Love sells (according to Barbara Taylor Bradford) but that’s not reason enough to include it in a novel. There can be nothing worse than gratuitous romance, it’s like adding extra salt to a gourmet meal. Romance should be integral and essential to a plot, otherwise, however hard you try, chances are it’ll come out as lame and shrivelled as a deflated heart balloon.
Admittedly, nearly every story I’ve ever conceived (unless it’s for the under-5s) has had some element of the love-ly stuff within it. I blame that partly on growing up chasing the passion of my literary favourites, most notably Heathcliff, whose words can still get my pulse rocketing, ‘If he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn’t love as much in eighty years as I could in a day….’
And simply, just wanting to be Baby: ‘I’m scared of walking out of this room…
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