“Timeless” Contemporary Romance?

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Have you ever re-read a favorite novel and suddenly the story doesn’t work? A book that you loved a decade (or longer) ago doesn’t seem plausible any longer and you don’t finish because it’s too much of a stretch?

Most historical romances escape this trap (but suffer backlash for antiquated tropes). Unfortunately, contemporary romance suffers the most from the passage of time. I love stories (books, TV, film) set in the modern-day world. Rapidly advancing technology, however, means the plot might fall apart on a re-read. Books from the nineties that require characters to use a computer at a public library to access the Internet seem ancient. But often those situations set-up interaction between characters. How do you strike a balance so in a few years your book isn’t obsolete?

I’m by no means an expert. With each project, I consider this conundrum. Cell phones and the Internet have simplified our lives and solved a lot of the classic reasons why two characters at odds would interact.

In Love Overboard, my heroine loses her cell in the first chapter and spends the rest of the book onboard a cruise. (Cruise lines provide wifi, but the charge is a premium; personally, I like cruising because we have a reason to unplug!) With my next Wild Rose Press book, Holidays, Inc., the heroine ghosts her past and moves across the country.  Fellow authors, how do you work around modern-day conveniences?

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