Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Guest Blog with Candice Speare

Sweet Romance

I’m often asked where I get my story ideas. The answer is simple. I wonder about everything. Whether it’s a piece of news on the television or a person walking down the street who catches my eye, I always imagine the story behind the story. For instance, last weekend we watched a program on the History Channel about the Battle of Thermopylae (between the Greeks and the Persians). As I fell asleep that night, I wondered about the families that the men left behind. How did the women feel as their men marched to battle? How did they survive if their husbands died? A sense of wonderment and imagination is an essential requirement for a fiction writer. But. . .I’ve also discovered there’s nothing like a dose of real life experience to give umph to character emotion.

Recently this hit home in a big way. My books have always contained romance, but now I can express a depth of feeling I couldn’t before. That’s because last May I married the love of my life. You could say I’ve discovered real romance and as a result, more fodder for my writing.

Romance isn’t all dating and flowers and mushy cards. Yes, dating is fun and exciting (and sometimes exhausting). Flowers and mushy cards are great as a periodic expression of emotion, but can be overdone. And of course physical attraction is important, too, but for me, it’s about chemistry, not bodily perfection. Let’s face it. We’re all going to get old and saggy. The inner man is the real person. I was “attracted” to my husband when we were dating, but the inside man is the guy I fell in love with.

So what is romance to me? What are the things I add to books to make them romantic? The sweet day-to-day things—the simple kindnesses and actions that show love. Having strands of hair stroked from my face. My guy slipping his arm around me and pulling me close in a crowded store or parking lot. A shared smile or wink across the room. A private joke. Laughing together. Holding hands. Compliments. And talking the difficult things through.

Heartsong books are all about that kind of romance. Sweet beginnings. Tenderness. That’s why I like to write them. And now I’m blessed to have some firsthand experience to make my books better than ever.

What says romance to you?


  1. LOVED this post today! Candice, you made a beautiful bride! Congratulations on your marriage--you sound so happy in this post and I am thrilled for you. ~ To me, romance would be some of the same things Candice mentioned in her comments--laughing, compliments, and talking things through especially. Knowing that other person really CARES about you, and shows it in little ways. ~ Thanks again for sharing this today (and for sharing the photos!). Blessings, Patti Jo :)

  2. Romance is a man who isn't afriad to do the not so fun stuff with you, like cleaning the patio cover or sitting in the rain to watch a soccer game. It's the little stuff that says big things.

  3. Patti Jo, I agree with you. Candice's description of romance matches mine. And Dana, you said it well, too. The flowers and candy are nice on occasion, but to quote Dana, "It's the little stuff..."

  4. Thank you, Patti Jo. My wedding day was perfect. I wouldn't have changed a thing. Dana, that's something I totally forgot to mention. My hubby and I have a good time doing the not so fun stuff. In fact, we often laugh while we're doing it. We have fun at the grocery store. He makes up songs. I love that.