Romance Writing and Happy Endings with Sarah Gilman and G*veaway

Today, we have the pleasure of welcoming author Sarah Gilman to Preternatura.  Sarah is stopping by as part of her virtual book tour celebrating the release of her latest book, Ashes, which was released on December 30 by Entangled Covet.  Sarah is also the author of the Return to Sanctuary series.
Sarah Gilman started her first novel in third grade. She never finished that story, but never gave up the dream. Her fascination with wings also began at that age, when images of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis captured her imagination and never let go. Now a paranormal romance writer, she employs her love of writing to bring the allure of winged creatures to the pages of her novels. Sarah lives in Vermont with her supportive husband and two spoiled cats.  You can learn more about Sarah by visiting her website, on facebook or by following her on twitter. 

ABOUT ASHES:  Accidents happen for a reason…

Journalist Ambrosia Pellerin accepts an assignment involving the legendary phoenix, expecting, if nothing else, a little entertainment. Instead, she winds up pregnant—by a surprisingly human-looking firebird, Reece Bennu. As the Phoenix prince, Reece is next in line to the throne and expected to marry a purebred royal. A common human such as Ambrosia is not in the cards. He swears, though, he’ll never be an absentee father. As Ambrosia’s due date grows closer, so do the soon-to-be parents. But will their tentative love survive the prejudice of Reece’s grandmother, who will stop at nothing to tear the two apart?
And now, let’s hear from Sarah!
“Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing,” so says Snow White on the television series Once Upon a Time.

Thanks so much for hosting, Preternatura! Since I began reading romance in college, I’ve found that romance novels may be the most misunderstood books on the shelf, even though they out sell every other genre. Romance Writers of America defines a romance as “a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.

I once gave a romance book to a friend to borrow and she handed it back to me saying, “No, that’s smut.” Never mind that it wasn’t any more graphic than most Hollywood movies.

I once saw a man in a bookstore shield his daughter while passing by the romance shelf. (Later I saw them browsing the horror section.)

Let me take a moment to share how I see romance novels. Remember the movie Titanic? Had Titanic been a book, it would have been a love story on the fiction shelf, because it didn’t have the happy ending required to be on the romance shelf, but that’s the only difference between that story and a great romance. Was Titanic smutty? Certainty not.

In Titanic, a young woman changed her life, fell in love, and survived a tragedy at the same time.

Romance stories send powerful messages to both men and women. You can fall in love and save the family business after a devastating hurricane. You can have a Happily Ever After and defeat an invading vampire army. Characters—especially female characters—don’t have to choose between their goals as they do in many mainstream stories.

In horror, you have sex and you usually die. In romance, you can have everything you want if you’re willing to confront challenges. Romances do not harbor damsels in distress. Romances feature strong women.

Now, some may say Happy Ever Afters are not realistic. True enough, unfortunately. But why do we read? For reality? No, we don’t read fiction for reality. We read fiction to experience things we may never experience in real life—not that I think true love is unrealistic, personally. That’s why I chose to write in the romance genre.

Thanks, Sarah!

Leave a comment and then enter below for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Can you think of another story with romance but not an ending that would get it into the romance aisle? How about Gone with the Wind?

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18 thoughts on “Romance Writing and Happy Endings with Sarah Gilman and G*veaway

  1. not really right now i can’t think of one but i do need the happy ending it help to makes the day lesss dark sometimes^^

  2. Gone with the Wind is *exactly* what popped into my head as I read ur question. Not surprised we came to the same answer. There was nothing romantic about Rhett and Scarlett’s relationship but it is considered a sweeping love story by many. Thx for the giveaway

  3. I love that the male character is a Phoenix! I don’t think I have ever read a book with the Phoenix in a romantic setting. What a great idea! Thanks for the contest.

  4. I’ve worked for 2 different bookstores and I’ve seen people do that and it just shocks me what people think of the genre. I cant really think of any at the moment but I will definitely check this one out.

  5. Off of the top of my head, I can’t think of one but Ashes sound fantastic and I would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!