From Jane Austen to Jennifer Crusie, Diana Gabaldon to Debbie Macomber, the romance novel is a vibrant, diverse genre. Two key features of the romance novel are the love story at its center and an emotionally satisfying ending, but beyond that the genre can be so varied as to include suspense, mystery, horror, inspiration, a historical setting and more.

From Jane Austen to Jennifer Crusie, Diana Gabaldon to Debbie Macomber, the romance novel is a vibrant, diverse genre. Two key features of the romance novel are the love story at its center and an emotionally satisfying ending, but beyond that the genre can be so varied as to include suspense, mystery, horror, inspiration, a historical setting and more.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, we're offering "Labor of Love," a romance-writing workshop led by author Rosemary Laurey, at Old Worthington Library on Saturday (Jan. 31) at 2 p.m. The two-hour class will provide an overview of the best romance writing, as well as guide participants through how to pen their own passionate tales of love lost and regained. The workshop is free, but registration is required; please call 807-2626.

Laurey will provide writing exercises and tips on craft, and time will be reserved for question and discussion.

An expatriate Brit, retired special education teacher and grandmother who now lives in Ohio, Laurey is "USA Today" best-selling author of several supernatural/fantasy series, including Forever Vampires, Paradox and Brytewood (due out this summer).

More than one book in her Paradox series has been nominated for, and received, awards like the PEARL (Paranormal Excellence Award for Romantic Literature), the Reviewers International Organization Dorothy Parker Award and the "Romantic Times" Reviewers' Choice Award.

A number of stand-alone titles have been published in various anthologies.

"Labor of Love" is the latest session in the library's Mark My Words series, which features quarterly programs aimed at introducing writers to a variety of writing styles and genres, thanks to the talents of some of central Ohio's most renowned authors. Future workshops will focus on topics like humor writing and more.

The next Mark My Words session, "Crafting the Novel: A Fiction Writing Workshop," is scheduled for March 7.

Meredith Southard is an adult services librarian for Worthington Libraries.

Meredith Southard