My Romance Tilts Your Axis with Fantasy; My Fantasy Probably Has Too Much Romance

Gosh. I have writer problems. I fit less neatly into boxes than readers like. I can’t seem to control my need to blend these two genres. My fiction is almost as messy as real life. *wink*

I love romance and read a lot of romance; the structure is very pleasing to my writer brain, but I ALWAYS have to challenge myself. I love world building and fantasy romance seems to be where I’ve fallen in over time. I have written some contemporary and historical under other names, but don’t like either as much, for various reasons.

Fantasy is a huge playground and I love the sparks that fly when romance and fantasy both hit the plot hard. My books are fast paced, fun, adventurous. Story arcs that unfold over many books, with complete romances in each book. That structure is very fun for me, to plot and to write. Each couple plays their part in a drama that stretches over the whole series. I have a complete cast of characters to work with, many of whom will appear in multiple books; my romances include surprise and twists of the fantasy elements. They don’t fit the conventional formula.

But they do make me happy. *evil grin*

In fantasy, I can’t seem to write a plot that doesn’t include an element of romance! I have tried. In short stories I can easily pull off a fun story without kissing or love triangles or anything of that nature; but the romance element always creeps back into longer works. I try to tell myself this is the way with many of my long-time favorite fantasy writers, including Juliet Marillier and Jacqueline Carey. My storytelling roots are showing up here. However, my fantasy books don’t follow any romance formula in terms of the resolution of the plot. I do not feel compelled to include a happily-ever-after ending for fantasy books. I go where the story goes. I write an ending that satisfies me, but isn’t going to satisfy romance readers who need that HEA. Like I said up top, I don’t fit easily into either box. I just love stories and all of mine seem to include fantasy AND at least a little romance.

Okay, confession time. I love soap operas. One in particular. General Hospital. I started sneaking that show at the age of 12, any time my mother wasn’t around. I still catch up with an episode or two a month, just to stay in the character’s lives. That’s right…I’ve known many of them their entire fictional lives. That’s ridiculous to say, but I want to know what’s up with them. I love this about series. Catching up with characters through cameo appearances, seeing old characters come back and meet the love of their life — this is what’s always been fun about romance series for me, starting with Jude Deveroux books way back when.

I have a long history of obsessively following characters. I like series where characters show up again. I also have a love of cozy mysteries, and I think it’s for the same reason. I’ve recently returned to a wonderful series I read a decade ago by another favorite, Yasmine Galenorn. This is her Chintz & China series about a witch running a tea and china shop who ends up solving mysteries. Guys…I could read these all day. Every day. It’s as much about the secondary characters as the main character. It’s about the whole place, the ambiance, the desire to catch up with old friends and see them find their happiness.

I’m cool with this. I’m going where it takes me, even if that’s a blend of two genres I love into…whatever it is that I do. Right now I’m having fun with a new fantasy romance series, but as I’m only drafting book one, I’m not saying more than that right now.

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you’re in the states, and many blessings to you and yours if you’re outside the U.S.

About J.R. Pearse Nelson

J.R. Pearse Nelson is a native Oregonian, residing in the beautiful Portland area. She lives with her husband, two small daughters and the family dog. J.R. is always searching for the magic in our world. She weaves tales rooted in mythology, bringing legend to life in modern-day and fantasy settings. J.R. is the author of the Children of the Sidhe paranormal romance series, the Foulweather Twins fantasy series, and the Water Rites fantasy series. You can connect with J.R. online at her website. Visit