Friday, May 21, 2010

Why does romance get such a bad rap???

When I started writing...I had no clue what genre it was. After a while, I realized it was stuff only women would be interested in that made it women's fiction. And mostly I had young heroines...set in an urban setting...chick lit. But then someone mentioned something to me......romance. Yeah...there were romantic scenes in my writing, but to call it a romance novel with heaving busoms and burning loins???

I'll admit, when I first thought what I wrote was romance, I wasn't real comfortable. I didn't know much about romance and what I did know from sterotypes told me it was something a lot of people didn't take seriously. I did not want that for my career.

So I did my research and was amazed at what I found. It's not your Grandma's romance novel anymore! Heroines are smart, funny, resilient, strong...they get what they want and don't need a man to save them or give them anything. The difference is that they want the man around (or woman, or both. I'm extremely pleased to see how many glbt novels there are out there! Yay!)...a partner to share life with...and isn't that what we all want....even in the 21st century???

Now I'm not gonna say there aren't corny covers out there...but they are much better than they used to be! No more Fabio look-a-likes.

If you need more this article! I got the link from my fabulous editor and fellow romance writer Piper Denna!


  1. The romance genre has changed so much over the years. It's much more sophisticated now in my opinion.

    I cracked up at your phrase, "burning loins" ouch!

  2. I have to admit-I'm not a romance reader. I don't write it, I don't read it. I read the article and I think I have found out why. I'm not a romantic. I don't remember ever being "magically consumed" or singularly focused on my love. I was never the girl that daydreamed about boys or got excited about every small detail of a new love. I'm a realist and probably a cynic-so those types of novels just don't appeal to me.

    That said-I think every type of fiction or non-fiction piece has it's place. Like you, I'm thrilled that the genre has evolved, and for all of those die hard romantics out there-there is a novel that speaks to their life, their love, their path. It's by demand that those changes have occured, so there is surely a call to that genre.

    I just love reading, and I'd hate to be boxed in by what someone else thinks I "should" be reading, or even writing. I don't read sci-fi or mysteries or erotica either. But lots of folks do. If any genre gets someone to be engrossed in a story for hours at a time, laughing out loud or shrinking back in horror-then it's done exactly what it should have done, and what I love most about reading myself.

    I don't think people read ENOUGH nowadays, and I'm just glad there are so many choices out there to appeal to all.

  3. Hey Stephanie! I've gotten those eye-rolls about romance too, and usually say I write women's fiction. That said, if anybody asks why romance... Romance plays a vital role in perpetuating our species by giving women hope that heroic men really do exist. ;)

    I think the "bad rap" comes from days of yore when really all the romances out there were the predictable brain candy dime-store romances. And yes, those still have their place with some readers... but not most of us.

    On the bright side, romantic fiction accounts for around 40% of all fiction sales... which is huge. So it's not a bad category to be lumped into.

    Thanks for the mention, girl!