Thursday, August 27, 2009

Romance and Marriage

Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate. ~Barnett R. Brickner

A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time. ~Anne Taylor Fleming

So, I have a writing friend who has a short romance story nearly completed that involves a married couple as a H/H. They're childhood sweethearts, married for nearly a decade and now on the verge of divorce. The wife has moved out and filed, because she has cause to believe her husband was cheating. The story is about how they overcome the trust issues and learn to love each other again.

Her first choice of romance publisher (the one she's contracted with on another story) doesn't contract stories with married couples as the protagonists. They don't feel that a married H/H is "romance". Romance should be (loosely):

Boy meets girl.
Boy loses girl.
Boy gets girl back.

And with married couples you don't have the "boy meets girl" component.

While I agree that much of the fun of a romance is seeing how they meet and slowly fall in love, I wonder if watching a couple remember why they fell in love to begin with isn't just as romantic? OTOH, married couples aren't something you see often in romance novels (aside from Eve and Roarke ... but their books are more suspense than typical romance), so maybe this publisher has a point.

I'm on the fence. What think you?


DD loves her new curriculum. She loves the format, and is enjoying school. On Tuesday, after breakfast I was going to take the dog for a walk, and couldn't find DD. Then I heard singing ("My Country, 'tis of Thee") and discovered she'd headed up to the school room and started school without being asked!

I hope it keeps up. Having her excited about school is awesome.

I haven't been able to get in touch with either 4H leader that I wanted. I've called and left messages, but haven't gotten a call back. **sigh** I'll try again today, and then if I don't hear back, I'm calling their "headquarters" and ask what else I should do.

We're enrolling in art lessons today. I hope she enjoys them. And, we'll be heading to the library to pick up our volunteer forms and do that (and, yes, I'm volunteering with her ... might as well, since I'll be there anyway).

When she's older, we'll probably start volunteering at the nearby animal shelter instead. We tried that a couple of years ago, and they let her be with me, but she couldn't DO anything so it was no fun. She has to be thirteen, so we'll hit them up again in a few years.

Do you volunteer anywhere?



anno said...

What!!?! Are married people just supposed to spawn and die?!?? Of course we need romantic role models! Of course it's harder to show! Write it, though, and the multitudes (or at least the multitudes in my household) will buy the story.

As for volunteering... not much of that yet around here: my DD will be assisting with an elementary biology class at the co-op this year, but other opportunities have either been too far away or too hard to work into the schedule. We're trying to develop something through the local Y, which seems to serve as a clearinghouse for volunteer jobs in the area, but it's been slow going. We'll see.

Sounds like your school year is off to a great start -- hope your DD sustains her enthusiasm!

Keri Mikulski said...

Hmm.. That's interesting about married couples... I have to think about this one.

Volunteering - I volunteer to help out with girls' sports programs and this summer I volunteered with a youth college. :)

Happy Thursday!

Dru said...

Could the book be positioned as a "chick-lit" story?

I use to volunteer teaching computer usage, but the program got cut and I never got back to volunteering.

Have a good Thursday.

jmberrygirl said...

I'm a newlywed. It's romantic, interesting and fun. WHat's more romantic than sticking together through all the messy stuff and finishing together?

The library will be fun and a great teaching oportunity, too. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see more romances with married people. It is a big part of life for a lot of people.

I've put volunteering on hold for a while. I used to volunteer at SNAP (Spay and neuter assistance program), with their booths etc at different events.

Melissa McClone said...

Well, I had a married couple as the h/h of a Harlequin Romance. They were on the verge of divorce when they were given guardianship of a baby. I know I'm not the only HR author to use a broken marriage to base a romance on so maybe she's looking at the wrong publishers.

Brandy said...

I understand both sides. And I adore the J.D. Robb books where the main characters are married, or in Peabody's case in a committed relationship.

Daughter volunteers at the library, but I still have Son to keep occupied so no volunteer work for me. When I was Daughter's age I used to Volunteer all the time. Maybe when the kids are older, though not around a lot of people.

I hope the art classes go well and that you reach the 4-H leaders!

I also hope you have a great day!

Allie Boniface said...

The problem is that RWA's definition of a romance (the one you cited) is the one that's been around for a while and generally accepted in publishing circles....because that's what readers come to expect when they pick up a "romance". Maybe she should market her story as "women's fiction" instead.