Read Around the Rainbow | How to Romance a Romance Writer


The first Read Around the Rainbow post of the year!!! 🥳 On the last Friday of every month, we’re a group of authors who blog on the same topic and today’s topic is:

How to Romance a Romance Writer

Ha! We’re just a couple of days away from February, and soon the hysteria of Valentine’s Day will set in. It might already have, I don’t know. I hardly leave my home these days 😅

I’m one of the least romantic people you’ve ever come across. Obvious romantic gestures just make me uncomfortable, so I do my utter best to avoid them. I’d say that in our marriage, my husband is more romantic than I am. If we’re talking love language, I think both my husband and I are in the acts of service category. We suck at all the others. Though he might sneak me a bar of chocolate or a bag of Djungelvrål now and then, sometimes he even buys me a plant for the garden.

I’m bad at reciprocating, and I should do better.

But if you want to know how to romance a romance author – more specifically, how to romance this romance author, there is this game…

It’s called forget your wedding day, year after year.

Both my husband and I are pros of this game. We got married on January 9th, 2010. We didn’t want to get married but felt the pressure of society – bureaucracy can kill you. My son was born on December 9th, 2009, so it should be easy to remember, right? December 9th birthday, January 9th wedding day.

Well, it’s not.

Then some years later, we got our fourth child. She was born on January 8th, so it should make it easier to remember, right? Birthday on January 8th, wedding day on January 9th.

You’d think…

ValentinesI think the key to a happy marriage is to forget that you’re married. I love my husband, but to this day, the only wedding day we’ve ever celebrated was when we’d been married for ten years. Then we left the kids in Mum’s hands and stayed at a hotel for a weekend. But it was a mutual decision to acknowledge that we were in fact married that year 😆

I realise both Holly and I talk about marriage. Romance is so much more than marriage, but in my relationship, there are no candlelit dinners, romantic retreats, or love letters (though there were when he left me to go to Liberia for ten months). What there is, is that I can look across the room, over the chaos of kids and animals, toys and laundry, homework and dishes, and see the man I know will always have my back. No matter what.

If you want to read about ‘real’ romance, I’m sure the others (not Holly since she’s in the same relationship and has the same brain as I do) have something to say about it.

Follow the rose petals to:

Ally Lester
Nell Iris
Fiona Glass
Ellie Thomas
Holly Day
K. L. Noone
Addison Albright

Update | Did we make it?

“Envision, create, and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you.”

— Tony Hsieh


So… in the last post, I wrote that I *should* be able to make 350.000 words in 2022. I didn’t. I only wrote 5766 words in December, which gets me to 345.964 words. I kept looking for another story. Normally, when I get a monthly number that low, I’ve forgotten a story and find another 20-30k in another document. That’s not the case this time.

I did say I wouldn’t push, though, so I’m not too upset. What bothers me a little is that I’ve slipped down under averaging 1k a day. It wasn’t a goal as such, but now that I’m at an average of 948 words per day, I realise I want 1k a day. So new goal? *deep breath* Shit, can I do that? It would mean 365.000 words, that’s 19036 more than I did this year. Though, if the autumn had been a normal autumn, I think I would have managed that.

So, yeah, aim high, right?

Shall we summarise the year?

The goal was to publish 12 stories as Holly – one per month – and I did. 

  • January – One Would Be Enough
  • February – The Wingman
  • March – The Blood Witch
  • April – A Well-Functioning Cubicle
  • May – Perfect Rows
  • June – A Drop of Moonshine
  • July – Love in an Elevator
  • August – The Book Dragon’s Lair
  • September – Dear Diary
  • October – A Vampire Chew Toy
  • November – Returning to the Werewolf
  • December – Willow Road

As Ofelia, I was gonna do the either-or stories – I didn’t. I did The Cake Shop for the Rain or Shine call. Then I wrote Keep it Down! for JMS Books’ 12th anniversary, and then I wrote The Setup for the advent calendar.

The Drunken Dog was released in February, and it was for the Sugar or Spice call, but I submitted it in December 2021, so those words aren’t included in this year’s total even though the editing and marketing part fell on the 2022 side of the new year. 

So four releases on Ofelia. That’s what I aim for this year too. My goal is quarterly releases unless I suddenly find myself in a place where the words flow effortlessly. In that case, I might sneak in something extra.

Oh, and I forgot. We have the Naked Gardening Day box set and the 2022 Top Ten Gay Romance Anthology as well. So that’s two more releases – three if we’re gonna count the Top Ten on both Holly and Ofelia 😆 Oh-oh, I just realised, the 2021 Top Ten Gay Romance anthology was released on January 1st, 2022, so… that’s one more 🤣

Sales-wise 2022 has been my best year, but not word-count-wise. I wrote 377.038 words in 2020 courtesy of lockdowns and stuff. I might have been a bit frantic and tried to write myself out of the apocalypse then. 

I was so disappointed flipping through my bullet journal and realising I didn’t do a year-in-review spread last year. Why didn’t I? I love looking at those. So I have to do one before I publish this post, so I can include it. 

I scrolled back in my posts on here and saw that I wrote 289.333 words in 2021. 

So 2023…

The goal is 12 stories on Holly, though I’m already behind 😰, and four releases on Ofelia. That’s more a minimal limit than a goal. I want at least one release per quarter.

Then there is the word count goal. 365.000 words…. If I put that out there, I’m already behind. Sigh.

But let’s go!

Starting next month, I’ll do the update posts on Holly’s site. Most of the words are hers, so it feels a bit strange to post about them here 😊

2022 in review

Read Around the Rainbow | Do You Have a Writing Plan for Next Year?


It’s Read Around the Rainbow Time!!! Every month, we’re a group of authors who blog on the same topic, and this month I picked the topic! 🥳 It sort of backfired, though. When I suggested it, I was sure I was gonna have a plan in place, but I haven’t.

Do you have a writing plan for next year?

That’s the question, and yes, of course, I have plans. It’s just… My main focus in 2023 is gonna be Holly, both because she’s fun and because she makes the most money, and I’m out of work. So while Ofelia is the name I’m more emotionally bound to, I’m gonna put on my business hat and make the best of the situation. And that is Holly.

That being said, I’m not gonna bury Ofelia. There will be a box set with some of the Up North stories coming out in February. And I have already signed up for next year’s advent calendar, so if everything goes according to plan, there will be a story in December.


My goal is one release per quarter. Anything above that is a bonus, but it all depends a little on if there are any submission calls I want to do. Submission calls are always fun, and it’s not always they fit with Holly’s holidays.

It’s a bit lose and it’s a bit unfocused, and it’s not really me. I’m not comfortable not having everything planned out, but as Ofelia, I’m gonna try to roll with the punches during 2023. We’ll see how it goes!

Do you want to know what the others have planned for next year? I know I do. Below you find links to their posts.

See what the others have planned for 2023

Ellie Thomas

Holly Day

A.L. Lester

Nell Iris

Amy Spector

Addison Albright

K.L. Noone

Fiona Glass