It should come as no surprise however, that Myren, my chauffeur, is on “Team Fairytale”. He says small town romances remind him of Disneyland–all shiny and pretty on the surface, and nothing but an illusion once you look behind the curtain.
So I said to Myren, “Quit looking behind the curtain.” I mean after all, why bother reading a novel if you’re looking behind the curtain to see what’s there?
What it comes down to is this: [Stephanie Queen Wisdom coming up] it’s a matter of being authentic rather than being real. It’s a matter of capturing the magic moments from life and blowing them up into a proportion that you can wrap your arms around and enjoy for a few hours as you read the story. The moments are real. Everyone has some in their life. The settings are ordinary and authentic. We all know a town with a charming Main Street that looks picture perfect at least sometimes.
The kind of magic moments that happen in small towns romances are particularly charming and have a tendency to make this reader very wistful. Because we could imagine being there, imagine that moment from our own life maybe. That first kiss with a guy you’ve admired from afar for months. Or the moment a special man proposed to you at the town fireworks display and you actually saw the explosions of color in the sky. Ordinary authentic moments.
We can look back or forward at our own lives to see moments like those in small town romance novels. Unlike a romantic suspense where most of us don’t have magical moments from our lives about capturing bad guys at gunpoint or being rescued by a super spy. [I’m on the record saying now that I’ve never been shot at.] The feeling I get from the larger than life stories is more like an escape into someone else’s life than wistfully remembering or imagining a snippet of our own.
That’s why I love writing small town romance novels–you know, the kind set on Main Street. Writing these lets me explore those wisps of time where the stars aligned and things were wonderful, and then expand on them. Writing these stories lets me re-imagine my world with some minor adjustments to make things exactly right. You know–the kind of world where the characters say the things you wish you could have said when you were there in that situation–when you were tongue-tied.
In my small town story world, things work out, at least for that magical moment in time, perfectly. Until the next story starts with a new journey to the next moment of magical perfection.
You can read my latest story about Tammy from the small town of Hamlin who is wary of a charming guy from out of town. It’s a classic tale of a small town girl being swept away by the irresistible force of the forbidden stranger. Small Town Hot Shot Bride is available now in the Authors of Main Street Boxed set Love Blooms on Main Street.