Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Why I Write Romance by Kathleen Bittner Roth


Welcome back to History Undressed our monthly author and blogger, Kathleen Bittner Roth! Today she's giving us some insight into the genre she writes--and I'm so glad she pens such riveting romantic tales!

WHY I WRITE ROMANCE

Society rewards us for practiced thinking by handing us diplomas to tack on our walls. But what of our important feeling nature?

Thinking is what brings about clarity and objectivity in our lives, but only feeling can bring a sense of value and worth to a person. Our self-esteem comes not from what we think of ourselves, but how we "feel" about ourselves. Feeling is the sublime aspect of a man or woman that brings warmth, gentleness, relatedness and perception to a relationship. Feeling is the sublime art of having a value structure and a sense of meaning and belonging. It is the magnetic part of us that attracts love.

We’ve paid a high price for the precise, scientific world we live in where romance novels are often scorned as unrealistic fluff (yet murder mysteries where people are hacked to death or buried alive are considered acceptable, thrilling reading). We’ve ended up with nations of wounded beings where men and women suffer their wounds differently. Typically, men drink or overwork. Women eat and overwork. Men war and abuse. Women retreat and isolate. Research indicates that scientifically-oriented countries are more likely to break out in ecstatic disorientation if the people do not balance their lives with ecstasy through their feeling natures via such endeavors as poetry, music, creativity and romance.

Oops, did I just use that nebulous word romance again? 

The first romantic notions of love in western society originated in 12th century France when a new religious movement anointed a female as a religious godhead. The religious observance of the goddess was suppressed and forced underground. Eventually, the movement resurfaced in the courts of kings and queens, where evidence of it could be found in the chivalric reverence for women. Those chivalrous knights of old often fell in love with their queen or princesses, but this romantic love was never consummated because it was considered the myth of love. 

Romance had its purpose—it became the first step of the evolution of the spirit of man to truly understand the energy of divine love. Romance in relationships allows us to touch the face of God. Romance and ecstasy mixed, allows us to touch the face of God in stereo!

What mentally healthy person isn’t attracted to love? It is the grand intangible. Romance, ecstasy and love, are so powerful a human drive that they have kindled wars, created works of art, consoled the dying, driven kings mad and bankrupted nations. Love is the vital, pulse-beating feeling nature within us that gives us creativity and a sense of joy. Ultimately, love is the most important aspect of our lives.

My late husband held a double PhD in political science and economics. He spoke six languages. He was quite the intellectual, but he was also an artist and thus, more open to his feeling nature than a lot of men. I asked him to read a romance novel (Joanna Bourne’s The Forbidden Rose). He thought it well written. He said that if men would include these kinds of novels in their reading material, they would understand what women want and how to please them. Yes!

One of the greatest joys a man can experience is honoring a woman by escorting her out of her head, her thinking nature, and into her body, her feeling nature, so that he can pleasure her. One of the many differences between men and women is that a woman needs to feel good to do good while a man needs to do good to feel good (think about that for a while). 

Years ago, I founded a successful wellbeing center where I created seminars and retreats to help people live more satisfying, self-empowered lives. I thought that when I finally got around to transferring my works onto the written page that they would take the shape of tutorial-style textbooks, hopefully spiced with a bit of humor. What a surprise when I was finally able to focus on writing, only to dream an entire historical novel one night. What an incredible experience! I realized then that what I really wanted to do was write humorous, sad, sensuous, romantic, ecstatic stories (The Seduction of Sarah Marks, the book I dreamed in its entirety, became my first published novel).

When I began to write historical romance, I discovered that I had unknowingly laid out all that I had been teaching in my wellbeing center about heightened senses, the purpose of our lives, destiny, self-empowerment, and the act of loving ourselves and others. Writing romance gives me the perfect venue for expressing the full spectrum of the human condition. 



Kathleen Bittner Roth thrives on creating passionate stories featuring characters who are forced to draw on their strength of spirit to overcome adversity and find unending love. Her own fairy tale wedding in a Scottish castle led her to her current residence in Budapest, Hungary, considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities. However, she still keeps one boot firmly in Texas and the other in her home state of Minnesota. A member of Romance Writers of America®, she was a finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart® contest. Find Kathleen on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest and www.kathleenbittnerroth.com.
Check out Kathleen's list of books on Amazon!

12 comments:

Ashley York said...

Great article. Love the picture with Richard Armitage ;)

Kathleen Bittner Roth said...

Thanks, Ashley! Armitage. Ah!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post!!! Love really does make the world go round!

Tess St. John

Anonymous said...

Well said Kathleen, now I understand why you write them. I was one that was wondering why. I thought you would write very metaphysical works but now understand that you do.
Love you Molly

Kay Hudson said...

Well said, Kathleen. And of course the other reason for writing romance is that it's fun!

Madeline Martin said...

Great article - and I agree, if more men read romance, they'd get women a lot more!

Abby Sharpe said...

Great article, Kathleen. Interesting history.

Marilena said...

You say it so beautifully Kathleen - love does empower us!

Jeannie Miernik said...

Beautifully worded! I also believe that our world needs more ecstasy. There's poetry to be found in science and data if you know how to look, and emotion is a part of our measurable reality. More romance, please. :)

http://www.bestcologneformens.com/ said...

This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. You have got a design here that’s not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as what you are saying. Great job, indeed.

natalie meg evans said...

Hi kathleen, I think that you are unusual in that you experienced a mature and authentic love, and it expanded your understanding. So much of what we modern humans call 'love' is about ego-pleasing. Rarely do we delve into the reality of honest love which is; strip everything away from me, I am still rich because I have my bond with you and nothing else matters. If romance can capture that longing and reinforce that message, then it is more valuable than anything.

Kathleen Bittner Roth said...

Thank you, everyone! My internet was down so I couldn't respond right away, but you made my day!