So we’ve finally made it to February (In case you didn’t notice, January was about 60 days too long.) and talking about relationships. February plus relationships seems to naturally lead to romance. But not always.
Although my second book, A & L DO SUMMER, features a romance between main character Aspen and hunky farmer Clay, my stories are not about romance. My first novel FAIREST OF THEM ALL, as one teen reviewer put it, didn’t have “a smidge of romance.” Ori was learning to cope with alopecia, working out her relationship with her mother, and figuring out how to be a friend. Throwing a love interest on top of that would have been too much.
I grew up reading and buying into fairy tales with all the damsel-who-has-to-be-rescued elements. Thanks to my obsession with romance, I wasted too much valuable time waiting for the phone to ring. (It rarely did.) That’s not to say I spent every second languishing by the telephone. But when I was with my girlfriends or going over my lines for a play, I wasn’t completely in the moment. Some boy was always lurking in the back of my mind.
My female characters aren't above making an effort to catch the attention of that certain guy. After all, they are teens and there's some strong biology at work. Who wants to resist guys, anyway? But my protagonists are too busy saving the world, or at least herding pigs out of the high school, to wait for the phone to ring. And I say, "Good for them!"