21 June 2011

Today's feature... Jane Toombs!!

Q) What got you started in the romance genre as a writer and reader?

A)I always liked to read, but until the so-called sweet gothics came along way back when, I didn’t focus especially on romance. These had a mixture of romance, mystery and either paranormal or at least a hint of it. I already enjoyed both mysteries and paranormal, and found I liked romance as well. I read every one I could buy or borrow. (Love libraries!)

Then mysteries, my other favorite read at the time, started having romance subplots and I devoured those as well. Fantasy became popular, much of it written by women who almost always had at least a touch of romance and usually more. Finally it got so if a book I was reading didn’t have any romance, I felt cheated. I was definitely hooked.

Until I was asked this question, I didn’t analyze what the appeal of romance for me was. Thinking about it, I believe my reason for feeling the need to have romance threaded through my reads came from the very human need to see love triumph despite formidable obstacles.

All this said, I don’t read very many romance books that don’t have another element added--mystery or paranormal or humor. If romance authors can make me laugh, I do keep trying their books.

Somewhere about the time I got hooked on sweet gothics, I decided I could write one. I’d been fooling around with short stories, never sending them anywhere (my bad!) and this gothic was my first try at a novel--actually my first serious try at something I would try to sell. So I wrote Tule Witch, blending my love of paranormal with the gothic romance. Since I was a nurse, my heroine became one. She worked in a spooky old hospital in the area where I lived at the time--California’s Central Valley. I’d never heard anyone say “Write what you know,” but it’s good advice for a beginning writer. This was my pantser period. I’d never heard the word synopsis applied to writing.

When Tule Witch sold to Avon, I never looked back--just kept writing sweet gothics until they stopped being popular.

How I learned to write--gasp!--sex scenes and how I learned I was really a plotter and needed a synopsis is another topic entirely. But romance is still within every story I write or read.

Check out my website at www.JaneToombs.com
My most recent book will be out in February from Devine Destinies--Flying High, a historical romance set in Al Capone’s bootlegging Chicago during the Roaring 20s. And, yes, there’s suspense as well as romance--with a touch of paranormal.

1 comment:

  1. I loved your post. I actually got started on reading romance pretty much the same way as you did, exempt with me it was paranormal, fantasy and SF. I got pulled into the romantic sub plot and thought OMG, I love romance.

    Then I started writing it. :)