How I Managed My Unwieldy Small Town Romance
I think it’s pretty safe to say that small town romances have become somewhat of a thing. You’d better prepare yourself for a fight if you want to convince some readers that they can’t stop in for a meal at Preacher’s bar in Virgin River or that they can’t get an ice cream cone on the boardwalk over in Lucky Harbor. Lovers of Robyn Carr and Jill Shalvis will know just what I’m talking about. Romance readers (myself included) have fallen in love with the sometimes quirky, often unique, and always entertaining small towns that have become so popular in today’s contemporary romances.
As someone who grew up in a town of about two thousand people with zero stoplights (heck, we only have a few stop signs), I figured I would eventually write my own small town romance. Even though I absolutely love the big city, I have always been and will continue to be a small-town girl at heart. When I set out to create the fictional town my characters would call home, I knew I wanted to put in a dash of my real small town to add authenticity to the stories. But what makes it even better is that I was able to change some of the things I don’t particularly like about my hometown, creating the perfect fictional haven. Seriously, I would live there if I could.
What I didn’t know is that the three-book series would blossom into six-books and counting, or that even with those extra stories it still wouldn’t be enough to contain it. You see, even though Gauthier, Louisiana, the fictional setting of my Bayou Dreams series with Harlequin’s Kimani Romance line, is your traditional small town, it has a BIG personality and has become as much a character in the series as the heroes and heroines. In fact, things became some unwieldy that it required me to take drastic measures.
In A Forever Kind of Love, the first book in the Bayou Dreams series, the town of Maplesville is presented as somewhat of a villain, but I realized that it had just as much personality as Gauthier, and it too was brimming with stories to tell. With my Moments in Maplesville novella series, readers can now get a glimpse of what’s happening to their favorite characters over in Gauthier while falling in love with the town they were first taught to hate. Pretty cool, huh?
What are some of your favorite small town romances?
So how about it? Farrah and I want to know! Do you read small town romances? Are you a fan of them? Are you a small town gal (or guy?)