Good Friday morning lovelies, today I would like to give a warm welcome to erotic paranormal romance author, Maggie O'Malley who is joining us today celebrating her novella, Claiming Their Cat which I can attest to being Hot Hot Hot!
What every romance should have - by Maggie O’Malley.
3. Conflict! Yes, conflict is that important. Internal conflict is the characters struggling in their brain with something. She doesn’t trust him. He’s not the settling down type. She’s can’t be intimate because she’s been raped. He can’t love because his wife betrayed him. These are internal conflicts for both.
In Claiming Their Cat, Rio doesn’t want a mate, and Cat knows that Rabid Rio’s a killer for hire. In Born of Fire by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Syn’s internal conflict is that he thinks he’s unworthy of Sahara because he was a convict, raised in the streets, raped in prison, tortured by his dad, thrown out by his mom—a gutter rat. Wow, that’s a lot for him to overcome.
I write to keep my characters a part as long as possible. I want them to grow on one another during the book. If I pick up a book where the main characters are already friends, working together toward a common goal, and just need a little shove, and the only conflict is external, I put it down and look for another book. Without characters wrestling with themselves about each other, there’s no interest for me.
External conflict is generated by other people or nature and forced on to the main characters. In Claiming Their Cat, the external conflict is Alvarez who wants Cat back at any cost. Freezing to death in Alaska or caught in a hurricane would be nature creating a conflict.
4. A hero and heroine that readers love. Let’s face it, if your readers don’t like your characters, they probably won’t like your book. We as humans don’t like whiny, bitchy, dumb, or lazy real people, so why would we like those types of people as main characters in a book? Of course, these are real traits that would better suit secondary characters or a main character for a very short time. We love the underdog, the person who triumphs over difficult obstacles like poverty, a terrible home life, drugs, or prostitution. These characteristics make us root for the main male or female.
5. The black moment. The black moment should have your readers asking…how in the heck can the characters survive this. The darker the moment, the more worry you put on your readers. Worry is good. In Claiming Their Cat, Cat finds out that Rio and Creed have sold her to Alvarez. In Santana’s Heat written by Kitty DuCane, Santana drugs Luc and leaves him at the mercy of another female. In Born of Fire by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Sahara sells Syn to the bad guy for 1 million credits.
But betrayal is not the only black moment. In Dominating Victoria by Kitty DuCane, Victoria finds out that Hayden is the only survivor of the ambush that killed her father, so he must be the DEA mole and responsible for her dad’s death. Another black moment could be a character seeing his/her lover in the arms of another. See the pattern here. The bigger the ‘Oh my God,’ the bigger the worry.
6. All questions answered. I’m not talking about questions that deal with two characters that will be in a sequel. I’m talking about questions concerning the major characters in the current novel. In Claiming Their Cat, Cat doesn’t tell Rio what her last name is until the end. That has to be answered, if not for the reader, at least for Rio. Cat also has a failure she keeps referring to. What is this failure? And of course, Cat needs to know why the brothers can run so fast and have superior hearing.
7. HEA. When I first started writing, and I saw this, I had zero clue as to what this was. But a romance has to have a Happily Ever After. The reader wants this reward for the hero and heroine. I mean, we’ve tortured our characters, put them through the wringer, and now the reader wants what the characters have earned. HEA doesn’t necessarily mean marriage, but it should be the continuation of a loving relationship.
I’m Maggie O’Malley and these are my opinions. Does anyone have any black moments they want to share?
Cat Watson managed to escape from the powerful drug lord Alvarez and right into the hands of the notorious killer—Rabid Rio. Rio promises to protect her and her baby if she becomes his mistress. With no money, what choice did she have? Then Rio's brother, Creed, shows up and vows his protection too. She finally feels safe, that she belongs only to discover they’ve betrayed her.