It’s A Harlequin Kind of Love

Dear Friends,

Don’t you love how in the beginning of every romance film, they say, “And a romance like you’ve never seen before…” Why do people think romance is so original or complicated? It really just takes passion, bravery and luck. The right at place at the right time. The right head space at the right time. You have to hope you aren’t with the wrong person when you meet the right one. There’s always this fear that meeting the right person might sound just like a John Mayer song – it’s beautiful, but if you listen closely, the happiness never pans out.

I always joke and tell my friends that if my memoir doesn’t sell well, I will become a romance novelist. I first fell in love – or lust –  with Harlequin romances when I was 15 years old. I remember going to Crown Books in Irvine and running home to read it. It was so scandalous! I believe it was part of the Blaze series. I remember thinking my mom would be mad at me knowing I bought it, but she wasn’t there to tell me not to. Also, an adult sold it to me so it couldn’t be that bad, right? I used to read passages of these books in the back of Cosmopolitan. I practically lived for that. I don’t really think it was the raunchiness that attracted me, I think it was the utter astonishment that someday I might take part in such acts – with a boy. Who knew. Now as an adult, I find myself wishing that I viewed my future through the kaleidoscope of a romance novel. Everything seems so simple in them. Just two people, exploring the five senses that make up every experience – but these experiences are special, life-altering, eye-opening and passionate. Romance, in a lot of ways, is what life is built on. The world wouldn’t populate without so many people having chemistry every day.

Think you can handle the pressure of writing romance? Do you have something steamy to share with the world? Great timing! You can enter Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest. The winner wins a book deal with Harlequin! For the complete schedule and additional details, please visit: www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com or www.sytycw.com, follow on Twitter @HarlequinSYTYCW, hashtag #SYTYCW2.

I had the pleasure of speaking with one of the senior editors at Harlequin, and she said something that is a rarity in publishing: Everyone started somewhere, and Harlequin is making a concerted effort to work with one lucky new author develop their very own fresh, Harlequin voice. Also, my personal favorite, “You don’t have to be in the right relationship to be able to feel it enough to write about it.”

Happy writing…and romancing!

Kisses,

Jessica

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