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.