What is ‘Love’ ? You can love a dog, a cat, a goldfish. You can love chocolate, the movies, a car, a holiday. You can love your mum, dad, sisters, brothers, extended family. So what’s the difference about ‘Love’ in a ‘Love Story’?
When you read through the submission guidelines of most Romance Story Publishers a love story must consist of a “Hero” and “Heroine” from start to finish which, in life sometimes it does happen in such a way, but there are exceptions to this rule. This is a requirement which I have difficulty in accepting. I believe a person can “love” more than one person at the same time. Most of us do so anyway – As I said in my first paragraph we can all love family, friends – whoever – at the same time. So why are we limited in Romance books to only love one person?
In my novel Beneath Southern Stars which begins at the latter end of 1799 and spreads over about 8 years, Sarah is seventeen years old [I had to age her by two years from when I originally created the character because several critics believed she was too young to fall in love – humbug!!] and daughter of a widowed seamstress. She begins a friendship with Peter of similar age and son to a wealthy land owner. Their relationship is bound to fail, especially when his father discovers the ‘courtship’. Through his malicious tactics Peter’s father has Sarah convicted of prostitution and is condemned to serve her sentence at a penal colony in New South Wales and to ensure his ‘foolhardy’ son doesn’t try to ‘save’ her, he has him commissioned into the Navy to serve in Nova Scotia.
“Love” however is a powerful emotion which cannot be extinguished overnight. Peter will do everything in his power to try to find Sarah again. Sarah on the other hand feels betrayed, and although ‘love’ is temporarily questioned, she does not give up on this human emotion.
On board the ship she is transported on is an eighteen year old marine, named John. His first time at sea, having followed in his father’s footsteps into such a career. His own relationship to Ann has come to a bitter end once she has learnt of his posting; and although heartbroken he too does not give up on “Love”.
It is inevitable, in such a close environment and in similar circumstances that Sarah and John become friends. It is well documented in several books written about the First Fleet to New South Wales in 1788 about the relationships and abuses which occurred aboard transport ships between crew and convicts. However in Beneath Southern Stars my two characters are more gentle and loving with their friendship. Do not forget they are two young people away from their home and loved ones finding themselves in such a predicament can only bring them together.
John and Sarah do become romantically involved, but it’s more than that. Their common situation forms a strong bond between them so that by the time they reach Sydney Cove they are married.
I shan’t give much more away at this stage. You can read the full synopsis later on, but what I will say that contrary to some publishers’ beliefs, love can be shared. Although Sarah has a full and loving relationship with John, deep in her heart she always holds a fond memory of Peter. For Peter this will be to his advantage when destiny reunites them several years in the future.
I hope you will have patience with me as I learn to manoeuvre around this Blog site. I shall be adding some more pages which I shall be dedicating to each of my Author Pen Names.