The Decision to Write Contemporary Romance
(and a thank you to my best friends)
I read a wide variety of books. Growing up my parents encouraged my reading (it was my favourite hobby from a young age), my dad and I share a love of Stephen King books which we still swap between us now. In my early twenties I read mostly fantasy and also have a large selection of crime and thrillers. However, if I want to fall asleep with a warm heart and a contented smile, it will need to be a romance book. Even though you know how the will they / won’t they is likely going to play out, it’s just still so lovely to root for those characters!
I’m a really happy person, I’m generally always smiling, and I like to try and bring a bit of sunshine to people’s lives. (I hope the people who know me are agreeing right now!) So, if I could write a book that made people smile when they finished a chapter before bed, that would do for me!
Historical Romance is so popular at the moment (shall we just pause and say thank you Bridgerton?) but it’s not something I felt compelled to write. The thing I love about contemporary is the way modern technology allows friendships and relationships to evolve in new ways.
You may think dreaming up those amazing male characters was the driver (you can thank me for them once you’ve read it!) but actually …one of my main inspirations were the female friends in my life. I love my best friends more than I can say, we’ve been friends for years and I wouldn’t swap them for the world. I adore how one of them can send me a cheeky text and make me smile. If someone has a date the banter on WhatsApp can make me giggle for hours! We send each other pictures of our wine, our shiny new hairdo’s and we basically laugh and laugh and laugh. Then of course when sad times happen, which they invariably have for us at different times, you know those friends have got you. One day I might tell you about drunk Monday’s and how my friend helped me more than she’ll ever know. Just don’t ever ask me to talk about cream soda and the night I moved into my best friend’s flat!
As you will see in The Missed Kiss, best friends can be at entirely different stages of their lives but still have each other’s backs one hundred percent. Injecting humour into heartbreak and overcoming life’s challenges together.
I don’t think I could have portrayed that female friendship in the way I wanted historically, so contemporary romance it was.
As we get closer and closer to publication, my nerves get more and more frayed! What if nobody loves the characters and the story the way I do? I wonder if I’m foolish to have begun the sequel before I know the wider response?
At the end of the day though, if one reader falls asleep smiling because Zack is such a sweetheart, then that’s good enough for me.