Do you remember when you fell in love with romance?
I was eleven years old, watching Sullivan Entertainment’s 1985 film Anne of Green Gables. I had never read the book and knew nothing about the storyline. I thought Anne was a little loopy but intriguing—and then Gilbert Blythe winked at her.
I was a goner. The next day I snuck to the basement where we kept our little TV and rewatched Gilbert’s wink, then rewound that VHS and watched it again and again. I was obsessed. If you ever read my first manuscript that I wrote at age fourteen (don’t worry, you won’t—that is for my eyes ONLY), there is a whole lot of winking going on. Maybe I went overboard, but winks are still a favorite of mine, and my books feature their fair share.
I guess it was my first time truly seeing a small romantic gesture for what it is—a moment of notice. A communication of “I see you, and I like what I see.”
My love of romance continued to be fanned when I discovered the Mandie series by Lois Gladys Leppard at my local Iowa public library. If you’re not familiar, this Christian YA series contains historical mysteries, all solved by the adolescent heroine, Mandie Shaw, and her friends. While I loved the suspense as she figures out the strange happenings around her, my favorite parts always involved Joe—the slightly older teen who has an ardent crush on Mandie and never fails to remind her of his promise to marry her.
I just couldn’t get enough of that sweet, fluttery “ahhh” feeling I experienced whenever I read about even the smallest romantic gesture. While it took me some time to find my way into the Christian romance genre as a writer, I am glad I found my rightful place at last.
My name is Emily Dana Botrous, and I’m a new blogger at Inspy Romance. If my name looks familiar, that is because Milla Holt invited me to be a guest blogger in her place one time last year. It was an honor, and I had immense pleasure interacting with you, the readers, in the comments section. When I was asked this year if I wanted to take on a regular role with Inspy Romance, I didn’t have to consider it for long.
Currently, I have nine Christian romance books published. I love small towns, close-knit families, and characters who have made mistakes, even colossal ones. God’s power to redeem the broken will never cease to amaze me, and my goal in every book I write is to showcase His redemption as my characters fall in knee-wobbling, spine-tingling, heart-fluttering, long-lasting, Christ-centered love.
I live in San Diego with my husband, who is originally from Egypt. Together we share two children, a seven-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son. My husband also has two teenage sons, aged seventeen and fourteen, who live with us the majority of the time. Being a step-mom and having an intercultural marriage has enriched my life and given me first-hand knowledge of the sometimes messy and hard parts of real life that need representation in romance.
After all, romance isn’t only the swoony gestures. Sometimes romance is about sacrifice, and washing dishes when your significant other is tired, and editing an important document for an ESL spouse.
But winks are always welcome.
I’d love to know…when did YOU fall in love with romance?