Writing All The Feels by K.K. Allen

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[Note from Frolic: Today, we welcome author K.K. Allen to the site. She’s talking about writing, feels and more!]

Everlasting love. That’s what we ultimately seek in our romantic partners, isn’t it? We kiss all the frogs until we finally find our perfect prince. The one. That someone who checks off all our boxes and somehow clicks with every ounce of our being. But what makes a flirty romance, based on lust and adoration, evolve into a deeply emotional connection that transcends every relationship before it?

Writing emotional romance is my jam—it’s what I live for. And by “emotional” romance, I don’t mean “sad” or “tragic.” I’m talking about the type of romance that builds on that initial attraction, heats with angst and sexual tension, steams with soft accidental touches and witty banter, and then finally sparks to life in a way that explodes off the pages.

Are you fanning yourself yet?

Emotional romance is the foundation for everlasting love. Without it, we wouldn’t have deep intimacy, mutual kindness and respect, trust and commitment, and that deep love that vibrates down in our soul. In essence, the romantic journey can be likened to our sexual experiences. Finding that emotional connection with our future life mate is the equivalent of finally achieving that earth-shattering orgasm.

Yes, you read that correctly. When all the stars align and two characters realize they’re meant to be. Boom. Intergalactic explosions. A new constellation forms (in the shape of giant heart eyes). It’s the climax we’ve all been waiting for. 

How do we get there?

Every story takes a reader on a journey. In emotional romance, there are questions that must be answered along the way. What is holding two people back from love? What do they stand to lose by being together? What is going to make them a solid pairing? I’m constantly exploring my character’s pasts, digging deep into their psyches, and letting them go through the hard stuff in order for them to find their happily ever after. Why? I thrive on writing and reading romance stories that feel as real as possible. Finding love in the real world isn’t easy, so why should it be easy in books?

My characters are who they are for reasons that aren’t always obvious. Perhaps there’s a secret they fear will be revealed if they get too close to someone. Maybe they’ve been burned in the past and have yet to trust again. Or (and this one is my favorite), possibly they’re focused on finding or developing their dream career—and until they do—aren’t ready to open themselves up to love. Love is, after all, both the best and worst kind of distraction. To truly love another means loving oneself first. Which brings me to my favorite genre.

I write a lot of New Adult (NA) romance, which is a romance set between the ages of 18-30. For me, the emotional connection is so much stronger between those ages. When innocence is at risk, mistakes are made, and futures are altered. Everything is so intense, which is why I feel like I have a responsibility to my readers to write about realistic love in all its ugly and beautiful forms. For this, character growth is essential.

When two people finally give in to their deepest desires in books, the happily ever after (HEA) is all the more worthwhile. I’m obsessed with the slow burn of it all. It might even hurt a little along the way. The point is, you’re going to feel it. You’re going to lose sleep. You might even break a few Kindles along the way. #SorryNotSorry

I’m a hardcore angst lover, can you tell?  

“We read romance because we believe in a love we all deserve to have. A love that endures life’s greatest tests. A love that spans centuries and galaxies and ripples in time.” The Trouble With Gravity, K.K. Allen

Isn’t reading the best type of an escape from our everyday lives? While we’re getting lost among the pages of our favorite books, we’re transported from scene to scene, all while wearing someone else’s shoes. If I’ve done my job, you’re going to know exactly what those red heels feel like wrapped around your slim, sexy feet. You’re going to feel the stretch in your back as you walk tall down First Ave in Seattle, all while the hunky man you should despise—who you almost gave yourself to—is chasing after you, demanding for you to turn around.

Okay, so I might have stolen that scenario from a scene in my upcoming novel, Through the Lens. Desmond and Maggie are enemies from the start. He is a cocky chef with a rocky past, and she is a model who has been living her mother’s dream for years. When Maggie exits the world of fashion and flees to Seattle to start over, Desmond becomes an obstacle she never sees coming. Their fiery connection sizzles from the beginning, but what I love most about it—it feels real.

My first experience with reading emotional romance was with A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. But it was in finding the New Adult genre that shaped my writing career for the better. I remember finding K.A. Tucker’s Ten Tiny Breaths. It was so beautifully written, with an opening scene that had me gripping the pages of my paperback so hard. I just had to know more. And then I picked up The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski, which took me on the best kind of romantic journey. After that, I found Colleen Hoover’s Ugly Love, and I was done for. I decided at that point that I was going to leap from writing Young Adult (YA) Fantasy into NA Contemporary Romance. It was the best move I ever made.

There are books that stay with us for long periods of time, sometimes forever. The “forever books” are the ones I will always aim to write. Because while I want my characters to form intense emotional bonds, I also want my readers to have deep, meaningful connections to my stories. I hope that sounds like a win-win to you!

About the Author:

K.K. Allen is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author and interdisciplinary arts and sciences graduate from the University of Washington who writes heartfelt contemporary romance stories that are as real as they are inspiring. K.K. is a Hawaiian girl who was raised in Seattle, and currently resides in central Florida. She works full time as a digital producer for a leading online educational institution and is the mother to a ridiculously handsome little dude who owns her heart.

Through the Lens by K.K. Allen, out now!

“I had become his muse. What he didn’t know was that he had become mine too.”

Maggie Stevens is done feeling objectified. 

After spending her entire life in the spotlight and climbing the high fashion ranks as a model in LA, she’s willing to leave it all behind for a fresh start. Moving to Seattle seems like the perfect solution.

A clean slate.

New adventures.

Endless opportunities.

All is going according to plan. Until she meets the drop-dead gorgeous cooking instructor who delights in adding to her misery.

Desmond Blake is determined to make a name for his culinary school—one that speaks to his hard work and undeniable passion. 

When his food photography hobby garners attention from an unexpected source, his dreams are finally within reach. The obstacle he never sees coming is the sharp-tongued bombshell with a distaste for all he stands for. 

When Desmond accidentally captures a photo of Maggie during a moment of weakness, he starts to see there’s more to the fashionista than meets the eye…

Sometimes what can be seen through the lens is a skewed version of reality. A bent perspective. Manufactured, therefore losing all sense of authenticity. And sometimes all it takes is a different angle to see what’s right in front of you.

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