I first picked up a romance novel when I was about five or six. I found it in Nan and Pa’s shed. It smelt like sawdust and mothballs and on the cover there was a woman who I thought must have had a bad leg. She was leaning back and the only thing keeping her propped up were the toned arms of a big manly man. Instantly, I thought “woweee so this is romance!”
I’ve since learnt that writing any story with a solid romantic element requires a more sophisticated plot than someone “being saved.” When we read a modern romance, we want to read about individuals being swept off their feet, but we also want characters who are capable of standing on their own two feet. We want all of the essential elements that make a memorable love story, but we don’t want it to be formulaic. And we want a balance between emotional and physical expression. Writing a good romance is no easy task, but there is help out there! Whether your stories contain a little or a lot of romance, Romance Writers of Australia is a fantastic group to be a part of. I’m a member and the advice and support I’ve received from others has improved my writing out of sight.
Anyway, today’s post isn’t all about me. I have a quick interview (what I like to call “A Quickie”) with the author A.K. Macbride (who I was introduced to through Romance Writers of Australia). A.K. is about to release her new novel, “An Inconvenient Marriage,” which can be pre-ordered for its May 21 release via the links at the bottom of this blog post (I’ve pre-ordered my copy!). I asked A.K. five questions—(well, there are questions within questions… I think that’s the scientist in me)—and she gave me some fantastic answers! One of the first questions I asked A.K. was whether she’d class her novel as sweet, saucy or extra spicy. She nominated saucy, so it gets the good old Saucy Love Sauce classification from me! (See cartoon.) I wish A.K. all the best with her upcoming release and look forward to following her writing journey into the future.
1. Would you describe An Inconvenient Marriage as sweet, saucy, or extra spicy? Please feel free to elaborate on why your novel fits where it does on the hotness scale ☺
It’s definitely saucy. 😉 I like to call it heart with heat, because if you remove all the sexiness there will still be a story that’s sure to tug your heartstrings. On a hotness scale of 1 – 5, I would rate it a 3.5.
2. What kick-started your story? Were you inspired by any classic romances, or fuelled by personal experiences?
I was actually inspired by a T.V programme where people meet for the first time on their wedding day. Soon after that the characters started ‘talking to me.’ I spent months outlining their story, taking notes at odd hours of the night and making voicenotes while I’m on the exercise bike.
3. Great romantic tales (as I’m sure An Inconvenient Marriage is) are often dynamic—there are all of these other elements supporting and enhancing the love story. In addition to L.O.V.E love, what else can a reader expect from An Inconvenient Marriage? (e.g. humour, a breathtaking setting …)
Great question! I love adding small touches of humour when you least expect it. You can be sure you’ll find some drama and a few OMG-moments. The first half of AIM takes is set in Spain, on a beautiful vineyard
3. What have your characters taught you about yourself? And what do you think readers can learn from them?
In this day and age people expect woman to always be strong and not afraid to go after what they want. Natalie has taught me – and hopefully readers too – that being vulnerable doesn’t mean you are weak. And from Zach I learned that loving someone can heal wounds you thought would never heal.
4. What’s been the most unexpected positive to come from your publishing journey? Any tips for aspiring writers concerning the nail-biting (and sometimes heart-breaking) process that is publishing?
For me, that first five star review was the one that said ‘Hey, maybe these stories you conjure up in your imagination isn’t so bad after all.’ For other aspiring authors I say: ‘Never give up, great things take time.’ On the front cover of my notebook these words are written, big and bold. I see them every time I jot down a note for a book and it keeps me going.
5. What do you think we, as readers, never grow tired of a good love story? What does romance offer that other genres do not?
There is no better feeling than finishing a good romance novel that leaves you swooning and sighing with content. Romance can be thrilling, full of angst and drama and oh-so-hot at the same time. As you can tell, I love romance <3.
A big thank you to A.K. Macbride for taking the time to answer my questions!
You can follow her on social media here ….
And here …
And you can pre-order An Inconvenient Marriage right here …
And here …