Why I Write Romance Novels

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Separation.

My friend Jean has just said something that made me weep. Hard.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

She didn’t mean to cause me pain, and I certainly didn’t take it that way. It just struck me rather hard and made me realize something  about why I write romances novels, or at least, why I put such strong  romantic subplots in my thrillers and mysteries.

What she did was answer an email where I told her about a couple of visions that keep coming up whenever I meditate and how one  in particular is changing slowly, progressing one very gradual step at a time. She’s familiar with various things in my past and how these visions affect me.

In some of these visions, I am in the body of the man who is with me at a particularly loving moment. I don’t see his face—though  looking down, I can tell that he has really nice, muscular arms and beautifully sculpted hands. The most striking thing is not the physical sensations I feel that are his, ones I as a woman have never felt, but the deep and quiet love he feels for me. Just under the surface. Hidden from  anyone else. Except from me. I am always so moved by this vision when it appears. I have never felt someone else’s emotions from the inside.

In other visions, there is a sense of a man coming to me in the darkness and wrapping his arms around me in a way that is so intimate and asking to be nurtured as he presses his cheek to my heart and closes his eyes and lets me wrap my arms around his shoulders and assure him I will never hurt him. It is incredibly tender and  beautiful—and striking, too, because his gestures,  his  movements,  his  posture…it’s  not  coming  from me…there’s a newness to it that comes from elsewhere…as if it’s the newness of experience of being with someone I’ve never touched.

And in other visions, the most recent ones, there are moments when he takes my hand and kisses my knuckles and then the center of my palm where my fate line meets my head and heart lines, and then he presses the back of my hand to his cheek and simply looks into my eyes. I can’t really see his face… just the sense of it.

You’d think these are gestures I put in my romance novels but what is coming in these visions are things I’ve never written about, and I don’t think I’ve ever dreamed about. Things I’ve never incorporated in my books as being physically possible or even probable from a romantic hero.  Things that happen only in stories and not in real life. Things that to me never existed and don’t exist outside the mind of a romance writer be- cause they have never been part of my own experience with a man.

I’m a hopeless romantic who has never experienced the things  I now see in my meditations and never really even knew they existed until  I told a couple of female friends who were like, “Well, yeah…of course.”

And so Jean wishes me a happy new year with the words, “Well, here’s to you being on the receiving end of all that romantic  tenderness….I’m still astonished that you’ve not had the chance to experience it.”

So I guess maybe that’s why I’m a romance writer. So I can  experience those kinds of romantic tenderness that have always been so very longed for but that have eluded me on the “real,” flesh-and-blood plane.