Why do I write (“clean”) romance (and what even is clean romance)? Here are a few reasons (Once I hit publish button I will probably think of many, many more)-
First before I dive into why I love this genre so much let me tell you what I mean by clean romance and what I don’t mean. To me, clean romance means that a few things are left to the imagination or left out if they don’t pertain to the story. It means that you could recommend this book to your favorite old aunt and not be embarrassed about the content. It means that intimacies that were intended to be private are kept private (a somewhat novel idea in today’s world but trust me it works).
Having said that I don’t want any of you to think my books are no fun or that I don’t like a good scene that makes your stomach flip flop with butterflies. I actually love a story that gives you the happy tingles that come from a satisfying romantic scene. It doesn’t mean there are no kisses or chemistry. It doesn’t mean the story is dumbed down in any way. There is action, love, and all the feelings! There is tragedy, triumph, and the human spirit. Clean stories can be great literature!
On to why I write them…
- The world cannot have enough stories of good healthy relationships. Don’t get me wrong, my characters have flaws (any believable character has to). They aren’t perfect but they are trying (most of them at least) and in a world saturated with horrible examples of human interactions, unrealistic expectations, and filth, we need more of the good. I often think of my own girls when writing. I think of them and what I hope for them. And I hope they find companions that will treat them with respect and kindness. I hope the men I’ve written will give them a glimpse of what to look for. I hope they’ll realize real love can be found despite all the ugliness. They don’t have to settle or lower their standards–none of us have to.
- I love a good love story. I craved it as a young reader and still crave it today. I remember staying up far into the night reading books like Jane Eyre, Anne of Green Gables, and Pride and Prejudice. The humor, the romance, the wondering how they’d get together was fun. Romance can be fun! It can be a sweet escape or an exciting adventure. It can leave you with a happy sigh. Romance is awesome and I enjoy every minute of writing it.
- I am married to the greatest leading man. Seriously, he’s the keeper of all keepers. I’m the luckiest girl in the world. I’ll give you one small example (someday I’ll write a post all about him). When I was researching for my first book he came home from work one day and handed me a big thick history book that he thought might help me. This is when I was just a dreamer and doubting myself but he never doubted me. That might not make your heart skip a beat but a cute boy and a book makes me swoon. We’ve been married 13-1/2 years and couldn’t be happier. Life’s been hard at times (sometimes very hard) but the love’s always been there. We have children we love and friends we love. I will be the first to say that we still have lots to learn but if there is something I feel even slightly confident in it is my understanding of love. So why not write about it?!
- Love stories can take place most anywhere so I get the fun of picking a backdrop and drama for my characters (unless they protest which does happen from time to time and I have to rework my plans). I get to explore people and emotions and things we can all relate too. I love writing characters in different places and times and exploring what roadblocks would have been in their way. I wake up in the night sometimes with ideas and excitement over what wonders I can put in my characters’ path. Usually though I am left realizing that people throughout history were not all that different from us. We are all still trying to figure this thing called life out. And love is a huge part of it.
It’s impossible to summarize exactly why I write romance. Mostly I enjoy it and feel it’s a great platform for me to spread a little goodness. I do hope that anyone that ever reads my books will enjoy them for their research, their characterization, and their heart. I hope they’ll sweep readers away and renew their belief in love. I hope my readers enjoy knowing that the content is clean and fun and wholesome. I hope they’ll be able to tell as they read my words that I truly believe in the human capacity to love and be loved despite hardships and setbacks.
Douglas Guenther says
You make it sound exciting, can’t wait to read it!!!!
Rachel Fordham says
I do hope you enjoy it!
Perrianne Askew says
That is well put. You would be new to me and that’s good.
Rachel Fordham says
I just saw this! Thanks for the compliment and comment! It’s good to meet you.
Penny Stewart says
This Clean Romance idea is one thing I loved about The Hope of Azure Springs. Even among Christian authors I feel that too much of the “tingling” is described. I have a 23 year old daughter that has never dated. She wants to wait for the person the LORD has designed for her. Waiting is hard on her. Waiting is even harder when she reads Christian Romance books that don’t leave enough to the imagination. She loves to read but has almost given up Christian romance fiction because it makes the waiting so difficult. She has a blog that she once did book reviews on but due to an increasingly busy schedule and this issue just mentioned, she was about to give it up. So, I stepped in to do the reviews for her. Now I LOVE it when I come across a book I can fully recommend to her to read. The Hope of Azure Springs is one of those books. (In fact, I see a little of my daughter in Em.) Thank you for that gift of a clean book.
Rachel Fordham says
I thought I responded to this- whoops! I’m sure I’d like your daughter if she’s like Em!!!
Yes! I agree wholeheartedly! I am trying to build a collection of books that I wont have to tuck in the back corner of the closet to hide from my daughter when she is older. I want a collection of books that I know I can pass on to her and that not only will she enjoy them but she might find a few life lessons or God-winks tucked in the story! Thank you Rachel for writing a book just like that! I am still reading The Hope of Azure Springs but I have no doubt I will be proud to pass it on or share it withmy daughter at some point. I look forward to more books from you!
Rachel Fordham says
I had no idea this book would be published. I wrote it thinking of my daughter! I’m glad your daughter will be able to enjoy it too.