Keeping romance real. But how real?

I like my romance a bit gritty and realistic. There are no billionaires in my books or fantasies about perfect people. There is a full-figured heroine in one of the books in the upcoming Chess series (I find voluptuous women wildly sexy).

Some of my characters have special talents or abilities, and some of them are moderately wealthy and successful. But while I like my characters to be attractive, smart and witty, I like them, more than anything, to be real. Greg and Mark, in Still Waters and Chemistry respectively are cops, Maura is a chemist and Nell is a student. Ordinary, real occupations, for ordinary, real people. And the characters themselves are flawed, imperfect, and sometimes behave badly.

The question I ask myself when I'm writing is just how real the characters ought to be. This is romance after all. We want a happy ending, we want hot sex, and we want to be taken to a world different from the one which we occupy. So I try to tread the fine line between keeping my characters and their situations realistic, but not mundane.

I'd love to hear more from readers about what details they enjoy and which topics they don't. Just how real do you want your romance to be? Write to me at and share your thoughts.

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