Monday, February 27, 2012

THE POWER OF A KISS by Susan Frances

The snapshot of Princess Diana tilting her head to receive a kiss from Prince Charles on their wedding day before a crowd of spectators as they stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace still stirs romantic sensations in audiences. Although their marriage ended in divorce, even Prince Charles cannot deny that this single photo will outlive him.

This is the power of a kiss. For romance writers, it’s a moment to build up to, stirring anticipation in the reader’s blood because when partners kiss, it needs to be a spine-tingling, earth quaking, euphoric moment. It’s been portrayed by pent up steam shooting out of the recipients ears like in the Looney Tunes’ animation Bugs Bunny when he’s kissed by the goddess-like rabbit robot. It’s depicted by glasses fogging up like in the film Some Like It Hot when Tony Curtis’ character is kissed by Marilyn Monroe. The sculptor François-Auguste-René Rodin captured the sensuality inherent in a kiss with his nude marble entitled “The Kiss,” and The Crystals encapsulated the heart-fibrillating transaction that happens when two kiss in their song “And Then He Kissed Me” with the words, “So I whispered I love you / And he said he loved me too / And then he kissed me.”

Whether a story is written by a male or a female author, the kiss is a climatic moment in the book that readers are eager to experience vicariously so it needs to incite the imagination. It’s why the vows of marriage are sealed by a kiss. It’s why in Sleeping Beauty, the fairy Merriweather can have a curse lifted by true love’s kiss. It’s a kiss that transforms a frog into a prince in The Frog Prince by the Brothers Grimm. It’s why Cosmopolitan reporters always ask actresses who’s their best kiss on screen.

The power of a kiss is a lightening-like surge of ecstasy. It’s what readers consciously or subconsciously wait for in a book. Whether it’s a romance, mystery, western, crime thriller, paranormal, or sci-fi fantasy novel, it’s the power of a kiss that moves audiences from liking a story to really liking a story.


Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in eastern Long Island, I always enjoyed writing making several contributions to her high school literary magazine, The Lion’s Pen. Influenced by writers of epic novels including Colleen McCullough and James Clavell, I gravitated to creative writing. After graduating from New York University with a BA in Liberal Arts, I tried her hand at conventional jobs but always returned to creative writing. Since 1998, I has been a freelance writer and have contributed thousands of articles to various e-zines including:,,, Jazz Times, Hybrid Magazine, Books and Authors, and My latest romance novel The King Maker has been published by Champagne Books and can be found on the publisher’s website [].


  1. A lovely post, Susan, and so true! Even in a sweet romance, I love anticipating that first kiss btewen hero and heroine.

  2. Rodin's The Kiss is the most senuous visceral bit of sculpture I've ever seen. I visited it often in a park in Philadelphia as a teen. Very inspiring, reaches right into the core of one's romantic being. Despite the nudity, which is not a factor, it has all the elements of great art and a great kiss: anticipation, commitment and possession.