Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guest Blogger - Karenna Colcroft

Moving On—With Kids

One thing readers don’t always see in romances, especially erotic romance, is the single parent who is moving on after a divorce or losing their partner. In part, that’s probably because a romance is supposed to be about a couple meeting and forming a life together, and some readers—and publishers—don’t want to read about the kids. In one of my earlier novellas, Beginner’s Luck (Pink Petal Books 2009), the heroine is divorced and has two children from her first marriage. More than one reviewer commented that since the book was billed as an erotic romance, the fact that the heroine had kids, even though the kids had nothing to do with any of the erotic scenes and didn’t even appear in the majority of the book, squicked them.

Beginner’s Luck was partly based on my then-boyfriend (now husband) and me, and the fact was that I had two kids from my first marriage. I couldn’t write the story without including the heroine’s kids. Believe me, I tried.

While I do understand the logic in not having kids be part of a romance story, I don’t necessarily agree with it. I’m far from the only woman who’s left a bad marriage and has spent time looking for and finally finding her soul mate. It’s nice to read about characters who don’t have any obligations or baggage, but sometimes I’d like to read about someone like me.

My newest release from Pink Petal Books, Help Around the House, is also about a single mother who finds new love. Jodie’s husband passed away two years ago, and since then she has come to depend on her next-door neighbor Todd. Jodie has two young children, and as she and Todd form a relationship she has to weigh what they want with what her children need. While the children don’t appear in a large portion of the story, they are an integral part of it.

I think there is a place in romance for single mothers and fathers to be heroines and heroes, and in those stories, their children would play at least a tiny role. Personally, I don’t see that as a problem. It happens in real life; why not in fiction?

I’m interested in your opinions, readers. Would you read a romance story where kids appear as minor characters (no pun intended)? Or do you think romances shouldn’t include single parents, or at least shouldn’t include those parents’ kids? One commenter will be drawn for a PDF copy of their choice of Beginner’s Luck or Help Around the House.

Beginner’s Luck and Help Around the House are both available from Pink Petal Books http://pinkpetalbooks.com. Find out more about Karenna and her books on her website, http://www.karennacolcroft.com