Happy Valentine’s Day!
Continuing my special focus on romance writing this month, I reached out to romance author Sylvie Kurtz for a Q&A about her writing career. Besides recently self-publishing two Christmas romances (I know — Christmas is long over, but there’s always later this year), Sylvie has also published numerous novels in the romance and romantic suspense genres. You can check them out on her website (https://sylviekurtz.com/books).
Sylvie was kind enough to answer some burning questions I had about her experience writing romance. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.
1. Do you recall the exact moment when you realized you wanted to be a published author and/or romance writer?
I found myself at home with two young kids and no one to talk to and decided to see if I could write one of the Intrigues I read. That first book will never see the light of day, but finishing it showed me that I could possibly, eventually do this. Took me four books before I got how story structure worked.
2. You’ve written and published romance novels for Harlequin in the past. What did you learn from that experience?
I learned how to write to reader expectations and how to write on a deadline. It’s interesting how having to write inside a box actually makes the writing more freeing.
3. What authors inspired you to become a writer?
* I’ve always been an avid reader, but didn’t think I could write for a long time. I learned English reading Marguerite Henry horse books. As a horse-crazy teen, I read any library book with a horse on the cover, which led me to Dick Francis racing mysteries, then to Airs above the Ground by Mary Stewart, my introduction to romantic suspense. I loved it so much that I read her whole backlist and looked for more like it. After having kids, I discovered Harlequin Intrigues.
4. You recently self-published two Christmas romances, Christmas by Candlelight and Christmas in Brighton. What inspired you to write this series?
During the pandemic, I found I couldn’t watch or read suspense anymore. I needed something lighter and turned to watching Hallmark movies. They were such fun to watch that I wanted to create that kind of magical, feel-good place. Yet, I also wanted to address some of the issues that cropped up in my life, like agoraphobia and anxiety.
5. What made you decide to self-publish?
Mostly because I didn’t want to wait so long between a sale and publication. I also wanted to have more control over the final product.
6. What is it about romance novels that you find so appealing to read and to write?
Love is the greatest power for transformation. It lights up darkness.
7. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep practicing. Never stop believing you can write.
8. What’s next for your writing? What are you working on currently?
I’m working on a third book in the Love in Brighton Village series–a summer festival this time.
To learn more about Sylvie Kurtz, visit her website at https://sylviekurtz.com. You can also follow her on Facebook (https://facebook.com/sylviekurtzauthor) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/sylviekurtzauthor)