How to write a bestselling romance novel

I stumbled across an old post I made on the interweb which made me chuckle and fits the tone of this site, so I thought I’d reproduce it here. So here it is: The Pigfender guide to writing a bestselling romance novel which will be loved by women everywhere and turned into a blockbuster Hollywood movie. Probably starring Ryan Gosling.


I can’t help but notice that the types of movies that Mrs Pigfender moans to me about…
“Would you build me a house with blue shutters?”
“Yes dear”

and insists are amazingly romantic…
“Would you leave an Ivy League university to study in a lesser place to be near me?”
“Of course dear”

generally involve behaviour that in real life would have women calling the police, and trying to get some sort of restraining order in place.
“If we split up would you just sit outside the front of my house in the rain without eating for weeks until I speak to you again?”
“Months dear.”

My strategy, then, is to scour the press for stories of stalkers and weirdos, the kind where the guy has a random encounter with a woman for about 20 minutes, and basically follows her halfway around the world, getting to know all her friends, getting a job at her office, going through her trash and probably ultimately killing her in a moment of unstable desperation. I’ll then just swap out the final killing bit and replace it with “grabs her and kisses her” and have her melt in his arms.

Fame and Riches.

Other things to include to guarantee success:

Make sure the basic moral of the story is “boy, it sure is great to have a boyfriend”. That one seems to work well.

I will also be sure to set the book some point in the past. It doesn’t have to be that long ago, necessarily, just far enough removed to allow nostalgia to work. It’s not Mrs Pigfender’s fault she had to settle for an unromantic fellow such as me, she was just born 5/50/500 years too late. Men were better then.

Indeed. I can see it now: Mrs Pigfender leaves me because I am not romantic enough. In a twist of irony, the book and screenplay I write becomes her favourite movie and she hassles future boyfriends about it in perpetuity.
“Would you attack all my friends with axes because they keep telling me you’re unstable and dangerous?”
“Already on it, love”