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The Trouble with Relationships

   A continuing warm welcome to to my guest, E.A. West, who is going to talk to us today about something everyone can relate to...

As we all know relationships take work. Some take more work than others, but if the other half of the relationship is worth it, you’ll do whatever it takes to nurture that relationship. The same is true of relationships in fiction. The very foundation of romance novels is the development of the relationship between the hero and heroine. They can face all kinds of dilemmas and pressure, both internal and external, but in the end their love for each other conquers every challenge.

In The Key to Charlotte, Zakaria faces a unique challenge with being attracted to Charlotte -- she's autistic. While this really isn't as big a deal as you might think, it can create some interesting 
relationship situations. After all, one of the key components of autism is social deficits. This can mean a lack of social graces, an inability to participate in small talk without going insane, missing the subtle nuances of social gatherings, speaking out of turn, or even a complete lack of comprehension of what a relationship entails. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but I think you get the idea of what kind of challenges Zakaria could face by considering a relationship with Charlotte. To find out exactly what kind of social deficits Charlotte has, you’ll have to read the book.
Relationships are complex, evolving things that run a spectrum from flowing fairly smoothly from the start to seeming like nothing will ever go right. When it comes to romance novels, you’ll see both ends of the spectrum and everything in between. I like to write stories that fall somewhere in the middle, with enough smooth moments to give the reader hope all will turn out great for the hero and heroine and enough rough spots to make readers wonder if there will be a happy ending.
The development of relationships may drive you crazy or leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. If the relationship is in a romance novel, the development probably involves a combination of the two. Non-writers may not realize it, but fictional people can be just as exasperating as real people. The biggest difference (aside from the fact that one is a figment of the imagination and the other isn’t) is that if authors get too frustrated with their characters, they can rewrite them with different personalities or make them conform to the author’s will in some other way. That doesn’t work with real people, which is just as well. If everyone did what you wanted all the time and you could make them act however you wanted whenever you wanted, life would be so boring.
So, enjoy your relationships with others, appreciate their differences, and realize that your hard work now is worth it in the end. Even if the relationship doesn’t work out, at least you’ll know you gave it your best shot, and that’s always a good feeling.
To celebrate the release of The Key to Charlotte, I’m giving a copy to two lucky commenters on this blog tour. The rules are simple. Between October 28 and November 6, leave a comment on any of my blog tour stops (including this post) with your name and email address letting me know you want to be entered into the drawing. You can find a complete list of the blog tour stops on my blog I will draw two names at random from all of the entries and announce the winners on November 7 (winners will also be contacted by email). The two winners will each receive a free PDF of The Key to Charlotte. 

Good luck to you all!


  1. Great article, E.A. I'm enjoying learning more about you with every blog post I read. Congrats on the release of THE KEY TO CHARLOTTE. I'd love to win a copy!
    DoraHiers at msn dot com

  2. Thanks, Dora! I'll be sure to toss your name into the drawing.

  3. Hello, Dora, so nice to see you here! And E.A., I have really enjoyed your perspectives on characterization you've been sharing in your articles as you visit around our blogging neighborhoods. Great insights!