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Some of you might be familiar with my work already and are wondering why the novel is called PUNCH: A Romance. I mean isn’t essentially a tale of vengeance; two guys in costumes looking to bring down killers for the crimes they’ve committed?

Yes, while it does have a very “Batman & Robin” type of vibe to it, the story still is essentially a romance story. (The Batman similarities are something I will touch on in a later blog post BTW).

According to the Romance Writer’s of America, a romance novel must follow these two guidelines:

A Central Love Story: The main plot centers around two individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work. A writer can include as many subplots as he/she wants as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel.

An Emotionally-Satisfying and Optimistic Ending: In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.

Romance novels may have any tone or style, be set in any place or time, and have varying levels of sensuality—ranging from sweet to extremely hot. These settings and distinctions of plot create specific subgenres within romance fiction.

In romance fiction the story is driven by the characters. That means sometimes having to choose how a character feels, over what a character sees, when it comes to describing a scene or situation. Unlike the more traditional romance novels, this isn’t told from a woman’s perspective; both characters are gay men.  It also isn’t written in first person, because I frankly hate first person narratives. Doesn’t mean I won’t ever write one, I’ve read a few that really worked, but as a general rule I avoid first person.

The second part, the happy ending, well of course there is going to be a happy ending. I don’t believe in making characters and the readers drag themselves through mud, blood and violence just to end up unfulfilled. Happy endings are what people remember. A happy ending is the difference between rolling over, satisfied and content, or throwing the book down in frustration and bad-mouthing it online.

Is a gay superhero romance the most marketable book I could write? Hell no. But that’s exactly why I do what I do; to do what no one else will do.

R.

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