Message From The Author

Author's Message

As a reader, there is nothing more compelling to me than strong emotion in a romance. I love to feel what the characters are feeling: laugh when they laugh, cry when they cry, and think “ahh” at the end when, after a long, hard road, they finally achieve their happily ever after.

When I set out to write romance, my goal is to create that kind of reaction in readers, and I’m sure this is something I’ll be honing and perfecting for the rest of my career. I’ve been asked how I create such emotional stories, and it actually took me a while to figure out, since it’s such a core part of how I write. But after some thought, the answer came to me: Deep conflict results in deep emotion.

Here’s one way to create deep conflict: Take your hero and your heroine, think about what’s most important to them in life, and then snatch it away. Sometimes you can give them that special something back, sometimes not. I think it adds a touch of bittersweet reality when the hero and heroine sacrifice something that’s uniquely important to them for their love.

For example, in my first two books, A Hint Of Wicked and A Touch Of Scandal, Garrett, the Duke of Calton, has lost everything he ever held dear. When he returns to England after eight long years, his deepest desire is to be able to slip back into his old life—take back his wife, his child, and his title, and live in happy obscurity forever. But that’s not so easy considering his child doesn’t know him and his wife is remarried to his cousin, who has become the new Duke of Calton! It’s an enormous conflict, ripe with lots of potential emotion. Garrett fights hard to regain his old life (and ultimately, his sanity), and he sacrifices a great deal of what’s important to him in the interim. In the long run, however, he wins, because he ends up with the woman he loves who will stand by him forever.

While conflict can be easy to come by, resolution can be tricky, and it’s in the struggle to reach that resolution where a wide range of emotions come into play. It takes a lot of effort for characters to work out these big problems, but when they ultimately do, I think the reward is very high. Whenever I get an email from a reader saying she just finished my book and felt that “ahh” feeling, I know I’ve done my job!

-Jennifer Haymore


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