By Kathy Clark
Is that book you just downloaded to your ebook reader or stuffed into your carry-on for your next plane trip a romance, fantasy, suspense, or maybe erotica? Those are broad “genres” that publishers have established to categorize books. But what if a book crosses genres or isn’t easily defined?
Real life doesn’t fit into a genre. Almost everyone’s everyday activities include romance, fantasy, suspense, and, yes, even erotica. It’s always been difficult to categorize my books because they, like real life, have elements of several genres. That inability to classify them has made publishers nervous because their bean counters like things in neat columns and rows. Just as people aren’t one-dimensional, neither are my books.
So, as my husband, Bob, and I were brainstorming on our wine deck, we came up with a new classification, one that crosses the boundaries and better reflects the real world. It’s called Reality Romance. Not everyone falls in love with a billionaire or shape shifts into a dragon or sparkles in the sunshine. But all of us know a gorgeous hunk that happens to be a firefighter, a cop, a soldier, a teacher, or some other normal occupation. These people are complex, interesting, mysterious, sexy, dangerous, fun, intelligent, and all those characteristics that make wonderful characters in our new genre.
They are real people, living real lives, but with a twist. They are average…until they have to become heroes, heroines, or villains. Their days are filled with suspense and mystery just like yours, but maybe they have a body in the closet or handcuffs in their nightstand. And like you, they work to address their challenges and take advantage of opportunities they didn’t see coming. Maybe the hero or heroine aren’t popping blood pressure meds and Prozac like you are, but they have failures and successes and things that raise their blood pressure and threaten their lives. . . and oh yeah, sometimes they have relationships that may or may not work out. This is the very core of a Reality Romance.
It has been written that reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. Romance has been defined as a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love, a well-developed story that creates a feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life for the reader. It’s clear that a true romance novel crosses all those invisible boundaries publishers have set. In actuality, a good romance novel should more closely reflect real life.
Our work, over fifty books and screenplays as of the end of 2015, have several common elements regardless of the trope or genre. Our stories have been classified as contemporary romance, suspense, romantic suspense, young adult, new adult, erotica, and even historical. In actuality, they are:
- Realistic, with authentic and memorable characters
- About real people caught in new or challenging situations
- Snappy dialogue and genuine feelings that make a reader want to jump inside the story to hang out with or perhaps help the characters
- Believable story lines and fluid pacing that draw characters through their challenges, opportunities and situations and leave the reader cheering for the characters’ success and survival
The hero or heroine of the story can look back on the last page of any Kathy Clark novel and think it didn’t go as planned and that’s okay.
Reality romance. A story that is well told, entertaining and has the unexpected blend of suspense, mystery, thrills, erotica, fantasy, and romance that everyone has in their life at one time or another…only more, only better and with a happy ending.
About REALITY ROMANCE AUTHOR KATHY CLARK
Kathy Clark has always been a storyteller. She completed her first novel when she was four years old and self-published it the same year, decades before Amazon birthed the Kindle. The Little Black Horse That Ran Away was self-illustrated and completely sold out of its first printing. Thanks Mom!
Years later, Kathy’s first adult book was published by Dell. Since then, she had a total of twenty-three novels published by Dell, Crown, and Harlequin. With her husband Bob Wernly as a co-writer, they published (both traditionally and epub) an additional fourteen novels.
Nine of these fourteen books were self-published in the romantic suspense, young adult and erotic romance genres. The remaining five published by Random House LLC as the Denver Heroes and Austin Heroes, released in 2015 and throughout 2016.
The freedom to be creative and experiment with ideas and genres has made self-publishing an amazing process. The author team are currently developing a new contemporary romance series (with a suspense backdrop) titled Breathless. High altitude, high stakes, and high romance, the series will begin in 2017 with the first book, Fools Gold. The series is set in Cripple Creek, Colorado, a colorful historic town as famous for the huge amount of gold found there as it is for its Old West-style casinos.
Their young adult genre series, Time Shifters, is a time travel romance-mystery series. The fifth book in the award winning series is planned for a late 2016 release.
Finally, their new adult romantic suspense series, Scandals, currently has the first three books released.
With two people developing ideas, plotting, researching, writing and editing, Kathy and Bob are both busy and productive. To be perfectly honest, Kathy and Bob would rather be riding horses, sitting on a sandy beach, watching movies or plays, and playing a round of golf every few days. But the voices in their heads insist on coming out, so they keep writing.
For a complete list of books, screenplays, awards and more, check out Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_authoTheir website is at www.LoveRealityRomance.com and you can sign-up for their newsletter, the source for news, contests, giveaways and more at http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX
Bloggers are encouraged to email us at LoveRealityRomance@gmail.com for copies of books in exchange for an honest review by a professional reviewer.
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