Wednesday, January 21, 2009
IMHO: As previously announced, over the next four weeks until Valentine’s Day, I’ll have guest hosts writing on the theme of “What Romance Means to Me.” Each author will put one of her books in our Romance Roundup Gift Basket, and at the end of the contest period, one lucky person will win all TEN autographed books. Comment on at least two author’s posts during the period, and you could be the winner! How is that for a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift? For details, go to my contest page.
Let’s kick off our first post. We'll be starting with Colleen Thompson today, as Susan Squires' post has been unexpectedly delayed. From the historical novels that began her writing journey (written as Gwyneth Atlee and Colleen Easton) to the riveting romantic suspense that has become her trademark, Colleen Thompson writes stories that show us that sometimes, love can kill.
In 2004, Colleen Thompson's first romantic thriller, Fatal Error, launched Dorchester Publishing's new line of fast-paced, steamy romantic suspense. The book was nominated for the RITA Award for Best Romantic Suspense and won the Texas Gold for Best Mainstream Fiction. Colleen has over fourteen books to her credit, with number fifteen, BENEATH BONE LAKE, due out in June 2009. Now residing in the Houston area with her husband and son, Colleen works with children in addition to her writing and speaking. She also happens to be my terrific critique partner. Colleen will put a signed copy of her romantic thriller THE SALT MAIDEN into the Romance Roundup Gift Basket.
Welcome, Colleen, and tell us what romance means to you.
Colleen Thompson on Romance
CT: Thanks, TJ!
After the initial courtship, romance -- at least in my case -- is not so much about the grand gesture as it is the little, day-to-day things. When my husband brings me tea and the newspaper in bed on Sunday morning, when he comes home from a 10-hour work day and cooks a meal because he knows I'm tired (or, lately, because my left arm is broken and it’s a real pain to handle food), or comes with me on a research trip for my latest book, I know I'm being romanced. When he listens with interest as I talk about my day or describe some problem I'm having, or when he cleans up some disaster the dogs have dragged inside the house, I definitely feel moved to help make his life easier as well and to do special things to make him feel valued.
But from time to time, the grand gesture is still appreciated. It's lovely to find out he still remembers to show up with flowers or take me out to a nice dinner and a show, and he's just as pleased when I arrange surprises, special moments to punctuate the long span of our shared lives, to underscore the fact that neither one of us takes it for granted. That we realize our time on this plane and in this place is limited, as is everyone's, and that makes it all the more precious.
Married romance isn’t often commemorated in art, books, or movies; most people find it too humdrum to be of interest. Which is exactly why we need to celebrate it in our real lives, as I did when I wrote the poem below for my husband years ago.
I’m normally very private about my poetry, but I’ll share this one on one condition: that some of you share with me your favorite romantic gesture, either one you’ve given or received.
I LEARNED OF DISTANT SUNS ONCE
I learned of distant suns once,
most of whom are paired.
do they circle warily,
always careful to avoid intrusions
into each other's prominence,
or, like us,
do they orbit in content companionship?
No flares between us any longer,
no supernovas yet,
no cosmic cataclysms
foreseen on the horizon.
Just a long, bright double orbit --
for this stretch of forever --
to wonder at,
that this solar system's bachelor sun
has never known the like.
- Colleen Thompson
IMHO: What a lovely poem, Colleen. Your hubby is very lucky to have you, as are you to have him. Thanks for stopping by. So, folks, are you prepared to share your favorite romantic gesture with Colleen?