Why I love romance
My name’s Helena Fairfax. When people used to ask me what sort of books I write, I’m ashamed to say I’d often blush and mumble a non-committal answer; something along the lines of, ‘Oh, probably not the sort of thing you read,’ or, ‘I doubt you’ll have heard of my books.’
People are sometimes dismissive towards writers of my genre, but nowadays I’m glad to say I’ve decided to take a stand. Nowadays I say it loud and I say it proud: I write romance novels. I write fabulous stories with great endings. I write the sort of novel that will sweep you along. I write stories about love; the universal human emotion understood by all cultures across the globe. I write novels that are part of the biggest selling genre in the world.
I’ve always enjoyed reading romance novels. I find romance novels positive and optimistic stories, with a compassionate and sympathetic outlook. A few years ago I finally took my love of this genre a stage further and begun writing romances of my own.
My route from reader to author went like this: I was commuting to my job in a factory one morning, on board the 7.29 train, pressed up with the other commuters in a particularly damp, steam-fugged train. My mind began to wander from the soggy English climate, and I thought how wonderful it would be to be living somewhere hot. This unlikely journey sowed the seed for my first novel. Every day after that I penned some more about an English heroine who goes to work in the south of France, and becomes caught up in a romance that totally conflicts with her obligations at home.
After I’d written a few chapters, I began to realise that writing a romantic novel isn’t actually as easy as some people imagine! I knew I needed some expert help, and so I joined the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association. The RNA has an excellent scheme for new writers (you can read more about it HERE.)
With the help of the RNA’s scheme, I finally had a manuscript that was ready for publication. And so my writing career was born. After my French-set novel, The Silk Romance, was published, I’ve been writing ever since!
I’ve now given up the early morning commute to devote myself to writing full-time. I live in Yorkshire, in the north of England, in the place known by Yorkshire folk as God’s Own County. (We don’t suffer from typical British modesty here in Yorkshire!)
The Yorkshire moors have formed the setting for many novels, and most famously for Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. When people talk of the moors they often mention their bleakness, but I love them. These days, walking the moors every day is a big part of my routine as a writer. My mind can roam free, waiting for ideas to settle. I like to write romances that are full of real life emotion and drama, and the dramatic landscape of the moors is the perfect place to mull them over.
The moors form the setting to my latest release, A Way from Heart to Heart, and when I look back over my writing, I realise that some of my most pivotal scenes have taken place outdoors, in a dramatic landscape. The hero of The Antique Love, for example, is from the mountains of Wyoming, and finds himself living in London, one of the most congested cities in the world. I gave Kurt a home near one of London’s largest green spaces, in Richmond Park. In this wide, open landscape, Kurt, too, could open himself up to the heroine – something I couldn’t imagine him doing whilst walking the city’s busy streets.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this small taster of my love for romance novels, and how I started to write them. If you’re interested to know more, you can find out more about me and my novels on the following pages:
You can also follow me on:
And you can keep up with all my news on