I want my readers to have a satisfying emotional experience. However every person is different, and the goals of each reader differ. Naturally I will not please everyone. I hope those who read my books find what they were looking for, so I ask that you read this to understand my work and decide if it is right for you. My thanks for your time.
Amelia Hart’s Mission Statement
Primary characters – the heroine and hero – should be interesting, believable and personally powerful. These characters should act on their environments, rather than be passive. They should earn the reader’s liking both through their thoughts and actions. While the reader may not agree with their choices, the reader should always understand why those choices were made. The reader should care deeply about the fate of these characters, and feel uplifted when things go well for them, and horrified when events take a turn for the worse.
Events will take a turn for the worst. They may have done so already. This is a story and it is meant to be dramatic. There should be a strong plot that is character-driven. The characters will need to strive to overcome difficulties, and grow and change through these struggles. This is particularly true of the heroine, who is the primary focus of the romance.
Love does not come automatically. It must be earned. A character must be loveable to find love. Sexual desire may arise even in the absence of love, and a character may choose to act on it if it is appropriate to their nature, but if they want love they need to be more than just physically attractive.
Sex is an important part of the development of a relationship, though how important does depend very much on context. That is, the individual characters’ natures and the social mores of the time in which they live. Some individuals will fling their clothes off at the first opportunity. Others will cling to them with maniacal determination. Those determined to be chaste will face stiff opposition due to the allure of their potential partner. Some will act foolishly. Some will regret their actions. Others will exult in the power of their sexuality. Sex is never a formula, nor should it be gratuitous. It is an individual expression of the connection of heroine and hero.
I do not like euphemisms. I like to use proper language. I do not like to read about a turgid member or manhood. I do not like to write about them. I like to use accurate words or close enough to them that the reader knows exactly what is going on. Events in the bedroom (or under the starlit sky or in the back of the car) will be frankly described. Descriptions will not be crass, but factual and filled with emotion.
I do not enjoy degradation, nor am I a fan of bondage, discipline, sadism or masochism. My hero and heroine will not cheat on each other, though if separated for an extended period of time (in excess of a year) their lives may move on if they believe the relationship is over. The heroine will never be raped during the events of the story, and if rape occurs to another character it will never be described.
In a historical novel features of the time will be evident, and they may be unappealing. Life was harsh, it was unfair, women were oppressed, disease was rife, healthcare virtually non-existent and people died of poverty and starvation. My characters may have to face some of these issues. Because the reader cares about them, they are likely to feel this pain. The reader should be emotionally invested. They should want to find out what happens, and when triumph comes, they should feel uplifted. This is good drama. This is good writing. It is real and true, with depth and impact.
I do not like f-words, c-words, and s-words in my books. In moments of extreme stress a character may use an f-word or an s-word, but it is unusual for me to write that way. Once again, I prefer proper language.
I am a feminist. On a practical level that means each of my heroines is intelligent, capable, acts upon her environment, determines events and shapes her story. Her choices may be made on inadequate information, she may make mistakes, she may ignore her head and go with her gut, be headstrong, impulsive or stubborn. In extremes of emotion (and in the dramatic story there will be extremes of emotion) she may even be too worked up to think straight, but ultimately she is a reasoning being. She is never too stupid to live. Getting a man is never her ultimate goal in life, unless a specific and extraordinarily appealing man appears. If she wants him enough, then of course she will go after him. She is proactive like that. She has a life of her own, goals of her own, and if the hero disappears that life will go on. She is a whole human being in and of herself. Love may add to her, move her, alter her landscape completely, but it will not destroy her.
My feminism also means my heroes will never be bullying Neanderthals, or if they start out that way they had better wise up damn fast, because they will never impress my heroine acting like that.
My romance novels are ultimately an emotional story about the development of a relationship between two people, and they always ends happily. Whatever the couple go through, in the end they triumph and a rich, tender love is their reward for the courage in fighting the world and their own fears and demons.
It is my task as a writer to draw you in, to engage you, to write a story so superb you can immerse yourself in the life of another person; a person about whom you really care. Let the world fall away, let the chores be forgotten, for a few hours live another life. That is my task.