This week’s Author-Go-Round interview with Nina Day Gerard may answer some of the questions you’ve always wanted to ask about romance writing…but were afraid to ask!
Q: How did you become a romance writer?
A: I gave myself the title Accidental Romance Writer. I’ve been writing stories since I was in the third grade, and I’ve been reading romance since high school when I used to trade Harlequin novels with my girlfriends. Then in 2012 I had kind of a V8 moment when I realized “Hey, I could do this—I SHOULD do this!” and that led to my first short story The Long Road Home in the 2014 Shades of Pink Romance Anthology supporting breast cancer research, and my first novel My Brother’s Keeper.
Q: What’s the most popular question you get about being a romance author?
A: The one thing I get asked all the time is whether or not I write about the real-life experiences I’ve had in terms of the relationships or the love scenes. But it’s not classy to kiss and tell, in my opinion.
Q: But aren’t the love scenes—and in some cases the sex scenes—what people most associate with contemporary romance?
A: I would agree with that. And I’m more than happy to talk about what goes into writing those scenes from a crafting standpoint.
Q: How do you decide the heat level of your material in terms of that?
A: The easiest way to answer that is to say that I became inspired to write romance by the love stories I have enjoyed reading. I never set out to write about a certain amount of sex per se. But like any healthy adult romantic relationship, there has to be the right balance of a strong romantic and emotional bond, along with great chemistry and attraction. To me, one just makes the other better, and vice-versa. In a good love story, by the time you get to the first love scene, the reader should experience the intensity of what the two people feel for each other—that just makes the sex better. Those are the kinds of relationships I like to read about, and so that’s how I try to write.
Q: Do you ever get embarrassed when you think about people reading some of those scenes?
A: Oh my gosh, yes! Not the fans per se, these are all readers who are accustomed to the genre and probably expect a certain level of heat. But my mother, for instance, begged me for months to read the manuscript of My Brother’s Keeper. I finally relented and sent it to her. She gave me great feedback, and thankfully had the sense not to mention any of the love scenes. That went undiscussed. But now I don’t feel shy about sharing my writing with her anymore.
Q: What other romance authors have inspired you?
A: At the top of my list would be Maya Banks (KGI and Slow Burn series). She is the master at writing with that balance I was talking about. I love her characters. Same with Christine Feehan (Drake Sisters, Ghost Walker and Sisters of the Heart Series). I devoured these books as soon as they were published.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: Well, the Second Edition of My Brother’s Keeper is now available on Kindle, and Burlesque Bad, Book 1 of my Destiny of Dance series, is due out this summer.
For purchase links and trailer to My Brother’s Keeper, a preview of the Destiny of Dance series, her blog A Fine Romance, and to join Nina’s mailing list for a free exclusive edition of The Long Road Home with story Epilogue, please visit www.ninadaygerard.com. (She’ll never spam you, just periodic updates about her books!)