Must Be Magic!


Today the fabulous Melissa Maygrove and I are switching blogs.
I'm over at her place and she's here.

Take it away, Melissa!

When Carol asked me to guest post, I had no clue what to write. (Fancy that—a writer who can’t fill a blank page on command.) Thankfully, she sent me a list of suggestions.

I thought about discussing my hobbies, but now that I’m serious about writing, my garden is dead and my sewing machine is gathering dust. I considered telling you about my day job (night job, actually), but I doubt you want to hear about fussy newborns and poopy diapers—even those of the premature variety. I could go on and on about my love of science and genetics, but that usually makes folks glassy eyed. And I could’ve launched into what made me a writer, but—despite the fact I’ve been drawn to it since I was a child—the catalyst that spurred me to write my first novel is scoffed at by some, so I’ll leave that to your imagination.

I finally settled on: the genre I write, the reason I chose it, and what I like to read.

When I read, I like to escape into another world and get away from life’s problems for a while. Conflict and action are fine, but in the end, I want ‘happily ever after.’ I want romance. Even in non-romance-genre books, I need a romantic element or I feel like I wasted my time.

My WIPs are all over the space-time continuum, but when I read, I gravitate toward historical romances set in early America. I’m one of those people who feel I was born a century too late; I love wholesome values and simpler times.

What do I love most about romance I love the tension between the leads, the gradual discovering of each other, and the inevitable falling for each other. I love the softening of the heroine toward her hero and his protectiveness and gentleness toward her. I even love the love scenes, but it’s more about how the leads’ behavior during those intimate times adds to them as characters than it is about the sex itself.

What ticks me off about books? Tops on my list is poor editing. If I find myself wanting to take a red pen to a published work, that’s not a good thing. Major plausibility issues, plot holes, and unrealistic reactions/behavior of the characters are way up there, too. I tend to give authors the benefit of the doubt, but if something really pulls me out of the story, well...

What makes me stop reading a book? The battery going dead on my Kindle. (Kidding. Sort of.) Besides the fact I’m a tad OCD, the desire to know what happens usually keeps me reading no matter what. The few novels I didn't finish had amateur writing and errors, and they lacked a compelling enough story to keep me reading in spite of it.

Thanks for having me, Carol. I hope I didn't drive your followers away.

Melissa Maygrove is a wife, a mother, a nurse, and a romance writer who hopes to be adding 'published author' to that list soon.


Love is what makes the world go 'round.
Now I'm curious what did spark you to write that first novel.
J.L. Campbell said…
Hi, Carol & Melissa,

Although I've wandered all over the place in terms of my writing, romance is my favourite genre. I like all the stuff you mentioned - the tension and gradual changing of attitude toward each other.

Considering I'm a mom of an extreme preemie (who is now 13 years old), I would have love to hear about your night job, Melissa.

I agree with you about romance in stories and what makes it so great.
Elise Fallson said…
I'm a fan of romance too. I especially like a story that weaves action, a thrilling plot, and a great romance. I'm not at all demanding as a reader, am I? *sigh* (:
Melissa said…
Thanks for having me, Carol. I'm so excited to be here, under the tiki hut!

@Alex... It starts with a 'T'. ;)

@JL... Woot! Woman after my own heart. :)

@Stina... Preemies are awesome little resilient creatures, aren't they? They make great patients. :)

@Elise... No more demanding than I am. LOL There's not much better than a great romance. Now if I could just figure out how to write one... :P
Julie Luek said…
I don't read a ton of romances, but every now and again I'll dig into one. If it's well-written, it's just so nice to drift with a fantasy story and live vicariously! :)
Michael Di Gesu said…
HI, Carol, Hi, Melissa,

SO much info on you, Melissa. YAY! IT's always fun to read about our blogger friends and what they like to write about and READ...

I always enjoy historical fiction, but it needs to be more than just a romantic story for me...

Funny, I am not really into reading most romances, but for some very ODD/UNEXPLAINABLE reason I enjoy rom/com movies. WHY? I guess my need for the romance only limits me to two hours ... LOL. Reading is more time consuming.

I am so with you on dropping a book with editing issues. Before I wrote my first book, I would find typos, etc. but I'd continue. NOW.... not so much. If I have to crit a story I am reading, I generally won't finish it. Writing actually has limited my reading. Too many books are just not up to par. ANd with all the grinding agents and publisher give us to have CLEAN works, HOW did these books slip through?

Enjoyed spending time with you today Melissa.... off to your blog now!
Johanna Garth said…
I agree. Sometimes you really have to work hard to finish a book that could have been so much better with the right editing.
Inger said…
What a nice guest post. I can't seem to get into a romance novel, but of course, there are other genres where romance will pop up among the characters. Love has a tendency to do that after all.
Julie Flanders said…
Like Alex, I'm really curious about what sparked your first novel. I wouldn't scoff at it no matter what it was!

Great post, I enjoyed reading it. Heading over to read Carol's post now. :)
Southpaw said…
I never read or rather never choose a book thinking about romance but I really do miss it if there isn't any. But I think for me it doesn't have to be true romance but a relationship that grows in some way.
Al Diaz said…
I think we share reasons to stop reading books and some of the reasons why a book may annoy me. I can't say much about grammar but I'm with you on the other details.
Natasha Hanova said…
I'm big on romance, too. I like my with a paranormal flare. I'm glad you're back from hiatus. You make Monday's better. Is that newborns, plural? Or a newborn?
Melissa said…
@Julie – Living vicariously is fun. :)

@Michael & Al – Becoming a writer has made me a picky reader, too.

@Johanna – Agree. When family members impatiently ask, ‘When are you going to publish?’, I remind them that once it’s out there, I can’t take it back. I want to do it right the first time. ;)

@Inger – True. :)

@JulieF - I’ll never tell. LOL Thanks for visiting!

@Southpaw – It does make for a nice facet to the story.

@Natasha – Thank you! What a sweet thing to say!
It’s newborns, plural. In NICU, we can be assigned as many as 3. In routine nursery, we can have up to 6. (It was good training for twins, though. Hahaha)

Tina said…
I love a romance too, or at least what I'm reading needs to have SOMEONE in a romantic conflict. I especially love romantic suspense. Elizabeth Lowell, Sandra Brown. I also love to read mysteries, but could never write one. I write space opera with a love angle thrown into the mix to keep it interesting.
Tina @ Life is Good
Anonymous said…
Great post and wonderful to read.

Helena said…
You sound like such a kind person, Melissa. Me, I'm a tough old bird in comparison and like action, but sometimes I need romance and love just to feel better.
VR Barkowski said…
Excellent post! As to what ticks you off about books, Melissa: YES! YES! YES! Plot holes and poor editing drag me out of a story in a heartbeat. Totally unacceptable.

VR Barkowski
It is lovely to meet you here Melissa - thank you, and to Carol as well.
I am a fairly omniverous reader but will stop if the characters are unbelievable (inconsistent) or if 'I just don't care'. So yes, editing is a big sticking point for me.
Melissa said…
@Tina - Agree. Thanks for visiting. :)

@Yvonne - Thanks! That's so kind! :)
Melissa said…
@Helena - Thank you! We all need to escape and feel good once in a while. ;)

@VR - Thanks for the support. :)
Melissa said…
@Elephant's child - I'm starting to branch out and try other genres, My 'like' list has grown a bit. I think the key is good writing. Thanks for visiting! :)
Jo-Anne Meadows said…
This was a good post I learnt things about you and that is always a good thing
Melissa said…
Thanks, Jo-Anne. Glad you stopped by. :)
M. J. Joachim said…
I really like historical fiction and since love plays into that, your genre suits me fine. btw, there's an app for that - the kindle, I mean. You can download a free one on your computer. Nice post. Glad I stopped by.
Carrie Butler said…
Well said, Melissa! I completely agree with the romance thing. :)
Poor editing is a definite turn-off, and in this new world of Kindle, bad e-formatting is even worse.

DWei said…
You'd think that the 6th edition of a textbook would be error free too but nope, it isn't.
Melissa said…
@ M.L. - I'm glad you stopped by, too. :)

@Carrie - Why, thank you. :)

@Susan - Yes! If authors and publishers don't get a chance to preview ebooks before they go live to the general public, they should. I can skim over an occasional glitch, but when the problem is pervasive, ugh! It really detracts from the story.
Melissa said…
@DWei - True. LOL
Jennifer Shirk said…
HI, Melissa!
Yes, poor editing pulls me out of a story too.
Melissa said…
@Jennifer - I think that's the curse of being a writer-reader. LOL
Misha Gericke said…
I'm the same. I almost never put a book down unfinished, but now that I edit my own books, I get incredibly annoyed when I find something that someone was too half-assed to edit out.

ESPECIALLY in a big publishing house's book.
Rula Sinara said…
I'll listen to science and genetics! :)

I love the romance genre too.
nutschell said…
Nice to meet you Melissa! Poor Editing really does rile me up as well. I'll hop on over to your blog as well to check out Carol's post.
Emily R. King said…
Melissa, you're better than me! I put down books all the time. Too many books, too little time!

Hi, Carol!
michelle said…
Will you ever tell what sparked you to write that first novel?
As a teen, I had an insatiable appetite for Mills&Boon stories. After that phase came Danielle Steele novels. These days, I don't read much romance.
Writer In Transit
I agree that poor editing and poor writing are hard to get past. It's hard to escape into another world when I am snagged by clunky prose. Ugh.
I love learning about genetics and science! Typically, I'm not a romance reader-I'm more into action, sci-fi and fantasy. Probably like what you write!

Nice to meet you :)
Melissa said…
@Misha - I hear ya! Sometimes the self-pubs are better than book from the big 6. Er, uh, 5. :P

@Rula - Are you sure? You have no idea how long I can talk on the subject. hahaha

@Nutschell - Thanks! I love your Wednesday writers space posts, even though they make me green with envy.

@Emily - I'm putting them down more and more.

@Michelle - I gave a hint in a comment above. That's all I'm sayin'. LOL

@Cynthia - True.

@Words Crafter - I throw some action and sci-fi in some of them. It's not all kiss-kiss-touchy-feely-mushy stuff. LOL

Thanks to you all for visiting. :)

Anonymous said…
I dislike poor editing.

I give a book a chapter or two before putting it down. I used to wait much longer.
Romance Reader said…
I also stop reading when the battery dies on my kindle!

And romance is my favorite genre to read.