I don’t like to write a lot about CRAFT, because it makes me feel self-conscious and like I’m taking myself way too seriously. But a lot of people have written to me or asked me questions about writing, and I realize that there are a lot of questions about the industry that maybe I can answer. Or at least contribute to the conversation. I’ll try to address some of these questions by posting on Writing Wednesdays. Monday is now my weight loss blogging day, and Friday is still my frugal day. Are we good with the change-up? Great. Away we go…
Big Question #1: What is Inspirational Romance and Why Do You Write It?
Inspirational romance is a subgenre of romance fiction, in which the spiritual journey of the hero and heroine is as important to the development of the story as their romantic attraction. Inspirational romance can be contemporary, historical, suspenseful, or any combination of the above. Inspirational romance does not have overt sexual scenes, drinking, gambling, or anything else that might be considered offensive. Think of it as PG-rated, but also remember that there are some truly awesome films that are rated PG.
I started trying to write romantic fiction when I was at my local library and I saw just how much room was devoted to the romance novels. I always loved reading historical romance but never thought I could write it. I started researching he industry on a lark and thought I’d give it a whirl. I joined a critique group and they were amazing at helping me to improve my writing skills, which were woefully underdone at that point.
I realized that I simply wasn’t comfortable writing secular romance and felt stuck on what to do with my career. At the time, we were living in eastern North Carolina, and to clear my mind, I went for a drive. I stopped at a Salvation Army thrift store in Bayboro. If you read this blog, you know I cannot resist a thrift store, and this one always yielded treasures.
As I strolled around, I felt something calling out to me. I wandered around, and the feeling of being pulled grew ever stronger. I finally whirled around and spied what had been calling out to me–a shelf full of Grace Livingston Hill and Janette Oke books. The Hill books were beautifully bound in hardcover; the Oke books were the same trade paperbacks I had read so carefully as a girl in my mother’s bookstore. They were only 10 cents each, so I bought 2 shelves’ full. And that’s when I had my career epiphany–to write inspirational historical fiction.
These books and these authors brought me so much joy as a young girl–I wanted to perpetuate that joy and share that feeling with others.
And that’s why Lily George writes inspy romance–it all stems from a chance encounter with some dusty books at a Salvation Army thrift store.