Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Justine Dell Author of All-American Girl Talks Romance

Today, we have the lovely Justine Dell talking about romance. Enjoy!

JustineDellOne of my favorite things about romance novels: the build.

You’ve got two people who have some sort of attraction (or maybe they even hate each other!) and you have the plot that drives the story forward. Romance IS the building of the relationship between the hero and heroine. That’s where the fun is!

Two people just don’t see each other, fall in the sheets together, and then live happily ever after. Well, sometimes they do see each other and immediately fall in the sheets together, but that’s a topic for a different time.

How do you build a relationship? First, let’s learn about build:

   [bild]  Show IPA verb, built or ( Archaic )build·ed; build·ing; noun
verb (used with object)
to construct (especially something complex) by assemblingand joining parts or materials: to build a house.
to establish, increase, or strengthen (often followed by up ):to build a business; to build up one's hopes.
to mold, form, or create: to build boys into men.
to base; found: a relationship built on trust.

Ah…so it’s an author’s job to increase the attraction, strengthen the relationship, establish more than just that initial umph, if you will.

So now you put the characters together in the story, develop their relationship, build their foundation (and many more levels above them!).  It's an author’s job to construct this. Give the characters more than just that sexual attraction. Give them a common goal. Make them work together. Make them hate each other but still have to work together. JUST GET THEM TOGETHER. 

Maybe they’re star-crossed lovers thrown together in the middle of a family feud about a Fabergè egg. The man and woman meet at an auction for said egg. Both want it. They bid like crazy against each other, shooting each other stern looks and snarls. (All while thinking the other is cute…maybe). Then yank the egg from both of them with another ridiculously high bidder!

Now the man and woman come together with a common goal = get the egg back. Each still wants it for their family, but in the meantime they have to work together. During this working together, they get to know each other, get to know the problems between their families, develop a deeper attraction and respect. Learn. Grow. Okay, they end up in bed sometime and then get right back to their plans. All while the story is unfolding, the characters are talking, learning more about their lives, each other—I mean really getting to know each other. No matter what story they are in, no matter the plot, there has to be the build if their relationship. 

There’s a gazillion other ways to build a relationship and I’ve really only skimmed the surface here. The main point being: you have to take that initial attraction (or hate for that matter) and build it into a relationship. That relationship has to grow, change, develop into respect, longing, kindredship, and finally love. And all along the way the characters will face obstacles putting them closer (and farther away) from their goals. At the very end, everything comes together. The egg will end up in the right hands and boy and girl will end up together. Happily Ever After.

Are than any good stories you can think of that have a great building of a relationship between a man and a woman? Most teens would say Twilight here. ..but I still say that the first ten minutes of the Disney movie UP has a better romance. *snicker*


At the age of thirty, with two failed marriages and a tanking writing career, Samantha Moore deals with the world with the only tool she had left: anger. And she’s tired of it. When her grandmother's near-death sends her rushing back home to Vermont, she hopes for the chance to overcome the rage ruling her life.

Once she’s home, Lance Cummings becomes a constant source of indigestion. Lance is a single father who learned first-hand the devastating effects of a damaging relationship. He sees through Samantha’s nasty temper—straight to her cry for help. He wants to help her, but he also wants to know why Samantha ran from him—and their future—twelve years before.

Taking care of her Grams, dealing with an alcoholic brother, and getting Lance to remove his annoyingly attractive nose from her business is draining on Samantha. And she’s only got three weeks to finish her stagnated novel or her publisher will drop her. No pressure. To top it off, pretending to hate the man she actually loves makes each day in Vermont harder than the last. Especially when Lance turns up the heat.


Justine lives in the Midwest, happily catering to her family, which consists of a horse-obsessed teenage daughter, four dogs, and a husband who is too good to be true. She's never moved from her hometown, but hopes to grow old in a much warmer climate.

During the day she works a normal job with college students who try their best to keep her young. They've done a good job thus far. At night, said teenage daughter and her horse require mounds of love and attention. The weekends belong solely to her and her writing. That's when she morphs into a sticky bug, unable to leave the confines of her computer chair.

She started writing four years ago after seeing a movie that set off a chain reaction she couldn't have stopped if she'd wanted. It's not a hobby for her; it's an obsession. One she loves and one she loves to share. Her debut book, Recaptured Dreams and her newest release, All-American Girl, are available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever book are sold.


Because Justine is so awesome she's giving away an ecopy of All-AmericanGirl and an AAG postcard and Vermont Maple Candy. To enter, just leave a comment (with your email address) telling us why you like or don't like to read romances.

And if that's not a big enough prize, had over to Justine's blog to enter yet another giveaway!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

When Harry Met Sally - now that was a really slow build!

Justine Dell said...

Ha, Alex! Funny thing, that's one of my top 6 romances movies of all time!

Nick Wilford said...

I haven't tended to read many romances in the past, but I'm trying to be more open-minded! Definitely need that buildup of tension to help invest in the characters.

Justine Dell said...

Broaden your horizon, Nick and enjoy a good romance! :-)


Lorie said...

I love romance novels because I'm a sucker for a happily ever after. Plus, fictional boyfriends are always so better than the real thing. :)

Dawn Bush said...

I love reading romances...I get to escape into that world and live vicariously through my characters...love that!!

Dawn Bush said...

Forgot to leave my email address! Dawnbushemail@yahoo.com ...would love to read this!

Angela Brown said...

Oh yes, the build up in a romance can be quite the joy ride when reading a novel. The tension can be such a grand experience.

Mary Preston said...

Romance dares us to dream,