Thursday, April 5, 2018

Why I Write Category Romances By Margaret Daley

Why I write category romancesBy Margaret Daley

I have been writing for Love Inspired lines since 2000 and have enjoyed creating  Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense books. Writing for a category inspirational romance publisher has challenged me and helped me to grow as a writer.

What have I learned writing category romances? I’ve learned first and foremost how to tell a story in a concise way. I had to learn to pick and choose what was important to tell the reader, which isn’t always that easy to see, especially when you are so close to the story. What we should do is introduce the hero and heroine and let the reader get a sense of who the protagonists are in the present before we flood them with their back story (and actually a writer should never “flood” the reader with the back story but sprinkle it in throughout). 
But often as a writer we want to jump in and explain everything at the beginning so the reader will “understand.” That was the way it was done when I first started writing years ago. We often took a chapter or so to let the readers discover who the main characters were before we really introduce the conflicts between them. Not anymore—which leads me to another reason I write for category.

I have learned (still learning) to tell a fast paced story that will keep today’s reader turning the page. Nothing is better than receiving a note from a reader telling me that I kept them up all night reading my book. That is one of the highest honors I could receive from a reader. Up until recently I taught at a high school. I discovered that the teens I worked with thought most of the classic novels were boring. When I studied those novels, I could see their point. It took quite a while to get into the story. The books were wordy and the authors often padded the basic story. I wanted these students to learn to love reading as I do so I looked at books that told a compelling story that was fast paced. That is what they read and I saw some good results. Remember, these same teens are used to a story being told in an hour on a television show. If the show didn’t grab their attention, they used the remote and moved on to another show. A category story requires an author to tell a story quickly (or should), to choose her words carefully. There is little room for unnecessary information in the stories. These stories are fast reads that can often be read in one sitting.

In a category romance there is always a happy ending (which is another reason I read and write category stories—I love a happy ending), but the story is in how the characters get there. Millions of people read category romances and keep coming back. They like the idea of a happy ending. That’s one of the reasons they keep reading them, but what intrigues them is how the author gets the hero and heroine together—the conflicts, the type of characters portrayed, and in my line, what part their faith plays in their lives. So when people pick up a category romance, they know how the book will end but not how they will get there.

I’ve been blessed to have the best of both worlds. I get to write a romance story and a romantic suspense by writing for Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense books. I love to write an emotional story but also a story with a mystery and suspense element (not to mention a faith element). After reading one of these, you walk away with hope for love and a relationship with the opposite sex.  Hope is so important in this world and that’s really why I write inspirational category romances and romantic suspense books.

I have a new release, Texas Ranger Showdown. This is the 3rd book in my Lone Star Justice series.Blurb: Stop me.” She was taunted by a killer.Margaret Daley’s thrilling Lone Star Justice series continues, this time pitting radio therapist Dr. Caitlyn Rhodes against a methodical murderer. First, her patients are found dead, then the mocking phone calls start. The evidence is pointing Texas Ranger Ian Pierce to one conclusion: he must protect Caitlyn from becoming this vicious killer’s next victim…before he loses the woman he once loved—for good.
Buy links: Amazon, Barnes and NobleAppleKobo and Google Play.


  1. That's just why I love writing category romances, as well. It's such a joy to bring my characters to their happily ever afters.

  2. Wonderfully said Margaret. Your book sounds intriguing and I love the cover. Very Texas.

  3. I always laugh when I read that Texas is the number once choice for romance settings (at least in category romance). Yet, I always feel like I'm coming home when I read a Texas romance. Yours looks great.

    1. Texas has a lot of different possibilities for a story.

  4. Well said, Margaret! Working on another Texas Love Inspired right now--and each one is a learning experience as I (hopefully) improve my skills at pacing and character development.

  5. You nailed it, Margaret! Writers who have no experience with category romance have no idea what it requires.

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