Valentine Author Blog Hop

A big thanks to Nicki J Markus for organising this blog hop. Check out the other posts here

As Valentine’s Day comes around each year I always think about why a cynic like myself writes and reads romance.

A lot of that is down to why I love to read and write. I love pondering what ifs and find reading is a great way to escape into a world where people meet, fall in love, and find their happy ever afters. After a decent dose of reality, I want to read about characters who overcome obstacles, and find someone to love who loves them in return. And a bonus if those characters have an adventure on the way, whether it’s set on another world, a hidden part of our own, or at some point in the past.

That’s not to say that everyone who reads romance is reading to escape, and the genre is far more than just about people falling in love. Storytelling is a big part of our society, and our lives would be far less interesting without it. Listen to a child telling his or her mother what happened during their day—they don’t just rattle off a lot of bullet pointed facts, but instead string it together in a story.

I’ve heard people who don’t read romance dismiss the genre as just stories about relationships. It’s far more than that. If every book with a relationship in it was categorised as a romance, 99.9% of stories would be crammed into those library shelves, and the rest would be very sparse. Romance also includes many sub-genres, and there is romance in pretty much every genre. A detective finds love while solving a case, a knight meets a dragon on a quest and both soon find themselves more than just friends, or a vampire meets a photographer who can’t capture on film the one person he really wants to, to name just a few scenarios.

Valentine’s Day is more than just about falling in love with one person and a HEA, it’s about life and living and finding joy and meaning in the little things. This February 14th I’m going to enjoy writing about two men finding love over music and a car that won’t start, and then later, after a fun evening spent movie watching with friends, I’m going to snuggle up with my kitties, and read someone else’s story, and get caught up in their romance.

I’d love to hear from other readers and writers about why you enjoy romance and what Valentine’s Day means to you.


About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning. In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher and a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Authors Speak and Love Bytes. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions four times and reached the finals three times in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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