I feel the element of romance just perks up any story and gives it life. The deep feelings of intense love, stolen looks, blushes, jealousy, possessiveness, day-dreaming, warmth, well I look forward to adding it all to my stories. ( Does this make me a closet romantic?)
All this is making me think, why don’t I pack up the middle grade books and start writing stories where the romance elements play a huge role. Honestly, I would love to write (actually have written bits and pieces of a YA book with strong undercurrents of romance; star-crossed lovers to be precise). Now the secret is out of the bag. I had not told anyone about the YA book.
Let me make a confession. One of my earlier stories based in a jungle, had a strong romantic touch: the gorgeous cat Daisy was in love with the muscular dog Bruno. Their romance had set the jungle literally on fire. Needless to say my editor went nuts and begged and pleaded with me not to corrupt innocent children with this story. I withdrew my submission but did not change the storyline.
After that episode, I am a bit cautious about adding romance in middle grade books. I will leave all that to maybe a YA or a full-fledged novel.
What about you all? Do you all love adding romance in your stories? How do you all think I should add romance in my Middle Grade fiction? Should I shy away from it completely or do you think giving the characters crushes at 11, 12 years is fine? I would love to hear what you all have to say on this?