Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Is Romance Dead? by Laura Hunsaker

I just read an article by the L.A. Times that asked "Will Kissing Ever Make a Comeback" and had the image of two metal figures wearing masks and kissing. (link to article here).

Is this a thing? How would that work?

He inhaled the scent of her hand sanitizer, mmm...lemon. She placed her gloved hand against his cheek. They gently pressed their masks together...

Okay obviously I'm being facetious here, but as a romance writer, I can't help but think about how I would write a romance and incorporate it.

I like escapism, so in my stories, I don't address it, but maybe I should? What say you all? Should our Romances being written right now reflect everything going on?

While I may have used a wee bit of snark at first, I wonder if I could make it work?

Lucy walked in the door from her first day back at work, instantly took off her mask and tossed it in the laundry pile. Washing her hands she called for her dog. Bruce, her lab, was ready to go.

"Who wants a walk? Who's a good boy who wants a walk?" She stuffed her mini hand sanitizer in her pocket, and grabbing his leash, she took Bruce out for his evening walk.

Once out on the trail, Lucy saw her neighbor Van out with his dog. Every day for a couple months now, they'd wave at each other and smile. But not today. She was prepared to finally talk to him. With restaurants being closed to inside dining, she was planning to grab a to go order and hope he wouldn't mind sitting on her porch. The weather was beautiful and she was excited to talk to someone after being cooped up for so long.

"Hi Lucy!"

His mask was his favorite hockey team and she thought that it was cute how every one of his masks she had seen had all been different masks for the same team. Hers had cupcakes on them, because she just really thought it was cute.

"Hi Van! Hey, I don't know if you're up to it, but I was thinking of grabbing some dinner from Apple Garden tonight, and thought maybe you would want to join me? We could eat on my porch and you can bring your dog."

He smiled, she could tell because his eyes crinkled above his mask. "That sounds like a lot more fun than my night of streaming that new movie everyone is talking about and some leftovers."

"It's a date."
***

I guess it wouldn't be that difficult to add in some of today's happenings without it taking over the story. What do you think? Would you prefer escapism? Would you mind seeing a tiny bit of reality mixed in? Will kissing ever make a comeback ;)

 If you're in the mood for something you can really escape into, my Time Travel Romance Highland Eclipse is only $.99


A member of an elite Time Ops team called the Eclipse Agents, Declan Wallace’s job is to jump through time. He maintains order in the timeline, he hunts down those who would time jump for their own purposes. But sometime Fate intervenes.

After a lifetime of living with illness, Lady Fiona McClure is proving to herself that she is finally healthy in an attempt to swim across the loch. If she makes it, maybe then her overprotective father won’t treat her as a child anymore. When she is snatched and dragged ashore by a man who thought she was drowning, her heart races for reasons that have nothing to do with the swim and everything to do with the man standing before her.

With a mission to finish, Declan can’t allow distractions, and Lady Fiona is definitely a distraction. But he’s discovering that living for the next mission isn’t as exciting as it used to be. Staying in the past is forbidden, but Fiona McClure is his destiny.


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18 comments:

  1. I like escape, but I like it pretty firmly seated in real life, so I think there's a place in romance for what's happening. Like you said, it doesn't have to take over the story. Great post!

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  2. I can visualize the two doctors kissing in their masks. I'll have to look for it. True romance. Great cover on your book and price. Thanks.

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  3. This is cute but I have no plans to put it in any of my stories. I have tons of them that have been planned out for a long time and none of them include a virus. For me, it's still too early to even think about reading a pandemic story, because I want to escape and feel good when I read a romance. Good thing it's all fiction!

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    1. I typically write paranormals so it'll be interesting to see what PNR authors do with this

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  4. I thought about that too, Laura, since I'm editing a manuscript set in contemporary times. I finally decided to mention it as a reason the heroine is out of work. However, I reference the pandemic as being over for the most part with the world back to normal—which I hope happens in the next few months.

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    1. that's an easy way to slip it in without making it the focus of the book! good thinking!

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  5. I won’t be writing about it anytime soon. I may incorporate this bit of UNreality at some point, but I’ll use a light hand. I think Joan’s idea to make it a reason to be unemployed is wonderful...it’s there but offstage...like so many unpleasant things. I want to give my readers a reason to return to my books...and that means giving them an HEA they can visualize. this pandemic is changing everyone’s everything. I like this story...I hope you go with it!

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    1. I think there are ways to slip it in without it dominating the story, like both you and Joan have said. And thanks :)

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  6. Totally creative spin, Laura. I might refer to it once it's firmly entrenched in the past, as the reason for how things are at that time. But I write mostly historical and because it's a romance, I ignore anything unpleasant during those times. Like bad breath or body odor, or...

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    1. Haha! Oh man, yes, my Highlanders don't have BO or bad breath either ;)

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  7. This reminds me of the condom discussion! Do you have your characters use protection, or not, or do you want to just delve into the fantasy, escapism of it all? I know it's not the same thing but it's what came to mind. Like condoms, I think for me, it might depend on how the subject of the pandemic fit into the plot and the time period. I like what you've done here, Laura, just slipping a few things in to provide context to the times. I'm not sure if or how I will use in upcoming books -- I think it will depend on the book, the setting, and the plot. GREAT post to get me thinking though!

    Maddie, who reads to escape and sometimes doesn't want to think about these things....

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    1. Yeah, I guess for me, writing in the time of COVID doesn't necessarily mean allowing it to dominate the plot. Like you said, slip it in and provide context.

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    2. I thought of the condom discussion too! Very similar.

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  8. Gosh, it'll be interesting to see what people do with this. It's impacted us so much that it's hard to believe it won't end up in anyone's story. Sounds like you've already got a handle on it! I can't believe romance might be dead, though. We've had it since the beginning, and it's one thing that makes the world go 'round!

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  9. I like the way you slipped maks into your story but I won't by using the virus in mine. I read to escape reality and don't want to be reminded of bad times other than historically.

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