December 14th, 2019
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Julia Justiss | It's All About The Passion


What is it that draws readers to romance fiction, keeps them coming back to favorite books and authors again and again, year after year?

Whether readers prefer their romance sweet or steamy, I think what we all look for is the passion, that heady sense of falling in love and finding a perfect soul mate. If we have been lucky enough to discover this in our own lives, we love to revisit the magic; if we haven’t yet encountered our own Prince Charming, we sigh over stories of heroines who do, stories that renew our hope that we, too, will find our Happy Ending.

So what could be better (or at least as good) as that wonderful story with its satisfying ending? How about attending a conference of more than 2000 writers whose business it is to craft those stories every day? How about being able to rub shoulders with some of the best and most successful authors in the business, like New York Times Bestseller Debbie Maccomber and Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jo Beverley and Christie Ridgeway and Barbara Samuels, to name just a few. Talking plot and story line and characters with debut authors like Jeannie Linn, whose award-winning historical set in the Ching Dynasty, BUTTERFLY SWORDS, will appear this October. Chatting with writers eager to break into publishing, who are bubbling over with enthusiasm about the projects they want to pitch to an editor or agent.

How about attending events sponsored by publishers like Harlequin, Avon, Berkeley, Grand Central, and Sourcebooks at which thousands of books are signed by their authors and given away for free? Going to seminars that analyze plotting, character development, theme, crime scene analysis or street-fighting techniques?

Last week’s Romance Writers of America convention in Orlando, Florida was a reader and writer’s dream come true. As a reader, I can’t resist the chance to pick up new books by favorite authors and to discover new authors I have never before read. As a writer, I can’t imagine anything more stimulating than being able to spend almost five days talking about crafting stories.

This year, I also got to participate in a workshop about historical dress. I modeled my Regency gown (complete with shawl, slippers, reticule, gloves and fan) and spoke for a few minutes about what a well- dressed Regency lady, like Lady Honoria Carlow, the heroine of my August Regency historical THE SMUGGLER AND THE SOCIETY BRIDE, might have been wearing the night of her scandalous disgrace.

I got to speak with Linda Fildew, senior editor of Harlequin Historicals, about my upcoming projects— and discovered my January release will be entitled A MOST DISREPUTABLE GENTLEMAN (which I absolutely love and totally fits the story.)

All those who attended--writers, editors, agents, publishers—are passionate about the stories they tell. Passionate about the romance genre, which celebrates the most important truth and the most fulfilling aspect of human life, that intimate connection we make with one special person.

I always return from conference charged up to resume writing, eagerly anticipating authors’ upcoming books, and excited to be part of one of the most important, profitable and enduring segments of the publishing industry.

Which prompts me to ask: what aspect of a romance novel are you most passionate about? Falling in love with the sexy hero? Identifying with the valiant heroine? Imagining yourself in the far future or the Regency past? Experiencing the thrill of watching the characters overcome adversity to find their Happily Ever After? Tell, tell!

Two responders will receive copies of my August release, THE SMUGGLER AND THE SOCIETY BRIDE.




47 comments posted.

Re: Julia Justiss | It's All About The Passion

Congrats on the new release, Julia. For me the best part of reading romance is watching the hero and heroine overcome adversity to find their HEA.
(Jane Cheung 4:10am August 4, 2010)

The RWA conference sounds like such a fun and learning experience. How wonderful to have that many people all interested in creating novels that readers love to consume.
(Joanne Reynolds 6:18am August 4, 2010)

Sound like a great read thanks
(April Strength 9:48am August 4, 2010)

I can't stand books set in the future so the past is my answer. I like strong heroines not wishy washy ones. Your book sounds like a lot of fun! Count me in the giveaway, please.
(Karen Gervasi 10:07am August 4, 2010)

Sounds like a good read...I like books that have passion, yet they overcome adversity to a happy ending, and preferably not in the far future. I do like stories set in the current time or past..I like time travel where they travel back in time to another era for romance, too!
(Leanna Morris 10:31am August 4, 2010)

I like to read about characters who have dealt with tough times and now they get their HEA.
(Maureen Emmons 10:40am August 4, 2010)

Another great book to read!! I really enjoy reading the books in the regency period, just seems more romantic time.
(Julie Parrish 10:40am August 4, 2010)

Sounds like a hot summer read! I'd love to win this one!
(Leanna Morris 11:14am August 4, 2010)

I enjoy paranormals the most. I like being taken to other places and meeting the strange and wierd...hehe!!

of course, I adore the romance. The tension between the hero and heroine. How they overcome obstacles and how they find their happy ever after. Ok, falling in love with the hero isn't bad either..hehe!!!

in Germany
(Valerie Bongards 11:28am August 4, 2010)

I prefer to follow the couple through the trials of overcoming what holds them apart all the way to their HEA.
(Leni Kaye 11:40am August 4, 2010)

I enjoy watching the characters overcome adversity.
(Cathie Veres 11:44am August 4, 2010)

i would love to read this
(Debbi Shaw 12:04pm August 4, 2010)

this sounds like a great story
(Sagrario Vigil 1:42pm August 4, 2010)

Congrats on your new release, Julia! Your conference sounds like a dream come true. I love reading about a feisty heroine and the wonderful man she chooses to bedevil for their HEA. The more passion, the better the read.
(Cathy Phillips 1:52pm August 4, 2010)

I love the journey through the pages... seeing all that the characters encounter to get to their HEA!
(Colleen Conklin 2:01pm August 4, 2010)

I enjoy imagining myself in the heroine's shoes in the Romantic past.
(Sue Farrell 2:15pm August 4, 2010)

I am sure the confeence was a lot of fun. I have attended conferences in the past of folks with like-interests and I always enjoyed them so much.
(Gladys Paradowski 2:23pm August 4, 2010)

Congrats on the release. I always enjoy historical romances, the characters always have to overcome such obstacles to achieve their HEA
(Jean Patton 2:36pm August 4, 2010)

Congrats on the release.

For me, I think it's about taking a break from your crazy, hectic, zillion things to do today will I get everything done, from life.

You can transport yourself into a place that you may never get to go or be someone else for a time.

Living vicariosly through others, kind of way.

Wishing you happy sales,
Fallon Hadley
(Fallon Hadley 2:56pm August 4, 2010)

As a librarian I got to attend one of the RWA conferences and it was a really fun experience! I love the twists and turns the characters use to overcome all obstacles and fall happily into each others arms. Love to think of myself wearing all those lovely regency gowns!!!(would hide all my flaws)
(Liz Campbell 3:43pm August 4, 2010)

Congrats on your new release, I have read your books before and really enjoyed them.
(Gail Hurt 3:43pm August 4, 2010)

Happy endings, Wonderful!!!
(Marjorie Carmony 3:59pm August 4, 2010)

Since I love several different
genres of romance, I have to
say that my favorite aspect is
something they all have in
common. I love to live
vicariously through the
characters, especially when
the love is believable and the
characters strong and likable.
(Jacqueline Cook 4:06pm August 4, 2010)

I love historical romances.It's so interesting reading about other times and places. This book sounds really good, I am adding it to my must read list!
(Cheryl Lynne 4:48pm August 4, 2010)

Congratulations. Another must read book. Well done.
(Mary Preston 6:26pm August 4, 2010)

Congrats on the release. What I love is the whole story. The falling, learning, adapting and sometimes change to get what you truely want.
(Maude Allen 6:46pm August 4, 2010)

Congrats on your release!

What I like about romances is the HEA. Sometimes (okay, often), I just want to read a book that I *know* will end on an up note for the characters.
(S Tieh 7:34pm August 4, 2010)

Congrats on your release! The book sounds excellent:)
(Yadira Alonzo 8:48pm August 4, 2010)

Passion gets me every time. I love reading about all that good news.
(Alyson Widen 9:44pm August 4, 2010)

I love all aspects of romance,
but especially the beginning
stages of love between the hero
and the heroine.
(Margay Roberge 10:07pm August 4, 2010)

I read to escape my dull and boring life,
pure and simple. That's why I love
reading historicals because I can imagine
myself in the past.
(Molly Wilsbacher 10:33pm August 4, 2010)

When I read a book, I usually follow the storyliine, and put myself in the place of the heroine, trying to feel what she's feeling. If the author is really good, I end up going through the gamut of emotions that particular author has portrayed. There are several books that have left me devastated, and others that have left me on cloud nine!! They have all been well-written books, and I commend the authors that I have read. This book also sounds like it should be a good read.
(Peggy Roberson 11:33pm August 4, 2010)

Congrats oon the new release. Historicals are my favorite genre. I love your stories. Thanks for the giveaway.
(Phyllis Crabtree 11:38pm August 4, 2010)

I guess I like to see the characters
overcome hardship and roadblocks to
get to their HEA. I want more than just
a relationship story. I want a bit of
intrigue and suspense. Throw in a bit
of danger and a misunderstanding or
two to spice things up.
Have enjoyed your books and look
forward to reading this one.
(Patricia Barraclough 11:49pm August 4, 2010)

I loved the excerpt! Thanks. I would love to read the book!
dancealert at aol dot com
(Brenda Rupp 1:07am August 5, 2010)

I think the part I enjoy most
is seeing the wonder on their
faces and hearing in the
voices when they realize that
they have met their soul mate.
Watching them overcome the obstacles to their love,
especially if there is humor
involved. One thing I don't
see much of and wish authors
would capitalize on is revisiting the happy couple
for a later story when the
everyday things in life have
caused one or the other to
wonder if they made the right
choice and seeing them
rediscover their love.
(Lisa Richards 1:25am August 5, 2010)

My biggest interests are history and languages. That's one reason I love historical fiction and romances, especially if they are also set in non-English-speaking countries. For whichever country the action takes place in, I take out my trusty maps and follow the locales. (For this I really don't find the Internet as useful.) But give me a romance or at least love-interest any time. I like seeing how the romance develops.
(Sigrun Schulz 1:56am August 5, 2010)

I love a fiesty heroine who plays hard to get but all is resolved in the end - a bad guy helps too.
(Barbara Hanson 3:54am August 5, 2010)

This sounds like a great book to escape reality for a while.
(Karen Hofmaier 1:46pm August 5, 2010)

I have to say I love escaping to different eras,different countries, different jobs, etc. I love being able to explore the world without leaving my chair, and knowing it will end happily ever after.
(Renee Grandinetti 3:47pm August 5, 2010)

Congrats, sounds like enjoyable reading.
(Betty Miles 3:52pm August 5, 2010)

Can't wait to read it, hopefully
I win!
(Shardae Allen 4:32pm August 5, 2010)

Book sounds like a fun read, so meny books so little time but I'll be adding you book to my list of books to read
(Vickie Hightower 4:59pm August 5, 2010)

yeah! Can't wait to read this one! yum. : )
(Ramona Ice 5:23pm August 5, 2010)

Would love to read your books!
(Trish Wakeman 9:26pm August 5, 2010)

It's all about memorable characters, chemistry, and passion. Of course, it also good to learn things from the books.
(Kai Wong 10:10pm August 5, 2010)

I enjoy tales from the past!
(Darci Paice 2:31am August 6, 2010)

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