Monday, 14 February 2011

Matchmaking in Romance Novels by Erin Nicholas + Giveaway

Banner made by Beth from Maybe Tomorrow?
Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

Until recently I wasn't a big fan of contemporary romances. I prefered the historical romance genre, but I discovered a series, an author which changed that. And what better guest to speak to you on Valentine's Day than such a wonderful romance author? Please give a warm welcome to the fantastic Erin Nicholas, author of (amongst others) the wonderful Bradfords series!

Read on to learn how the matchmaking takes place in romance novels and you could even win a romantic read. :-)

Happy Blogoversary, Stella! I think you do a great job over here and have really enjoyed getting to know you, so thanks for inviting me to be here to celebrate!

And, it’s Valentine’s Day! There is some pressure associated with blogging on Valentine’s Day on a romance lovers site, but I took on the challenge gladly. Romance is a daily part of my life, after all. Yes, because I have a wonderful husband who I’m still in love with after sixteen years. But also because I write romance. The writing romance is really fun because I have full control over what he does, how he reacts, when he apologizes… not so much in real life :-)

Valentine’s Day—love it or hate it—is about celebrating love, specifically romantic one-on-one love. The “you’re the only one for me” love. So it brought to mind one of my favorite parts of writing romance--the question I get to ask at the beginning of every book: who is the perfect match for this person?

And it’s an important question, as I’ve found out.

When planning a new book, a character usually comes to me first, before the setting or the plot or anything else. Sometimes it’s the heroine, sometimes the hero. And that first person comes to me in different ways. Sometimes they’re a character from another book, sometimes that person is based on someone I know, but sometimes they just come to me. It’s hard to explain, but it works so I don’t want to overanalyze! :-) Anyway, once I have that person in mind, I figure out a little about them—what’s important to them, where do they come from, how do they feel about love and why? Things like that. Then The Question: who is the perfect match for this person? Ah, so fun.

Of course you have to get to know the characters pretty well to ask and answer that question. It’s kind of like dating really. I “meet” them—get a very basic idea of who they are, on that first date. Then we spend more time together, ask questions, and get deeper and deeper until I have a good idea of who this person really is. And then I set them up with someone else! :-) (Not really like dating there, I guess).

But I’ll give you an example of how this works (or sometimes doesn’t work). In my upcoming release, Anything You Want, the first person I met was the heroine, Sabrina.

I was driving along a very isolated highway on a very *hot* June day and thought ‘what if a woman was going home after being away for a long time, no one knew she was coming, and her car suddenly broke down clear out here’? She has no one to call but her ex-lover back home and when she does he offers to come and get her? That would put them in the car together for several hours where they wouldn’t be able to ignore their still-present chemistry and all the history between them. Then I thought ‘what if he’s not over her? What if she left him right after he…proposed…yeah! That would work. And what if she’s coming home now because…she’s pregnant! But not with his baby. What if’…

And it went from there.

I’ve always loved reunion stories and friends turned lovers stories. I also like flawed heroines. ( I don’t know what that is, but I do like to write less-than-perfect women). So, I thought I had a pretty good start here. Next I needed to meet this ex-lover and so Luke and I got to know each other.

But then I ran into a snag. Luke wasn’t the right guy. Now, I didn’t figure this out for some time. I was well into the book before I realized that the problem I was having was that this was not the right guy for her.

So (grumbling and cursing some) I had to go back to who is the perfect match for this woman?

And guess who it turned out to be? Yep, Luke’s best friend.

That’s right. Marc had been there all along. He didn’t like them getting back together and he and Sabrina were fighting all the time—heatedly. I kept thinking ‘why are these scenes more interesting than the ones she has with Luke?’ Ah. Because Marc isn’t just concerned about his friend getting hurt again—Marc wants her himself.

That suddenly made a much more interesting book. And it flowed well from there. Because this guy is The One. They were meant to be. Of course, there’s all kinds of conflict and friction with all of this. Luke isn’t over her, Marc doesn’t want to hurt his friend, Sabrina isn’t sure she wants this life even though she wants Marc…

I love how it all turned out. And it really did hammer home to me how important that question is—“who is the perfect match for this person”.

Which brings up the question—what about real life? In fiction it’s easy (relatively :-) ) to bring a person together with their perfect match. Because, in the fictional world, of course they will meet, realize they’re meant to be and overcome their obstacles to be together. That’s what romance fiction is. That’s what I love, why I read it and why I write it. But real life is a little more complicated. Is there just one true love for everyone? Are we guaranteed to meet that person? And is it more about him being steady and funny and supportive and honest than it is fireworks and ‘I’ll die without you’ angst?

What do you all think? It’s an age-old question but always fun to debate—is there one perfect person for each of us or can we be truly madly deeply in love with more than one person?

All commenters get entered into a drawing for a choice from my backlist OR I’ll send you a special e-mail that you can send back to me for a copy of Anything You Want when it releases on March 15th!

Just Right: The Bradfords, Book 1  Just Like That: The Bradfords, Book 2  Just My Type: The Bradfords, Book 3 

No Matter What


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Wishing you love in all forms from many places!


Erin Nicholas has been reading and writing romantic fiction since her mother gave her a romance novel in high school and she discovered happily-ever-after suddenly went a little beyond glass slippers and fairy godmothers! She lives in the Midwest with her husband who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books, her kids who will never read the sex scenes in her books, and family and friends who say they’re shocked by the sex scenes in her books (yeah, right!).

For more information about Erin and her books, visit: (including Twitter and Facebook links!)

You can read my reviews of The Bradfords series by Erin Nicholas:

Just Right: The Bradfords, Book 1

Just Like That: The Bradfords, Book 2

Just My Type: The Bradfords, Book 3


To be entered all you have to do is:

1. fill out the main form so I have your contact info (just once, if you have already filled it out for a previous giveaway that's enough)

2. Answer Erin's question: 'What do you all think? Is there one perfect person for each of us or can we be truly madly deeply in love with more than one person?'

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on Friday 4 March 2011.

Related Posts with Thumbnails