I hope everybody has a fun Valentine's Day this year and receives a lot of cards, or otherwise has a special time with their loved ones.
For me romance has always been an important part of my life, and as a result a big influence with the stories I write. Back in high school we had an assignment in the final year for Dutch to pick a theme for six novels that we had to read, and then give a comparison between the novels and how the plots evolved.
I selected 'Romantic stories with a dramatic ending', and read several Dutch classics as well as several modern stories. I really loved the assignment and did a lot more than I was supposed to do. When I finally gave my presentation to the teacher I ended up scoring a 9, which is comparable to an A in American classes. It was the highest grade I ever scored for Dutch, and when I think back of it, I think that my love for writing started with those assignments, even if I didn't realize it back then.
I've only been writing for three years now, but the novels I read back then still have their impact on my writing today. Love and drama go hand-in-hand for a good story, or better said, for a realistic love affair. The typical fairytale romance, though cute, is far from realistic and in real life people often go through various difficult times. The beauty of those difficult times is that it can really strengthen a bond between partners, but at the same time there is the ugly side where it can break their relationship.
Another big inspiration for my romance novels are my grandparents. They were married for almost sixty-one years when my grandmother died, and still very much in love even though they were eighty-nine years old. They were a rare example of how true love lasts and persists, even when my grandmother got Alzheimer and had a lot of trouble to remember things. It was amazing to see how they acted with each other when she was still alive. To give an example, my grandmother would still tug my grandfather into bed every evening, despite her own advanced age.
I know that if I only get half of such a love life that I'll be a very happy man.
To celebrate Valentine's Day and due to the special meaning that romance has for me, I'm giving a 50% discount on my romance novel A Little Help. When you use coupon code EA37G you get the discount immediately. This offer expires on February 16 though.
I hope you all have a great and romantic day!