Romance author Deborah Fletcher Mello discusses real-life and literary enagements, including her new book, "Always Means Forever."
Happy New Year! Some of you rang in 2014 with wedding bells chiming in your head. That pre-bridal buzz currently has you floating on cloud nine. An important question was popped and you happily replied yes. There might be some new bling-bling shining on your left hand and your best friend is now officially your fiancé/fiancée. You’re engaged and your current relationship is shifting into a whole other realm of commitment.
As a romance author, I approach engagements with a different eye. My characters typically reach the engagement stage in the last half of the book and on occasion, not until the last few pages. In the context of some 50,000-plus words the couple must meet, realize they want to be exclusive, face a challenge or battle conflict, renew their commitment to each other and ultimately profess their undying love. They bring out the best in each other, work well as a team, and most times, they fight fair. My imagination gone wild has made for some both entertaining and memorable moments during the couple’s courtship. By the end of the story, the engagement, and maybe even their wedding, is packaged neatly between the front and back cover. To get there I am always imagining the most romantic engagement scenarios; sometimes elaborate and over the top, sometimes just plain simple and sweet.
One of my favorite engagements occurred in my book Always Means Forever. Celebrity chef Darwin Tolliver proposes to attorney Bridget Hinton. After a romantic dinner he surprises her with a gift that is reflective of their romantic relationship, a little sentimental something that’s special to them both. Then comes the two-carat, blue-diamond placed in the bottom of her wine glass as he drops down onto one knee to profess his undying love. However, before they could make it to the alter, their relationship had to be put to the test with a major bump. It’s one of my favorite stories and I’m excited that it’s coming out in e-book format this month.
Unlike my romance novels I hope your own engagement comes with no major bumps. You may inevitably experience those typical wedding planning thuds but ultimately as you transition from engagement to marriage, I hope your romantic story is everything you ever imagined. And like my romance novels, I wish you a very happy ending as you navigate the path to saying I Do.
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