"He made me lose myself. With every thrust, with every groan, he made the world disappear, he made everything but us disappear. He made me his."
Dear M/M authors,
N.R. Walker's "Read Dirt Heart" series is basically a "How to write books that please Marco" 101.
Or if you don't care about that, then take the following as a general recipe for how to write
The perfect M/M romance novel
1. We start with the basic ingredients: The MCs
Make sure to create not just one, but two equally amazing MC’s.
Make them both likable and swoon-worthy, but also a little bit flawed and edgy.
Add a little extra spice by making them sexy and hot. N.R. Walker chose cowboys as her basic ingredient, which was an utterly clever choice.
Cowboys seem to be to almost everyone's liking. But watch out not to use the I-just-put-my-cowboy-hat-on-and-ride-on-a-horse-all-day kinda cowboy cliché.
Use the good, realistic kind. The kind that lives on a farm, has to work hard for a living and enjoys every second of it.
CHARACTERS, NOT CARICATURES, AUTHORS!
If you're doing it right, you'll come up with perfect characters like
2. Stir up your #1 results to create a nice and fluffy romance part
Take your time and let the MCs take theirs to bond with each other.
But DON'T stir too fast in the heat of the moment. Don’t let it just be all about physical attraction or the sex.
Let them build a loving and caring relationship. Let them slowly explore how they need each other and how being in a relationship means allowing yourself to grow and to open yourself up to new things and to grow together as a couple.
But also don't neglect that sex part completely. Steamy hot sex is essential, but it's the little things - like foot hooking or nose nudging - that make me your readers go all "Aww.".
And always remember: romantic, yes. But not kitschy or schmaltzy.
3. The fundament AKA the plot or storyline
The greatest couple cannot carry a whole book or even a series on its own.
Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to integrate them in the right environment.
Start with some great secondary characters. Not only is it necessary to give your MCs some personality, but you also have to keep an eye on the people around them.
Make them human. Make them real. Make your readers feel for them almost as much as they do for the main couple.
Or in this case: make your readers wish to live on Sutton Station together with Ma, George, Billy, Ernie, Trudie, Bacon & Nara.
And also, just as important is the setting.
Unfortunately for all of you, N.R. Walker already took one of the greatest settings that I’ve ever read about so far: the red desert in the Northern Territory of Australia.
I mean, just look at it:
4. Spice it up: The secret ingredients
If you really want your readers to have an unforgettable experience, decorate everything with just a touch of bonus sweetness.
The icing on the cake here was the addition of 2 cute baby animals:
Matilda, the Kangaroo (Red Dirt Heart 2)
and Nugget, the little shit Wombat (Red Dirt Heart 3).
I mean, who can resist an MC who takes care of an orphan baby animal? (Spoiler alert: certainly not me).
5. Almost as important as the creating process: The presentation
Make sure to present your work in a decorative and mouth-watering way.
Start by giving your books great and meaningful covers (thanks to my sous-chef Marte for that hint).
Not only has this series beautiful covers, but there is also a meaning behind each one of them as you can read on N.R. Walker's homepage:
And who knows, maybe your readers find some other recipes while they're visiting.