This piece on romance and love was originally published on Blinkbox in December 2014. After the sad demise of that venerable site, I thought it was a shame to lose these words forever.
Why I Love Love by Carrie Elks
I’m a romance junkie. There, I’ve said it. I adore reading stories where love overcomes all the obstacles, spanning time and distance, and bringing together couples who – at first sight – seem to have nothing in common at all.
In my new novel, Fix You, Hanna Vincent falls in love with a man who not only lives thousands of miles away from her, but is also on another level when it comes to social status. Though the odds are stacked against them (not to mention the plot twists) over a period of years she is drawn against her will to the handsome, successful American who has captured her heart.
Theirs is a relationship that shouldn’t work, and in fact it doesn’t for a long time. Hanna has a job and a life in London, while Richard is tied to New York by a combination of loyalty and dedication, not to mention a multi-million dollar corporation that takes up all of his time. From a purely intellectual point of view they should both cut their losses.
Of course they don’t, and that’s the beauty of love. It doesn’t always make sense. It’s messy and emotional and can get in the way of all your best laid plans.
It certainly did for me. Falling for the funny, gorgeous boy who lived down the road when I was at university didn’t make sense at all. I was there to study, to make connections, and to start working on the political career I always thought I’d have. Instead I spent most of my time with the clever, crazy physics student who twenty years later is still the love of my life.
We’ve had our share of obstacles. For two years we lived on different sides of the country, trying to keep our relationship going at a time when mobile phones and social networking were still in their infancy. But love can act like a glue, sticking things together when you feel like everything is falling apart. It breaches barriers and crosses borders, and couldn’t give a damn whether you’re ready for it or not.
I think that’s why love is so much fun to write about. You can take two characters who think their lives are going in a certain direction then turn them upside down with a simple chemical attraction. It’s exciting to watch the fall out, to see them try to deny their feelings, and pretend that love isn’t going to make them change their paths. Some characters struggle more than others, but in a perfect romance, eventually they have to give in to the inevitable.
For me, that’s the happiest ending of all.