Tuesday, May 14, 2013

You Write What??

After you tell someone you are a writer, one of the first questions is…"Oh, what do you write?"

I answer proudly, "Romance."

The next question is, "Oh, well, why don't you try non-fiction?"

As if the person asking this knows anything about writing. The question itself is a dead giveaway that they know nothing about the field of writing. I have found a lot of the time, if you are not at a writing conference, but talking to a friend or acquaintance one of the first things they'll want to do is try to dissuade you from writing Romance.

Since when did love get to be a dirty word?

Since when did romance become a bad thing?

Since when do we need less romance in this world? Actually we need more.

I for one, have to ask why?  I spent forty years studying romance writing. I love the genre; I love everything about romance writing. I want to promote true romance and love. So why on earth would I want to write non-fiction?  Not that there is one thing wrong with non-fiction, but that it bores me. If I read non-fiction, it is either the Newspaper or a magazine. I am not a magazine writer, nor a journalist. It is totally a different genre than what I have studied for all these years.

But here I am at sixty-six years old  telling a friend I'm a published writer and hoping they will celebrate that fact, and all they can do is try to point me in another direction.

What is the phobia about romance writing?

I think to answer this; we have to recognize that not so many years ago people put romance novels in a drawer or hid the book with a book cover so no one would know what you were reading. It was an in the closet kind of thing.  Romance was taboo if you had any brains at all. So college students, young married women, and even older ones hid the fact that they read them. Of course statistics showed that people were reading them, despite the cover-up.

What puzzles me is why people still deny reading them. I have found that some women think it is a sign of no brains. Only ignorant people read them?  Come on. Romance is one of the most beautiful God given gifts. It makes the world go around. Romance is not dirty, or even immoral. It's one of the most precious things God gives us.

Romance is a lovely escape for man or woman. It is the power behind great leaders. It is the motive maker for a good marriage, and a happy family.  So why on earth would one be ashamed to read a romance? 
I can give you one reason that romance has a stigma with some, the covers on books. Not so long ago, it was usually a bodice ripper on the cover. A dead give-away to what one was reading. But the bodice ripper has now given away to body parts, nudity, and plain and simple, a hunky guy, or beautiful woman in distress. Another dead giveaway.

However, in defense of the romance industry, it is the very cover that sells the book sometimes.

It's the hint of romance that sometimes entices. It is the lack of romance that makes one seek it out.
But I have come to the conclusion that although all types, shapes, and sizes of people buy romance, a lot of people are still in the closet reading them, as though they were taboo. As though reading one knocked your IQ down a notch.

An intelligent person knows that romance, fantasy, and even some science-fiction is a form of escapism. The truth is we have to escape reality at times. The world is moving too fast, and changes every day and thus the need to escape.

Romance can teach us how to be a more loving person, or how to create moods for our spouses.
It simply teaches love…

Well celebrate dear writers, romance is still very much alive and well, and it's perfectly okay to let your husband know you read them. In fact, it might not hurt to flash those fleshy covers in front of him, or leave a page unturned.  Maybe it will give him food for thought.

I have to tell you, I'm proud to be a romance writer especially today when there is so much freedom to write the kind of romances we want. So celebrate it ladies, love makes the world go round.

Rita Hestand


Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Rita - and I absolutely LOVE the cover of your book. :)

Redameter said...

Thanks you Tina, that cover was done by Sahara Kelly, she did the entire Travers Brothers Series.

Jessica Subject said...

Great post! I totally understand the feeling, Rita. Happened twice already this morning. Some embrace what I write and ask questions, while others ask why I don't write mysteries or thrillers.

All the best!

Redameter said...

What I don't understand is why we can't seem to celebrate the fact that we write Romance without these people asking questions like, "Oh why don't you write something else?" Routine. It would be nice to hear, 'Oh how exciting. Where can I find your books." LOL

writery said...

Hubby only reads non fiction so that's what I get in response. Oh well! They don't want to understand do they?

Fiona McGier said...

What irks me is the raised eyebrows, the poke in the ribs, the insinuation that I have a "dirty mind" to be even willing to admit to thinking about "that sort of thing", let alone writing about it. Sigh...

Does anyone expect the writer of that famous cannibal Hannibal Lector to be sitting down to live, warm brains topped off with fava beans and a nice chianti? Hell no! So why is weird twisted stuff like that alright to write about, but "Katie bar the door and hide the chilluns", because I write naughty books?

I'm with you...I'm proud of what I write.

Redameter said...

Thanks ladies we stand united with this. But I think we need to keep saying it, because people still tend to hide the fact that they read romance, and men still groan about it. We represent something beautiful and no one can tear that down. Be proud. I wonder if anyone has ever rolled their eyes at Nora Roberts for writing romance? Nothing better than romance, and a few husbands I know should read it, maybe they would get some ideas on how to keep their wives happy. LOL God bless