Gayle M Irwin

Composing Creative Conversations:
Writing Stories, Engaging Readers, and Encouraging Authors 

I Love Love

Apr 04, 2022 by Gayle M Irwin

I am happy to welcome contemporary romance writer Anita (A.N.) Verebes from Australia to my blog this month. Her second novel, You Can’t Hurry Love, released last month, and I wanted her to tell my blog readers about herself, her writing, and her books. A big welcome to this writer who loves love!

What a cliché, right? When people ask me why I write romance (or why I’m a marriage celebrant) “I love love” is always the answer I start with. I know it’s more complex than that, but it really is what it all boils down to.

I love to tell love stories, either real (as a celebrant) or invented (as an author). I love the intricacies of how a couple have met. What sparked between them? What underpins their relationship? What is driving their interest in each other? Funny stories, sweet stories, heartachingly bittersweet stories: I am here for them all.

When I first started writing romance as an author, it was just as I was dipping my toe into the wide world of fanfiction as a teenager. It was easier to start that way, writing about characters that someone else had already fleshed out, to get a feel for what made them tick before I tried to give them my version of their ‘Happily Ever After’s. Besides, I was a hormone addled monster with dating on the brain, so I went straight to the good stuff. Smut and happy endings (no double entendre intended)? Sign me up!

It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I started to create characters and worlds of my own – and, even then, romance was the driving force behind anything I wrote. In fact, I still have a half-finished paranormal/shifter romance sitting in my Dropbox that started its life as an attempt to write a fantasy YA series. I couldn’t do it. I needed to delve into the relationships…and, as it turns out, I still have trouble keeping things PG. Whoops.

So, when I sat down to write my first published novel, Handle With Care, I went back to my roots. I’m most comfortable when I’m fangirling, so that was who my heroine was going to be, and I wanted to give her the fangirl experience that most of us can only fantasise about. And I succeeded…with a splash of melodrama on the side because I feel it goes so well with romance in fiction. From there, an entire series was born!

The natural step for Book 2 -You Can’t Hurry Love - was to tell Sara and Charlie’s story. They were both integral supporting characters in Handle With Care, and being able to redeem Charlie properly from his grumpy introduction was important to me. (Of course, you don’t have to have read Handle With Care in order to read You Can’t Hurry Love.) But the most fun I had in writing the second novel was explaining how the two of them got together. I’ve never really attempted a slow burn before (I’m really into instant gratification, haha) and playing around the edges of the ‘enemies to lovers’ trope was also highly entertaining, especially considering almost all the love stories I’ve told before have involved almost instantaneous attraction.

Of course, though their stories have been told, I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of the Rhodes brothers and their paramours. I love love so much that there are four more planned books for the Jukebox Collection series, and other stories besides.

I’d best get to writing them!


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You can buy You Can’t Hurry Love from various retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Click this link to find the book at your favorite online store: