This year, I decided to tackle royal romance (though there isn’t really an official term like that). I’ve always enjoyed reading them, and writing them sounded like fun. And it is huge fun indeed! Here’s what I like most about it.
1) Creating a ‘world within the world’
Of course I can’t just write about an existing prince or kingdom. Instead, I need to make up a whole country with its specific economy, politics, cities, language, names and everything else. This kind of world building is usually important in fantasy and science-fiction, but it’s also important for this romance subgenre. I have to make sure that it all fits into the contemporary scheme of things, and I can let myself be inspired by real-life royalty.
In addition to that, I’ve chosen to include another country as a setting too, as my heroines usually come from a different country than the princes. Book 1 kicks off in the Maldives, Book 2 incorporates some trips abroad, and Book 3 partly takes place in Germany.
Have a look at my Pinterest boards to get a better idea of the settings.
2) Princes as heroes (and strong women who are their equal match)
There’s something about a prince that is prime hero material, something take-charge and confident, well-mannered and powerful. It’s a bit like all those tycoons and billionaires but with added thrill because they’re princes or almost kings. They’re so used to being in control and having their way that my heroines and that the act of falling in love completely throws them off balance. And of course there are all those differences in background and lifestyle that increase the conflict between the couple. It’s never easy for them to reach their happy ending, and they’re utterly fascinating and rewarding to write.
I make it a point to not only give them different kingdoms but also different personalities within the frame of all being aristocratic rulers. Prince Christian from Book 1 is charming yet reserved, and used to doing what is best for all. Prince Sebastian from Book 2 is a rebel with an alpha male personality who doesn’t want to be a typical prince, but who also knows how to take responsibility. And Prince Erik from Book 3 is full of dedication and a willingness to learn and lead, but shies away from emotional bonds and confrontation.
Oh, and just because I write princes as heroes, it doesn’t mean that my heroines are all weak beauties swooning all over their rich conquest. Each one of them is strong and has a will of her own. Each has faced a lot of hurdles in life and is determined not to give up. Princess Olivia from Book 2 is one of the toughest heroines I’ve written, even if she shows some vulnerability too.
3) Indulging in luxuries
The affluent background of my princes makes it easy to include magnificent palaces, beautiful gowns, private jets and other luxuries in the story. These things sort of glam up the plot and lead to amazing, sometimes awe-inspiring research (like the most expensive horse breeds in the world). I can also take a few liberties and get to decide what makes sense and doesn’t, as it’s my own kingdom set in the real here and now. Readers will feel the wonder that the heroines experience alongside quite some confusion.