provides a satisfying emotional journey.”
Know the trends. The 10 most popular
romance scenarios are: friends who become
lovers, soul mates, second chance at love,
secret romance, first love, hero/heroine,
reunited lovers, love triangle, sexy billionaire/
millionaire and sassy heroine. Gelsomino
says, “These days there are exciting discussions about increased diversity. Savvy emerging writers might want to include characters
in their novels from the whole spectrum of
ethnicities and orientations.”
Find your people. Diane Kelly, best-selling author and president of Romance
Writers of America (RWA;
“Writing a romance and getting it published
can be grueling, and RWA members of all levels support one another.” With more than
10,000 members, RWA writers have access to
experts for mentoring and advice on the publishing industry, business matters, craft, technology and more.
Keep writing. “Don’t give up,” encour-
ages Macomber, who crafted five unsuccess-
ful novels before she sold that first one. “Don’t
worry about finding an agent until you have a
publisher interested in your work. The best
way to get published is to read and to write.
Write every single day. Believe in yourself and
the power of your dreams. You can do this,
but you have to be persistent.”
These experts agree. When penning a
romance is in your heart, you have just one
choice: Write the book you have been dying
to read. Why not start today? C
Costco member Eva Shaw ( evashaw.com)
is a ghostwriter and author of over 70
By Eva Shaw
“TIME STOPS. She tilts her chin as his calloused fingers slide down her spine and jas-mine-scented breezes caress their bodies. He
starts to speak, shakes his head and lowers his
lips as … ” the dog snarls at the mail carrier,
your husband grunts about the disappearing
TV remote and the baby heaves yet another
handful of mashed carrots at a sibling.
You sigh, quiet the dog, find the remote
and wipe orange goo off a wailing toddler.
All thoughts of writing a romance fizzle.
Who has the time, energy or even ideas to
write a novel? Why torture yourself? Time to
end this foolishness, right?
Wrong. In time for Valentine’s Day, here’s
advice from experts in the romance writing
and publishing field, because you really can
write that novel while juggling everything life
tosses your way.
Open your eyes. “There’s romance
everywhere, if we look. Analyze how novels
are constructed. Break them down, scene by