I wrote Cerelia’s Choice, my first Science Fiction Romance (SFR), without even knowing if SFR was a legitimate genre.
My reasoning was twofold. First, I love both science fiction and romance (I’m openly a geek and secretly an incurable romantic at heart). Second, I’ve had very positive feedback on Newton’s Ark and Fuller’s Mine from female readers. Both have romantic sub-plots, but I figured including a more explicit romantic arc might broaden the appeal of my work.
Whether my decision to jump feet first into a genre I didn’t fully understand will be vindicated by commercial success only time will tell, but I thoroughly enjoyed writing the story and am very pleased with the final result.
I only started researching the genre after I published Cerelia’s Choice. What I quickly discovered is that there’s a sort of holy war going on over the question of whether SFR is science fiction with some romance thrown in (SF + R), or romance in a science fiction setting (R + SF).
Being in the middle of a holy war is never a good idea, so I’m not going to venture an opinion, but Cerelia’s Choice is definitely R + SF. I say that because it follows the classic romance plot: boy meets girl, boy and girl don’t like each other, boy and girl are forced by circumstances to spend time together and the attraction grows, then something happens and they don’t like each other, then something else happens and they do like each other again, but then when they realize they are meant to be together some outside force stops them, and finally they overcome that obstacle and live happily ever after (HEA).
The science fiction setting is still important, and I put a great deal of thought into the world building (something I will elaborate on in a later post), but it is the romance that drives the story forward. We meet the romantic leads, Cerelia and Jefferson Rydel, in the very first chapter, and from there are left wondering, how do they end up together? You’ll have to read the book to find out!