Top Five Reasons to Write Romance: Ellen Hartman

I started writing romance because I knew it was an easy way to make a lot of money.

(All of you romance writers can stop laughing now.)

Okay, seriously? I started writing romance because I love romance novels. Eight years into the job, I’ve learned that writing romance is hard, really hard. I think about giving up at least once a book (usually about seventy-five pages before The End).

Here are the top five reasons why I’ll never quit.

  1. I get paid to imagine one handsome man after another.
  2. I can attend the Romance Writers of America annual conference—a highlight of my year.
  3. I satisfy my fascination with human relationships by pulling them apart and putting them together again.
  4. I meet fellow romance readers, smart, funny, generous people who are interested in the same stuff I am. (See #1.)
  5. I know that some person somewhere might pick up my book and laugh or cry or find ease from her trouble.

What about you? Why do you read or write romance?

And don’t forget to check out my website at www.ellenhartman.com for information on upcoming titles and more!

Related Posts
Comments ( 38 )
  1. Kelly
    November 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm
    Reply

    Do you write part-time and still have another career, or are you a full-time writer?

  2. Kimberly Van Meter
    November 5, 2010 at 2:58 pm
    Reply

    Great list! Of course I agree. I write romance because it’s what I enjoy to read. I’ve always been a sucker for feel-good, happy endings and that’s what I get when I pick up a romance novel. I deal with real life in my day job and it’s depressing at times. I like to escape when I pick up a book.

  3. debraannelliott
    November 5, 2010 at 3:37 pm
    Reply

    Same here. I’ve been reading Harlequin romance since I was 15. I’m now almost 50.I write romance because of Harlequin.

  4. kris fletcher
    November 5, 2010 at 4:03 pm
    Reply

    Ellen, don’t forget the glamor! And the excitement! And the feather boas!

    (Okay, so the fabulous friendships are better than boas any day. But, you know. Someone had to mention them.)

  5. Nina P.
    November 5, 2010 at 5:58 pm
    Reply

    Hi Ellen!

    What a cool blog! I love all your reasons for writing romance. I love reading romances and have for years. It’s very satisfying to have that “happily ever after” in the story that doesn’t always happen in real life.

    #4 sure hits a chord with me. The readers- and writers- I’ve met have all been amazing!

  6. Ellen Hartman
    November 5, 2010 at 6:25 pm
    Reply

    Hi Kelly,

    Congrats on starting your career! I started writing seriously after I had my second child. It seems to be a time when lots of us take stock. I do work full-time at a day job. I’d love to write full-time…maybe someday.

    If you’re starting out in writing, rejection is going to be part of the road. It happens to everyone and it’s not that awful. It’s not easy, but it’s part of the business. 😉

    As to the question of writing about places or scenarios that are unfamiliar, that’s perfectly fine. The key thing is to find a story you want to tell…a situation and characters that are real and fascinating to you. You can research the factual parts, but I think a writer needs to be able to feel the human and emotional parts.

    If you live near an RWA chapter, I highly recommend joining. My RWA chapter friends have been priceless for me. Have a great time with your writing.

    Cheers,
    Ellen

  7. Ellen Hartman
    November 5, 2010 at 6:31 pm
    Reply

    Hi ChrissieSue,

    Glad to know things are going well with your writing. I had a very good time in that eHQ workshop last year. Maybe we’ll have a chance to do another sometime.

    I’m delighted you liked Bryan. I liked him a lot, too. 😉 Clare was more challenging, but I’m happy her turnaround worked for you! I had a good time writing the kids in that book.

    The hockey guys at work sound very cute! (And now we’ve circled back around to reason #1 again, haven’t we?)

    Thanks for stopping by,
    Ellen

  8. Ellen Hartman
    November 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm
    Reply

    Hi Kim,

    My agent and I were talking about that last night. I read romance for comfort and that’s part of why I write it, too. It feels good to get all the way through the emotional journey to the happily ever after moment. It’s a satisfying way to spend time, isn’t it? (Especially if I’m reading one of your books. You do the emotional lows so well which means your emotional highs are incredibly sweet.)

    Thanks for dropping by,
    Ellen

  9. Ellen Hartman
    November 5, 2010 at 6:37 pm
    Reply

    Hi Debra Anne,

    I started reading romance right around the same age as you. And I’m now in my early forties…pretty close! I started out reading Regencies, but then I read a Nora Roberts trilogy from Harlequin and branched out into contemporary. Once I read my first Kathleen O’Brien Superromance, I knew exactly what I wanted to write.

    Romance has kept me company all these years. It’s a good place to be.

    Cheers,
    Ellen

  10. Ellen Hartman
    November 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm
    Reply

    Hi Kris,

    Of course, the feather boas. (I believe the boas played a role in convincing me to enter my first contest. Which led me to my first contract. I never forget the boas.)

    I remember the first day Diana and I walked into a Central NY Romance Writers meeting. I had no idea the kinds of wonderful friends I’d make starting right then. The Glamorous Liverpool Public Library has been very good to me. 😉

    Cheers,
    Ellen

  11. Ellen Hartman
    November 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm
    Reply

    Hi Nina,

    “Satisfying” is a great way to describe a good romance, you’re right. I love it when I close a book and have that moment of “Ah, what a good story.” 🙂

    It’s even better when I close the book and immediately start planning which of my romance reading friends I’ll lend it to first!

    Cheers,
    Ellen

  12. Birgit Davis-Todd
    November 5, 2010 at 7:30 pm
    Reply

    Hi Ellen,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences this week. I’ve been a hockey mom too and still love the game. Our hockey themed stories have really resonated with readers–no surprise!

  13. Ellen Hartman
    November 5, 2010 at 7:42 pm
    Reply

    Hi Birgit,

    I was delighted to have the chance to participate. This has been a fantastic week. I’m afraid my RWA chapter may be getting sick of me sending them links to each new thing I find. I’ve got a few items bookmarked to explore further this weekend because I didn’t have time to get to everything.

    I loved writing my hockey dad. It’s such a great sport–very inspiring! 😉

    Thanks again for a great week,
    Ellen

  14. Jason Barret
    November 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm
    Reply

    Hi Ellen, I also write for most of the same reasons- well not #1. Most of all I agree with #4. I have had some of my best times and met my two best friends when I joined the Central New York Romance Writers group. Congratulations on all of your books and I’m looking forward to your next.

  15. Ellen Hartman
    November 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm
    Reply

    Jason!

    Hee. You’re always the outlier, aren’t you? Yep, #4 is one of the sweetest gifts, indeed.

    Congrats right back at you! Central NY RWA is amazing!

    Cheers,
    Ellen

  16. Jeannie Watt
    November 5, 2010 at 9:42 pm
    Reply

    Hi Ellen–I’m late to the party. (Darned day job.) Anyway, I happen to know that one reason you write is so that you can wear the tiara. I know that’s why I write…well, that and all the other reasons on your list. Excellent blog.

    I’d like to chime in and thank Birgit for such a great week, too!

  17. Ellen Hartman
    November 5, 2010 at 9:56 pm
    Reply

    Hi Jeannie,

    When Kris brought up the boas, I was going to mention the tiara. But then I thought boas AND the tiara might be too much. I guess the cat’s out of the bag now. 😉

    Just to be clear…while I do have a tiara, the boa is more a state of mind thing for me. (I can’t speak for Kris. It’s possible she has an actual boa.) Your tiara is quite cute.

    I know another reason you write. It’s to entertain me, right? (Thanks, by the way.)

    Cheers,
    Ellen

  18. Kelly
    November 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm
    Reply

    Thank you so much Congrats again!

Leave a reply