Friday, June 28, 2013

What I Write by Melissa Fox

Please join me in welcoming Melissa Fox to the Roses of Prose.
I love romance. I love to read, write, and experience the whole gamut of emotion, from plummeting angst to soaring highs. I enjoy talking about books I’ve read, the stories I write, and escaping into those worlds even if only for an hour or two. I love sharing my interest and enthusiasm and hearing others in return, so much, in fact, most times the thought doesn’t occur to me others might not feel the same.
“Oh. You mean you write (insert derogatory term).”
That reaction sets me back every time, even though I’ve learned to tell people “I write romance” with a bit more expectation of varying degrees of derisive or dismissiveness. I remember an introduction by a close friend to a new acquaintance and being asked the typical question in those situations, “What do you do?” followed by “Oh, really? What do you write?”
“Romance,” I responded.
“Don’t tell her that,” hissed my friend—who up to that point had never seemed anything other than supportive of my work—with a sushy, hand-across-the-throat gesture.
I blinked at this response and blurted, “Why? I’m not ashamed of what I do.”
My friend rolled her eyes, but the new acquaintance responded with enthusiasm. “You shouldn’t be. That’s great! Hey, have you ever read…”
And we spent the next hour or so discussing our favorite romance authors and stories.
I hear a lot of  “You write that trashy stuff,” and my typical response is “Only if you consider falling in love trashy.” I mean, really. People can judge only if they’ve never wanted to fall in love and experience all the wonderful ways humans are capable of expressing that driving, basic emotion. Yep. Even the sex part. And guess what, all you smirky, eye-rolling males out there, a lot of women actually like sex. I have some ideas as to why that seems to be so scary, even as it baffles me, but that’s a topic for another day.
I’m sure all lovers of the romance genre have come across The Reaction at some point, whether they are readers, writers, or both. Let’s hear your stories and how you handle those situations!

WRAITH ENCHANTED, Wraith series, Book #2:

Celia Brian is a witch—and that's not the worst of her problems. She's been in love with spell-catching Wraith warrior Jonas Grey her entire life. Sparring partner, friend, confidante—that's all she expects from Jonas. Beautiful golden gods aren't meant for mere mortals, even if she does entertain fantasies every once in a while.
After demons murder his wife, the only focus Jonas has is killing his enemies. He lost his Amorta, his soul mate, and doesn't deserve to be interested in another woman, especially not his good friend and boss's daughter.
When Celia unearths an ancient riddle that triggers a series of attempts on her life, Jonas's protective instincts are roused. Bound by a prophecy that could grant their deepest desires or take their lives, Jonas and Celia engage in the age-old battle between good and evil, life and death, and male and female.


“What do you do to me?” he murmured almost to himself as he examined her face. Her blue eyes widened, unfocused, pupils blown. His narrowed. “You’re not conventionally beautiful. You’re not what usually attracts me, but I’m attracted anyway.”
“Great.” She struggled to steady her voice, but the breathless sound made him want to eat her up. “That’s flattering.”
“I don’t mean to flatter. I mean to figure out what it is you’re doing to me.”
“Doing to you?” Celia bit out in a dangerous tone, and her eyes cleared from the thrall of their kiss. “You think I’m doing something to you? I have to use my powers to make you want me?”
He bit back the snappish retort, the snarl brought out by base emotions, and forced his voice to be calm. Even. Forced himself not to grab and run, take and keep. He was going mad. “Who said I wanted you?”
She arched a brow in disbelief, and her gaze traveled down his body to focus below his waist. He twitched and instinctively fought back. It wasn’t in his nature to be bested at anything.
“You do have beautiful eyes.” They shot back to his and widened. He lowered his lids, smoldering her, moving his gaze to her mouth. “Such pretty skin. So soft and smooth. Touchable. Can I touch you, Celia?”
Her mouth parted on a gasp, and he took it for permission. One finger traced along her cheek from the corner of her eye to her mouth.
“Lovely. You’re blushing. Does my touch do that to you? And your mouth.” He lowered his head a fraction of an inch. “So wide and soft.”
His fingertip brushed her lower lip, and her breath hitched. “Made for kissing, isn’t it? Can I kiss you, Celia? Will you let me kiss your pretty mouth?”
“Oh,” she breathed, eyelids fluttering. The enthrallment was back. “Oh. Yes.”

Melissa is an unrepentant writer of romantic stories. Her debut paranormal romance, WRAITH REDEEMED, is available from The Wild Rose Press. The second book in the Wrath series, WRAITH ENCHANTED, is scheduled for release for Kindle July 1, 2013, with print and other eformats available October 2013. Come talk all things writing and reading at Fight For Your Write blog,, Twitter, and Facebook.


Leah St. James said...

Hi, Melissa -- Good for you for not being ashamed of your genre! I've put together several romance panels for university book festivals. One of my goals is to demonstrate to a possibly pooh-poohing audience of academics is that romance authors are intelligent, creative and skilled professionals who just happen to enjoy writing love stories with happy endings. What's so bad about that? There's a reason that romance is, by far, the best-selling genre of commercial fiction. Great post. (The book sounds great, BTW. Wishing you much success with it!)

Jannine Gallant said...

This is the comment I really love:( "Why don't you write real books?" Hello, these are REAL books. Is there something wrong with reading a book that makes you smile and keeps your interest? Our book club only read "real" books that I couldn't plow through half the time. The group folded due to the fact that no one seemed to have time for these literary masterpieces! You go girl. Stand up for what you write. I look people in the eye (probably with a "Make My Day" stare) and tell them, "I write romance!" Best of luck with sales on this one. Sounds great.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Lovely post and thanks for being a guest today. Calvin and I used to belong to a writers' group. Every time I shared a chapter, he'd roll his eyes and say, "Yeah, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. It's all so formumatic (did I spell that right?)." One night I said, "Aren't all books written on a formula basis? In a mystery, there must be a murder or crime and someone who investigates it. All books must have a beginning, a middle and an end. All books must contain GMC and a character arc? What are these elements of craft if not formulas of creation?" Oh, by the way, he's been whinning because his "fabulous" book has barely sold 50 copies since it was released two years ago. Poooooor thing....

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Yikes!!! Some day I'll learn to read my comments before I hit the submit button. It was NOT Calvin who rolled his eyes, but a male member of our writers group. I'm always in too much of a hurry. So sorry, folks.

Margo Hoornstra said...

We've all been there with the 'so you write smut' and 'why don't you write real books' comments. It's especially infuriating because when I respond, 'have you read any?' the answer is a blank stare with the occasional 'of course not.' Then how would you know? Head high, chin up - best of luck to all of us. Nice to have you here Melissa.

Melissa Fox said...

Hi ladies! Thank you so much for having me on Roses of Prose! My apologies for being late to my own party. I got called into an emergency shift at the local vet clinic yesterday morning and ended up being there for over twelve hours. Of course, that never happens except when it happens...Sheesh.

Melissa Fox said...

Thank you all so much for the great comments! I find it fascinating that people think--for whatever reason--we should be ashamed for reading and/or writing romance, and that it's okay to make fun or be so derisive of someone's occupation or choice of material for their leisure time. Love to hear how you all handle the situation, because it does happen waaaaay more often than it should!

Leah - so amazing you put he festivals together, what a great opportunity for the genre, the readers, and the authors!

Jannine - I feel the same way! A lot of the current and past "masterpieces" I found kind of snoozefests - to be honest, something that can be found in any genre! I don't think one is immune from issues more or less than any other.

Vonnie - Absolutely! It's all in the author's creative interpretation of that basic formula and what floats our boat as readers, no matter the genre.

Margo - Ugh, yes, the "Oh, you write smut/porn" comments. Really? Are we twelve? :)

Thanks again, ladies - I appreciate the fabulous comments!