Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Post! Did you pop over from Raine Balkera’s blog?
This week’s topic: What is the theme in your novels, recurring or in one, that sends a message about an issue in society to help people? Was it developed by you intentionally, or did it evolve through the characters and plot?
After writing five novels and five novellas, I’ve noticed certain themes appear in my work time and time again, mostly in my romantic thrillers.
I often force characters to find their authentic selves. They can’t gain the title hero or heroine of a story if they haven’t grown comfortable with who they are as people by the end of their stories. They tend to begin as cardboard versions of either what they see about themselves or a facade that others push on that person. through self discovery and lots of hardship, they all emerge as the person they were meant to be. And they are stronger and more interesting because of it.
Alex from “Untrue Colors” leaves home because her father doesn’t accept her version of herself. Once she fully accepts herself and all her amazing abilities, she flourishes in the art world. Regrettably, she needed to leave behind the people who would not allow her to expand into who she was capable of becoming.
Cassie from “True Deceptions,” on the other hand, has a certain image of herself that she’s fearful of changing. She’s conservative and timid and is easily manipulated. This is her image of herself at the beginning…
She wasn’t a threat to anyone. Even after months of intense training at a gun range, she still hesitated to shoot at inanimate objects and hadn’t developed the calm, cool demeanor necessary in undercover work. She acted like a spacey, schoolgirl from Southern California. No wonder he’d shown her no respect.
Time and circumstances, however, force her out of her boundaries. Once free, her true colors emerge. She rises up to challenges that her old self would never have handled.
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” He reached to take the phone away from her.
“Can you disarm a drone packed with explosives and acid with a computer program that will cease to exist if you make one faulty keystroke?”
“No,” he growled.
“Then I have no need for you right now. Go check the motorcycle.”
Another theme that resonates through my writing is sexual consent. I will not allow an Alpha hero keep that title if he does not receive clear consent with a sexual partner. There are too many people today who feel they are obligated to give in to a partner when they in fact have the final word in saying yes or no. I don’t want to add to the confusion. ‘No’ means ‘no’ and a person should work damn hard to hear a ‘yes’ especially with a person they have never been with.
And on that note….Head over to see what J.J. Devine thinks on this subject!