, they won’t always be happy, and they won’t always make the right decisions. Showalter said that sometimes the ramifications of their actions are what make a book exciting.
That exciting fantasy world belongs to about 51 million readers who buy romance fiction each year, spending more than $1 billion on the novels. The genre commands the largest share of the consumer-book market, according to the Romance Writers of America.
Showalter has written six books that have made The New York Times best-seller list: "The Nymph King,” "The Darkest Night,” "The Darkest Kiss,” "The Darkest Pleasure” and "Heart of the Dragon.”
While writing her rough drafts, Showalter writes a chapter a day five days a week. Some days, it goes well, and she can write a chapter in two hours. But other days, it may take 14 hours or so. Weekends are reserved for revisions and copy edits for her other novels.
Two of her books, "Mysteria” and "Red Handed,” have been optioned to become movies, though neither has made it to the production stage yet.
"Seeing my books come to life on the big screen is a dream of mine,” she said.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, Showalter was in her element and recalled one character who received a particularly heartfelt gift.
The heroine of "The Darkest Night” dies for her man. The cursed hero is stabbed every night, only to awaken the next morning knowing he has to die again.
One night, she takes the blows instead, finally breaking his death-curse.
"Of course, I later bring her back to life. I just couldn’t help myself,” Showalter said. "Even dead people need a happily-ever-after.”