A flawed woman picking up the pieces and facing her fears. In elementary school, I picked up Some Nerve, by Jane Heller, from the library. It was my first romance novel. Real-life issues in romance have become heavier. With the inclusion of diversity, many romantic comedies now revolve around topics of identity, culture, immigration, religion, and medical diagnosis. Notably, these themes reflect the realities of the people who write them. IndieBound | Amazon (Reader’s Digest uses affiliate links).

No one can tell a story better than the person who lived it, which makes it stronger. In Helen Hoang’s debut novel, Ties That Tether, the hero brings light to the severe and irreparable head injuries players often endure, while the heroine highlights the workplace harassment women often experience. The topic of love in this book is related to an autistic woman trying to navigate her way around love. I found that being vulnerable is key to making the story strong.

It made the exploration of my characters and the themes within my book stronger and more candid. In Roomies, by Christina Lauren, the heroine introduces her uncle by marriage, a gay Ghanaian man who immigrated to America in his youth to study music. The book takes place in New York City and explores real-life issues it can also explore. (Jane Igharo: Exploring Romance Through the Lens of an Immigrant Caught Between Her Culture and Her Heart.) “I dug up my

Rom-coms can accomplish a lot more than we give them credit for. This workshop will help you to understand those specific factors that make up the specialized world of romantic fiction. Click on Continue to continue. The workshop concludes with an overview of the key elements of romance writing.

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