I’ve always been a sucker for romance. One Gone With The Windof my favorite books is the old classic, Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell. The love story between Scarlett O’Hara, the southern vixen, and Rhett Butler, the man who could not be tamed, resonated with readers everywhere.

In real life, and in books and film, it seems that the guys or girls anyone wants are always the unattainable ones. Why is that? Maybe it’s part of the hunt, the chase, knowing or sensing that if only we could get that elusive person, our world would be complete. We will have proven something.

Or is it just nature—that feeling we get when our eyes connect with that special someone and our body responds and we know that he or she is the one? Love is feeling you’re six feet off the ground and floating on a cloud. Those initial feelings—that lust, that desire—builds and deepens over time, like a good wine that improves with age.

So, given all of that, why wouldn’t I write a romance with that kind of dynamic? These  stories sustains us all. They give us hope that there is someone out there that is the perfect fit. Well, not perfect, but as close to perfect as we can get. We meet, connect, mate, have children (or not) and live happily ever after. That’s the dream. Life may not always be like that, but it’s still the dream.

"Love is like the wild rose-briar"....from a poem by Emily Bronte

“Love is like the wild rose-briar”….from a poem by Emily Bronte

Though married many years to the love of my life, I continue to enjoy a good romance. Perhaps reading a well-told love story awakens those first delicious tingles we all get when we meet that certain someone.

Are you a sucker for romance, too? Have certain novels touched you? What are your thoughts on why the romance genre has endured and manages to thrill no matter how old you are?


13 thoughts on “A SUCKER FOR ROMANCE

  1. Bryan

    Hi Diana – Love that romance! I’m not a fan of romance novels but I like it when a little romance is sneaked into genre fiction like mysteries. Also I’m fond of Thirties and Forties movies and romantic stories were their bread & butter. At a recent writer’s meeting the guest speaker said something to the effect that the greatest – or perhaps strongest – theme in all of literature is the one where love endures even beyond death. Now that’s romance!
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    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      I don’t read Harlequin or novels of that ilk, though I appreciate there are many who like them. I’m thinking about romances that are not as predictable, that are layered and part of a greater story. Books like Pride and Prejudice, Gone With The Wind, The Mermaid’s Chair,Like Water For Chocolate, Bridges of Madison County, The Notebook, and She Went Away. I realize as I look at my bookshelves that there aren’t many contemporary books that fit the bill and I wonder why that is. There seemed to be more in earlier years. Dr.Zhivago, Anna Karenina and The French Lieutenant’s Woman are a few others that come to mind. Even Anne of Green Gables had that kind of romance.

      As for love that endures beyond death, it’s the theme in my novel, A CRY FROM THE DEEP, coming in October.

      1. Bryan

        Diana – A belated can hardly wait to read CRY FROM THE DEEP when it appears in October. Those were certainly some impressive titles you mentioned. I guess from a literary point of view we live in a less romantic age these days. One variation of the enduring-beyond-death theme I’m fond of is the romance across time and the centuries. An interesting take on this is the TV Movie The Love Letter, with Campbell Scott and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
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        1. Diana Stevan Post author

          Thanks, Bryan. It does seem like we live in a less romantic age, but the need is still there. Thanks for the tip, The Love Letter. Sounds like a movie I’d be interested in seeing. So many of the romantic movies today just don’t cut it. In past films, there was a build-up, a sense that something wonderful was coming. Now, with the lessening of sexual mores, it seems on the night of the first meeting, the couple jumps into bed and it’s done. The desire is very quickly satisfied before they even get to know one another. And then what? Not that I’m against sexual freedom, but it seems something else has been lost while we were trying to deal with the double standard.

  2. Julia Barrett

    I’m not a big sucker for romance but romance is the underlying theme of most movies, that and the hero archetype. I am a sucker for Gone with the Wind but I adore the book, enjoy the movie. Scarlet is a much more complex character in the book.

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Julia – My husband, Rob, ust finished reading Gone With The Wind, and though he found it tremendously long, he enjoyed the read. I read it long ago, and want to read it again. As you say, Scarlett O’Hara has more layers in the book.

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Thanks for stopping by, Marie. You know, when I did this, I can’t believe I didn’t include
      Casablanca, my all-time favourite movie. Of course, I was only thinking of books.

  3. Dangerous Linda

    Hi, Diana! ~

    I do love a great romance, although it seems I lean more toward film for this and books for other genres. The romantic films I enjoy are few and far between — probably because I find most treatments of the subject pretty silly and superficial (if not downright dangerous — and NOT in a good way!)

    One of my favorite romantic movies is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind — have you seen that one? Among other things, it’s a story about how we all keep re-playing our same patterns in relationship until we realize what we’re doing and stop blaming it on the other person. As a former therapist, I bet you might enjoy it 😉

    In case you’re interested, here’s something of a romance I wrote — enjoy! http://www.dangerouslinda.com/its-not-him/
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    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Thanks for stopping by Linda. I did see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but it didn’t register as a romantic movie. I’ll have to go and look at it again. I know the one of how we keep replaying the same patterns in relationships, etc. etc. I saw a lot of that in my family therapy practice, and in the process, of course, you discover that you’re doing it yourself. Fun and games. These are patterns that are passed down and then mixed in new unhelpful ways. Just think, previous generations didn’t have the benefit of all those self-help books or available counseling. Now, I’m going to check out that link you left me.

  4. Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com

    Hi Diana! I haven’t read a romance novel in years but I did when I was young…and basically they convinced me that I could indeed write a novel too. I wrote two of them back in the 80s and predictably they didn’t sell. But you know what? They convinced me that I could write and in fact, loved to write…and here, almost 35 years later I am STILL writing. And as much as I love a good love story, I’ve found that writing about ideas that make me curious and intrigued are as “stimulating” as it gets! ~Kathy
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    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Katy, thanks for stopping by to give your comments. Love between two people has got to be the most profound experience we can have, and I wonder why you stopped reading romance novels. I remember in my acting classes I was told to look for the love in any relationship and to play that if possible. I look for romance in literary novels as well. Regarding your two novels, maybe it’s time to resurrect them. I’m doing that with a novel I wrote over a decade ago. I’m seeing it with fresh eyes, and I’m also now able apply what I’ve learned since regarding the craft of writing. So glad, you are still writing. I think as long as I have breath, I too will continue to write. It’s a welcome compulsion.

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