Monday, November 8, 2010

The Cozy Factor

MOOD STATUS: "Tired". How can I be more tired after getting an extra hour of sleep?

I'm going to let you in on a secret...

I love to read romances. Wow, there's a shocker, considering I WRITE them. But I happen to love them in all shapes, sizes, ages, and sub genres as well. There's just something about true romance and that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Some of my personal favorites definitely have factors--besides the romance, that is--that make me appreciate them a little more. They generate a sort of... coziness.

What are some of these cozy factors I adore in romances?
1) Pets
Honestly. Who doesn't love a friendly animal thrown into a love story? Especially if the pet has a great personality or adds to the story somehow. Even Tom Hanks had his Brinkley in You've Got Mail.
I wrote a Golden Retriever in my last wip and in this wip I have a German Shepherd puppy. Do I have a dog? NO. I'm living vicariously through my characters.

2) Children Even if you're not a "kid" person, I think you would have to agree that there is something heartwarming about bringing in an adorable child between two people in the hopes of creating a new family. *sigh*

3) Christmas/ New Year's Eve I would gather that most people who are not Christian still have to agree that Christmas is a magical time of the year with all the giving and goodwill toward men. Nobody wants to be alone around the holidays. Two lonely characters spending Christmas together and falling in love or sharing that New Year's Eve kiss melts my heart every time.

4)Scenery (mountains, lakes, oceans, small towns, etc..) I've written most of my stories in small beach towns. Why? Well, it's what I know, but I also love how that scenery adds to the coziness of the love story. Take your main characters and put them in a beautiful, intimate setting to fall in love and I'll snuggle in to read for sure. :)

5)Food
Does food seem like a strange factor that would add to a romance? Not for me. I'm a foodie and I do think that food has a huge social element to it, so I LOVE romances that combine food with love. For me, your main characters don't have to be chefs, just have them bake or share a home cooked meal and I'll be ready to read another chapter
. (I'll probably be ready for a cookie too) LOL


Those are just few cozy factors that I personally love to read in romances. Maybe you have a few of your own to add.

What about you? Do you like those elements of coziness in your romances or do you look for other factors?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PS. The winner of Trish Perry's novel, THE PERFECT BLEND, is...KARA.

Congrats!! Send me an email with the address you would like it sent to and I'll get it out ASAP.

37 comments:

Theresa Milstein said...

I've never thought about it. Lately, I've been reading so much YA, so those elements are missing. But I appreciate food in any book and often incorporate it into the books I write to tell more about the characters.

Katie Ganshert said...

Some of your cozies are my cozies too!

Julie Jarnagin said...

I love all those things! This makes me want to curl up with a good book right now!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Food and pets are biggies for me. I'm such a huge dog lover and I could talk about food just about all day long.

~ Wendy

Anne Gallagher said...

I always have food in my books. Being a professional chef for so long, I just have to. I've tried to have pets but I always end up cutting them out. I don't know why. Maybe I should make them talk. Maybe if they had some dialogue they could be saved.

Jessica Lemmon said...

Food and scenery - yes, yes! I have 2 dogs and love them, and do enjoy reading a good dog book (see: Susan Donovan's Ain't Too Proud to Beg) but sometimes I prefer the no-dog/no-kid story sometimes so the characters can be spontaneous and not tied down. Admittedly, though, I did write a dog AND a cat into my current NaNoWriMo MS.

Linda G. said...

I love all those cozy factors--in mysteries as well as romances.

Em-Musing said...

My writing style usually doesn't include all the details, but now that I'm participating in NaNoWriMo I'm scrapping for every detail to give more words. It's expanding my style and I'm loving it.

Joanne said...

Interesting take on food. I once heard an agent suggest putting food in a book's title, the food draws reader interest and helps sales!

Rula Sinara said...

I love all the same cozy factors! They're all in the manuscr. I'm getting ready to submit, except instead of Christmas, my story falls at Thanksgiving. I have plans for the second in the series to then fall at Christmas time. I love holiday books!

Lydia Kang said...

I vote for all of those but give triple votes for food. I don't know why but food passages are the ones I often remember the best. I must be hungry all the time, LOL!

Bossy Betty said...

Love all these but food and pets rule!

Calisa Lewis said...

Aw Jen! These are great cozies. I love them all, even food though I'm not a real foodie. I also like pet names. It lends a certain element of intimacy and closeness to to any relationship. In fact, my current wip my hero has a young dd and he calls her Jelly Bean. I do the small towns mostly because it's what I know and love.

Glynis said...

You cannot beat a good romance!

I am smiling, I have just introduce a puppy, a romantic Christmas interlude and roast chestnuts into my NaNoWriMo story. It is an historical novel, set in an English Victorian village.

Yeah, I ticked boxes. LOL

Carolyn V. said...

I'm more of the adventure and little romance type of girl. But they have to be sweet. =)

Maria Zannini said...

Pets and exotic food make me feel cozy. I don't often put them center stage in my books, but I love to read them.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Oh yes, I've been thinking about this a lot lately--especially after some advice I got from an agent at the ACFW conference. Seriously, I think this post is all about my new WIP. Let's see...there's a Great Dane as a secondary character, the hero and heroine live in a cozy mountain town with lots of trees and a lake. Uh, the heroine owns a pizza parlor...what else? Oh yeah, and the heroine has a son who is a wonderful secondary character as well! I love romances, too!

Susan R. Mills said...

Great cozy factors! I especially love the pet one.

Diane said...

I have to say, almost everything you love, I hate in a romance novel.

I really liked your book, partially, because none of them were in there.

(I'm old and crusty, none of that heart-warming stuff for me, I guess.)

:O)

Kara said...

So excited I won the book, thank you:)
I totally agree with your cozy factors too.

T. Anne said...

You hit upon all my fav's too! And oddly enough, even though I don't write romance, but I hit all of those topics in most of my WIPS lol!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Those are some great elements! I agree!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Oh, I can never get enough of food and pets! :-)

Susan Fields said...

I usually have pets in my stories as well. And I love holidays in stories. I think my favorite is being stuck in the house in bad weather or something - so cozy!

Amy DeTrempe said...

I haven't thought so much about what I like in romances but lately I've been writing a lot teenagers into my stories. They are just fun to write about.

Amy Holder said...

I love your list of cozy factors; I couldn't agree more... and for the record, I WANT THAT PUPPY! So cute!

Shannon said...

Great list of cozy creations. I hadn't really thought about it in these terms, but it makes sense. Now I'll be looking for them! =)

Carol Kilgore said...

I like all those things, too. In almost any book, not just romances.

Karen Lange said...

You're right, there is a 'cozy' factor. I love to curl up with a good book, my favorite romances are historical, but I do enjoy contemporary too. Just knowing that things are going to work out somehow adds to that 'cozy' factor.
Blessings,
Karen

Jill Kemerer said...

I agree with everything on this list. Coziness is essential in romance!!

MT said...

I'll admit I don't read romance novels, although I don't mind my sci fi and fantasy having a little romance thrown in. If I had to pick a cozy item, it would be a beach - which fits in your scenery catagory. Have a great week!

Laura Pauling said...

As a reader, I don't care if cozies are there. I do love romance but there has to be a good story to go with it. I like secrets and hidden pasts and mysteries.

Linda Kage said...

I love family members as supporting characters in romance stories. Quirky old grandmas and annoying but supportive siblings. Love em!

By the way, I have an award for you over at my blog.

Jessica Nelson said...

Hmmm, I had never thought of this. I don't know if I have any? I mean, I do like kids, pets, etc. They're cute. :-) Just not sure if I have a fave "cozy".
Hmmmmmmmmmmm. *scratching head*

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Patti Lacy said...

I DO love coziness and LOVE Becky Melby romances. About to start a Mary Conneally for the first time.
Should be fun!

Oh, and am LOVING Myra Johnson's book!!!

Madeleine said...

That's interesting what you say about pets in romances. I included a cat companion in mine and my CP wanted to know what its significance was to the plot. Great thoughts :O)