I love my job – and not only because it means I can spend the whole day, in my pyjamas, eating chocolate, instead of heading out early to commute to an office (although the latter has its benefits, namely the avoidance of writers’ bottom!)
During my life I have had a taste of many different occupations – translator, cleaner, tutor, shop assistant… I’ve worked in a German publishing house and spent a few months employed by Disneyland Paris. It took my until my late 30s to discover the career I really wanted to settle in – namely, being an author.
And now I have achieved that goal, what are the five best things about it?
Firstly, spending all day with impossibly romantic heroes. Take my latest book released last week, an e-novella How to Get Hitched in Ten Days. It stars two gorgeous men. Dave makes a disastrous proposal to his girlfriend, Jasmine, and Mikey tries to help him turn this around. Both men have different but equally appealing qualities. Dave is rugged, clumsy but does his best. Mikey is every girl’s best friend with his popcorn and DVD sleepovers. As one recent reviewer said:
“I fell for Dave big time, then Mikey, then Dave, then Mikey…”
And for several weeks, I got to spend my nine to five in their company!
Secondly… The romance community is one of the friendliest I know. I belong to the RNA, the Romantic Novelists Association, and they hold several Prosecco- and laughter-filled events during the year which always give me a huge buzz – and the opportunity to meet dear online romance friends in the flesh.
Thirdly… Being a romance author gives you the opportunity to connect with some of the most generous and friendly readers on the planet, many of whom share your love of a bit of escapism mixed up with a huge dollop of a happy ever after. Their support, feedback and kind words mean everything.
Fourthly, pink and red. Fluff. Fun. Girliness. Call it a midlife crisis if you like but having been a tomboy all my life, since becoming a romance author, I have developed an interest in clothes, spa weekends and beauty treatments. I am loving every minute of this newfound chicklit lifestyle!
Finally, of course the romance genre is very diverse, from the frothy to deeper reads. It has given me enormous satisfaction to see my writing develop and whilst my writing is still light-hearted, I am now addressing more serious issues. In my #GetHitched book I consider the prejudice that people have shown against Mikey all his life and examine the effect it has had on Jasmine to have grown up with an alcoholic father. The diversity of the genre means that I can easily explore my own writing and take it into new directions, if that is the way it pulls me. So whilst “romance author” is a label, it is a very broad one.