Two questions with… Romance Edition – Ken Schrader

Two Questions With . . .

It’s week three of our Romance Edition blog tour, and today I’m honoured to host our fearless tour leader, Ken. So, grab your coffee of choice and pull up a chair as he tells us how he incorporates romance into his writing!


Q: How do you tackle romantic elements in your writing?


A: Whoo. Up until this most recent manuscript, I hadn’t even tried. Recognizing that as an opportunity to add to my writerly toolbox, I sat down to specifically incorporate romantic elements in this next work.


Here’s what I did: I focused on reading stories that had romantic elements. I talked to writers of romance, picked their brains about how they do what they do. As it turns out, for romances, there is an underlying skeletal structure. It’s not the same for every book, just like my skeleton isn’t exactly like yours.


Now I wasn’t setting out to write a full-blown romance, so I didn’t use the entire structure, but it gave me a reference that I could – loosely use.


During the actual writing, I drew heavily on memory. Granted, the lens of memory loses focus the farther away a memory gets, but I don’t need the detail – I need the feelings associated with those memories.


That’s what I try to get on the page. My internal reactions, mixed with sensory input that the characters are experiencing in their environment.


How does that work? I won’t be able to tell you until I get my MS back. I hope I stayed true.


Q: When writing fantasy/UF/paranormal romance or any genre really, how important are the romantic arcs, or how much page time do you dedicate to the romance?


A: For me, they are growing in importance. Stories are, at their most basic level, all about people. People fall in love every day. If you’re not including romance or elements of romance in your story, you’re limiting yourself.


Even if the romance isn’t front and center (that would depend on the kind of story you’re writing), it’s still going to need attention. If you’re three quarters of your way through your book and, suddenly, two characters are in love with one another – without you having set down some kind of groundwork for it – you’re asking your reader to accept quite a bit. Maybe more than they’re willing to. Yes, love at first sight can happen, but that’s reality, not fiction. As a writer, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by giving that relationship some page time even briefly.


Ken Head shot and profile picBIO

I am a science fiction and fantasy writer, a shameless Geek, a fan of the Oxford comma, and I make housing decisions based upon the space available for bookshelves.

I sing out loud when I think there’s no one around, and I try to get a blog post up once a week – one of which I have managed to do consistently for the past few years.

I love music of all kinds, books, the big sky off my front porch, Star Wars, Firefly, Blind Guardian (to which, I write almost exclusively), Rugby, star gazing, jasmine tea, and the smell of rain on the air.

My favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate. My favorite food is a grilled steak, and I can suspend disbelief embarrassingly quickly.

I live in Michigan, am co-owned by several dogs (especially the Border Collie), and I am one of the rare breed of folk that enjoys mowing the lawn.

My short story “Haven” appears in the “Weird Wild West” anthology.
My short story “The Price of Power” appears in the “Trials” anthology.
My short story “The Intern” appears in the “Chasing the Light” anthology.


Follow me on Twitter @kenschrader4882

Chasing the light

I’m super excited to be hosting the following authors on these dates:

February 4: K Bird Lincoln

February 11: Janet Walden-West

February 18: Ken Schrader

February 25: Don’t miss the recap of all my answers across the series, plus a bonus pair.


Stayed tuned for all the interviews! And check out the rest of our series on these fantastic blogs:

K Bird Lincoln’s What I Should Have Said

Janet Walden-West’s Blog

Ken Schrader’s It’s All In My Head



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