Friday, April 20, 2012

Slower Than the Speed of Love

Posted by: R.L. Naquin

As a Carina Press author, sometimes I feel like I’m sitting on the fringe of things, watching from the outside. I’m a little more in the loop at Here Be Magic, but still, not quite in the thick of things.
Because I don’t write romance.
There. I said it. My books are straight-up urban fantasy, not paranormal romance or romantic fantasy.
This is not to say I don’t read romance in all its different forms, with or without some sort of magic or monsters in it. I just don’t know that I could write it. Reading a romance where people fall in and out and back in love in quick succession is exciting. The pace is fast and breathless and a little dreamy.
You get characters who fall into bed immediately, then fall in love over the course of the rest of the book. There are stories where the love is obvious to the reader from the start, but the characters take forever to sort it out for themselves, finally consummating the union at the very end. Tragic love stories, fated destinies, and arranged marriages that end in eternal happiness—I love them all.
But I don’t write romance.
And yet, there’s still a romance in my novel, Monster in My Closet. Very few books out there lack any sort of love story. Still, mine is a slow romance spanning the course of the whole series. Spoiler: Their first real kiss doesn’t even happen until book two. Sex? Sure, sort of. The bad guy is an incubus who kills women by orgasm. It may sound like a good way to go, but trust me, it’s not.
I thought long and hard (Hehe. I said “long and hard.”) about how far to take the romance between my main character, Zoey, and her hot (Grim) Reaper/paramedic, Riley. I wanted to prolong the magic of the beginning of a relationship. You know, that awkward, exciting time when your tongue trips over words, your stomach flutters with nerves, and every time you catch sight of that special new someone, your heart pounds with hope and expectation.
So, I took it slow with them. Zoey repeatedly babbles about cheese and dead bodies when she’s nervous around Riley, and he obviously thinks she’s adorable when she’s acting like a total spaz. The romance is buried in the rest of the story, on a slow and steady course. The only obstacles in their way are corpses, monsters and angry brides, but that’s more than enough to keep them from moving faster than my pen is comfortable capturing.
Because I don’t write romance.
Sort of.


  1. Nothing wrong with slow and steady! Good post...

  2. Thanks, Veronica! I think everything I do is a little slower than normal. I get there eventually. ;-)


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