Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn't you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all..... About our writing of course! Every week we'll answer questions and after you've enjoyed the blog on this site we'll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.
If you joined me via Brenda Margriet's blog, I'm sure you've been on a whirlwind tour on today's Romance Weekly. We have tackled some important questions regarding the romance genre and I hope you've enjoyed the answers from our participating authors.
If you're just joining us I hope you are as passionate about these questions as I am.
1. Have you always written Romance?
Yes. Even as a teen I would write short romantic stories for myself. I fell in love with the idea there was someone for everyone. Ironically, I didn’t want to be a writer. I wanted to be an astronaut. (Read about my life experiences.) But I couldn’t stop from getting the stories down on paper. I wish I had saved them but they are gone, lost in a move or thrown out because my teenage self thought they were dumb. I remember writing sweet boy meets girl stories. Because of my geeky side others I filled with adventure where the two characters realized they were meant to be together in the end after saving the world (of course).
Some might call my stories (then and now) unrealistic but for me my stories are hopeful. I want people to be happy and in my stories they end up happy.
2. How do you deal with critiques about the romance genre?
The critiques about the romance genre seem endless. I’ll address a few I’ve heard over the years. I’ll apologize ahead of time for the sarcasm *snort*.
Critique: Romance is escapism.
Yeah, critics say this like it’s appalling. That no one in their right mind would want to escape their reality because it’s so flipping great 24/7 365.
What else is escapism? Other book genres, movies, reality TV, actually any TV, cat videos anyone, surfing the Internet, and sports. So what’s your point? If you want reality, go wash my laundry and clean my bathroom.
Critique: Romance provides unrealistic expectations.
I guess it’s unrealistic to want to be respected, have inner and outer strength, find love that would result in marriage and possibly children, have a relationship or marriage built on partnership and trust, be confident in your sexuality, and be wanted for more than your body but also for your intelligence. I guess I’m living in a fantasy land because I seem to have all of that in my life. Guess I should go back to the drawing board on that one.
Critique: Romance is for women who buck feminism.
Today the female characters in romance novels (even in small towns) are usually kicking butt and not taking any shit from the men in their lives. Not sure how this bucks feminism.
Critique: Romance is only smexy or smutty.
I’ll go with the so called traditional romance where boy meets girl and there’s a happily ever after. I’ll bet there are few heterosexual women alive who would never want to feel sexy and attractive, especially to their boyfriend or husband. Can the love scenes get intense in a romance (leaving readers hot and bothered)? Of course. But there are just as many romance novels where there are no love scenes. The characters hold hands or might kiss or the love scene fades to black. And the key is they are love scenes.
But back to women feeling like they are worth something and more than just being well stacked. (And screw those who aren’t. They are the readers, right critics? It's a shame that critics think romance readers are all unattractive.) In a world where woman get bombarded constantly about what it means to be beautiful and attractive in a romance they get to believe that someone is going to love them and be physically attracted to them just the way they are, whether they are large or small, smart or ditzy, geeky or feminine. You will find all types of women in romance novels. The women are NOT made into objects and in the end whether there’s a happily ever after the characters come out as stronger people. Not changed because women want to change men but changed for themselves. The characters become more caring people who want to work for a relationship instead of just being in one.
3. What’s the one thing about our genre you’d like people to know?
Try it out. You never know. You might just fall in love. :)
If you like sweet there are sweet romances.
If you like steamy there are steamy romances.
If you like historical, you can find that too.
The romance genre isn’t a once size fits all. There are many people I know who would never read a paranormal romance but love historicals or contemporaries. There are so many sub genres out there that just about anyone can find what they are looking for. In this new reading market you can find something unique that you’ve always been looking for. Romance books are filled with adventure, small towns, a mix of paranormal historical, or science fiction romance. The possibilities are endless.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Continue on to read more in defense of romance from Sarah Hegger.