Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Last Way Station" Mega Virtual Book Tour and Giveway- Featured Authors, Melissa Smith and Lynn Hubbard

  Two Romance Authors Dish ... on Romance Writing

What's this "romance" thing about, anyway? Sex or love? Vampires or Six-shooters? Busty heroines or lusty heroes? What drives authors to write romance novels? What's the difference between a "good" romance novel a "great" one?

Join romance writers Lynn Hubbard and Melissa Smith, featured authors in "The Last Way Station" Mega Book Tour, as they discuss and explore these topics and more, shedding light on the story behind their romance novels.

Then, visit our tour site and enter your name in our Mega Book Tour Sweepstakes. Grand prize: a Kindle Fire!

Release Notes is thrilled to feature The Mega Virtual Book Tour.  Today features an interview with Romance authors Melissa  Smith and Lynn Hubbard.  Melissa's novel "Cloud Nine" is availalbe at smashwords.  Along with her interview, Melissa has been thoughtful enough to offer a FREE copy of her novel!  Lynn's novel "Run Into The Wind" is also available.  Take time to read the interview then make sure to visit the website to see other stops and make sure to visit those blogs to earn chances to win great prizes and purchase new reads!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. What, in your opinion, makes a novel a "romance" novel?

Lynn Hubbard: A romance Novel must contain a well developed story line, dimensional characters and sex. The level of sex is negotiable. I get very detailed with my descriptions, but it’s not raunchy.

Melissa Smith: The development of love between two people/beings. Their ability to choose to be together and to fight for it to happen.

2. What are the major categories of "romance" novels and where do your novels generally fit in?

Run into the Wind takes you back in time to when women were tough and men were hot!

Lynn Hubbard: Good Question! Books do cross over genres, and I like books that allow more than one. I write historical romances, they could also be included as a western, and some of mine, lean towards “Erotic”.

Melissa Smith: The major subcategories, as of late, and in my opinion, are Chick lit and Paranormal. My novels fit into the paranormal romance, as they have elements of the super natural in them.

3. Why do you write in the "romance" genre? Do you write in it exclusively? And what's its appeal for you?

Melissa Smith: While I didn’t start out intending to write romance, that’s where the story led me. It just came so easy that I guess you could say it was meant to be :)

What if you have a guardian angel you don't believe you need? And what if it wants you removed?

4. What, in your opinion, is the most exciting trend in romance novel writing today?

Lynn Hubbard: Paranormal romance is big but I love history, and love melding romance with history.

Melissa Smith: Again, I would have to say the paranormal. Because when a reader picks up a book, they want to disappear into another world/realm. And what better way to do that than with the paranormal! We, as authors, can create a whole world from scratch or take our own world off on a different tangent.

5. What do you think are the critical elements that make a good romance novel a great one?

Lynn Hubbard. For me, I like when the hero and or heroine stand up for their beliefs and/or love no matter what. I despise books where women/men can’t make up their minds or lie and deceive each other. I want a happy ending!

Melissa Smith: The ability to make the reader staring at the last sentence wanting to read more. I know that my own favorite authors have that ability to make me wish the story had gone on. So much so, that I end up re-reading it so I can again live in that world for a little longer.

6. What has happened to the traditional "bodice-ripper" tales? What made them so popular and how many of the romance novels written today still fall into that category? Do yours?

Lynn Hubbard. I read bodice rippers in high school. In my novels the women are more likely to rip the men’s clothes off. My ladies are strong willed and will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Melissa Smith: Ya know, I'm not sure what happened to those types of novels. I'm sure, in some degree, they're still being written and read, just not by me. My novels don't fall into that category at all. My stories are what you would call "closed door", as in all the sex scenes are left up to the reader to fill in the blanks.

7. Who is your audience, in terms of demographics, and how has this changed in recent years?

Lynn Hubbard. Mostly women, I have a lot of “female” humor in my books than men just don’t get. As far as ages 18+ (I hope!) to about 95.

Melissa Smith: My target audience is anyone from about sixteen and up. I write for everyone, again it wasn’t something I set out to do, it just happened that way and I have to say I like the direction my writing has taken me. And as I've only been activly writing now for a year, I still have time to grow :)

8. What are your readers looking for in a story?

Lynn Hubbard: An escape from everyday life. A peek back to “simpler” times, strong characters and great sex scenes.

Melissa Smith: I hope they're looking for what I've penned down. ;)

9. How do you think romance novel readers differ from other readers, in the way they relate to authors?

Lynn Hubbard. Romance readers are very loyal. I have many fans that have read all of my books and beg for more.

Melissa Smith: I guess it's in the ability to want the same thing. You choose an author based on what you want as a reader. And as a reader, you feel you can relate to them because of the story they've given you.

10. In what ways, if any, are you trying to challenge, expand, twist or enrich the "romance" genre? How is it working for you?

Lynn Hubbard: I’ve been told that there aren’t many new western romance writers, and they were glad I was awaking the west. Of course writing historical romances is very time consuming, much research is involved so not only do you have to create a story, but you have to make sure it is accurate.

Melissa Smith: Ha! I hope I'm attempting to do these things! I do try to create a story that hasn't been told before, or to give an old story line a new twist by adding some foreign concept to the mix. Again, I do try :)

11. What's your "formula" for writing/structuring romance novels, and how closely do you stick to it?

Lynn Hubbard: I don’t have a formula I just write whatever I feel like writing, whatever twists or turns occur are a complete surprise. My last book a character died suddenly and I cried for three days I was so upset. My fans cried as well, I guess that’s how you know you’re doing it right. When even a minor character is real enough to grieve over.

Melissa Smith: I write out the main plot in only a few sentences so as not to corner myself. I then write out a very loose outline that I only use as a guideline. Sometimes there are things I wrote down that I end up not using and adding things to it that end up working better.

12. What's more important in the appeal of a romance novel? The heroine the leading man or the villain?

Lynn Hubbard: The heroine, I always come up with the heroine first and I build a world around her.

Melissa Smith: I have to say it’s the heroine. I want to read of a strong woman who can show she needs and wants her hero. I don’t want my heroine to be so strong that it becomes almost an impossible stretch for the two lead characters to come together.

13. Who do you think is the best romance writer living today, yourself excluded. And why?

Lynn Hubbard. I love Kay Hooper, most people probably would not consider her a “Romance” author, but I love her books. She has a series about a psychic FBI team and in each book a couple meets and falls in love.

Melissa Smith: Without a doubt, it's Lynn Kurland. I absolutely love her work! All of it. I've yet to read anything from her that I didn’t want to re-read!

Thank you both for an interesting discussion!

About the Authors
Lynn Hubbard, author of Run into the Wind: " I'm a dreamer. I started writing to share my dreams with others. I hope you enjoy them!"

Melissa Smith, author of Cloud Nine: "I am a wife and mother with two teenaged sons. We live in the Midwest, in a house that’s over one hundred years old. During the day I work as a Preschool ParaEducator and at night, I come home, where I dive into my other worlds!"

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