Ah, romance: An appraising look, definite attraction, hearts beating faster when they touch….and then suddenly in love. Hmm, that sounds a bit…interruptus, no? Where are the lingering feelings, the many touches, that delightful stage between just-met and in-love where the couple can’t stop thinking of each other and find themselves smiling for no reason? I didn’t have the answer.
All of my m/f romance sub-plots seemed shoved to the side, hidden behind all the action and politics and general stabbiness in my stories. I write fantasy, science fiction, and horror. I didn’t have time for romance. There were creatures to fight, morals to be greyed out, limits to stretch. Who had time for kissing scenes?
And then, well, I sort of tripped and wrote a lesbian romance. M/F romances are fine, nothing wrong with them. I quite enjoy them when I encounter them in spec fic. But I felt like I had done them, lived them. I wanted to explore something new, and my new ladies in love practically jumped out of my head and demanded to be heard.
I knew Katya and Starbride, the protagonists of The Pyramid Waltz, would be lovers from the very first time I conceived of them. I just had to get them there. When I started writing their fantasy novel full of action and stabby politics, I fully expected to gloss over their relationship. Maybe I would write them as a couple from the beginning of the story, past the nervous-belly stage and into the mature, love-before-bed stage.
But then I found I didn’t want to fast-forward them. I wanted to linger over every glance, every thought, every touch. I wanted to explore what was, for me, the unexplored. I wanted to write a fully-realized romance that shares main-plot duty with all the stabbing. I had two women in love, and I couldn’t just get over that love. I wanted to savor it as much as they did.
Does that sound dirty? Good.
Writing this book has made me rethink romantic interludes as a whole. I enjoy writing about relationships, romantic or otherwise, and people enjoy reading about them. From this point on, I think my m/f romances will be more fully developed, more like Katya’s and Starbride’s, or like an m/m subplot I once wrote in a science fiction piece. Hmm, maybe I’ll dig that out of the drawer instead.
Whatever gets everyone’s motor running. ^_^
The Pyramid Waltz
To most, Princess Katya Nar Umbriel is a rogue and a layabout; she parties, she hunts and she breaks women’s hearts. But when the festival lights go down and the palace slumbers, Katya chases traitors to the crown and protects the kingdom’s greatest secret: the royal Umbriels are part Fiend. When Katya thwarts an attempt to expose the king’s monstrous side, she uncovers a plot to let the Fiends out to play.
Starbride has no interest in being a courtier. Ignoring her mother’s order to snare an influential spouse, she comes to court only to study law. But a flirtatious rake of a princess proves hard to resist, and Starbride is pulled into a world of secrets that leaves little room for honesty or love, a world neither woman may survive.
The Pyramid Waltz is available in print or e-book form from Bold Strokes Books.
Bio: Barbara Ann Wright fantasy and science fiction novels and short stories when not adding to her enormous book collection or ranting on her blog http://barbaraannwright.wordpress.com/. Her short fiction has appeared twice in Crossed Genres Magazine and once made Tangent Online’s recommended reading list. She is a member of Broad Universe and the Outer Alliance and helped create Writer’s Ink in Houston. The Pyramid Waltz is her first novel.