Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August is Read a Romance month! So do it!

When I tell people I'm an author, they always ask me what I write.  I used to proudly announce that I write romance.  After seeing too many reactions that seemed to suggest that the person felt as if they'd stepped in something icky, and were now trying to escape, I began to mumble behind my hand, "I write romance."  But now I've come full circle and I announce it proudly again.  I'm not ashamed of what I write.  I enjoy writing it, and even re-reading it.  And I've had other readers tell me they enjoy it also.

But what never ceases to amaze me is the remarks that some feel obligated to make.  "Oh, I never read that kind of stuff."  "I only read best-sellers."  "People still read that stuff?"  And my favorite is the attitude that somehow I've revealed myself as the kind of woman who didn't even graduate from high school, who watches reality TV because she believes it, and who reads romance because her life is so depressing that she wants to escape it, by reading about men who don't treat women like dirt.  Sigh...

In actuality, I'm a certified English teacher, who subs and tutors.  I'm also a Mensa member, and I rarely watch TV.  I spend my time working, or writing.  With my rare free time, I read, and crochet afghans for relatives and friends.  Or I sew clothing...or bake pies...or go camping with any of our 4 grown children.  And I've been happily married to the man of my dreams for over 32 years.  

But in point of fact, the whole reason eBooks took off like they did is that romance readers are a voracious bunch, who read multiple books per week, buying them, borrowing them, even getting them from the library. But they read a whole lot more than the rest of the population.  So if everyone I run into doesn't read romance, who does?  Do I just not run into the right people?  Or are romance readers too embarrassed to identify themselves in public?  Who knows?

My mom always read romance because she loved to live vicariously through the pages, entering a world she'd never get to visit, where women were cherished by men who adored them.  She'd thrill to the first taste of excitement when two people were attracted to each other.  She'd enjoy the give and take of their courtship.  Then she'd love the descriptions of their love-making, as they acted on their desires.  In fact if the book didn't have any "action," she'd drop-kick it across the room, yelling at the author that she'd never read her again. 

But as with any author, there are large parts of me in every book I write.  There is the belief in happily-ever-after, which I truly believe to be possible.  There is the idea that two people should find out if they're compatible before committing to getting married.  There is my strongly-held conviction that birth control is not an option, but a necessity.  That "no" definitely means "no", and there is no way that any woman should ever forgive a man who doesn't believe her words. 
And there is the reality that, just as I still peek furtively at good-looking men in public places because I'm married, not dead; I still like to think about, write about, and yes, read about the falling-in-love experiences of other people. 

So this month, during Read a Romance month, I encourage you to do just that.  If you're looking for a new author to try, I have a series of 6 books in my Reyes Family Romances, about the members of a large Hispanic family, and the people they fall in love with.  There is even a free novel, to see if you like my people: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/18367.

I have a series of 3 books set up in the Boundary Waters area of northeastern Minnesota.  These books are full of local scenery, as well as hot, sexy romances.  The third book involves older lovers, since people in their 50's need love too!  Her Last Resort. 

And if you want some sci-fi with your romance, check out my Mayan vampires, in which I present a scientific explanation for those sexy blood-suckers.

You have a little over 2 weeks left in the month...so try a romance.  You just might like it!



Tina Donahue said...

I don't get that 'you write WHAT?' look people give us. Romance is the absolute hardest genre to write as it entails emotions. It's easy to write gun battles, train wrecks, plane crashes - trust me, I know. Getting emotions on the page - that's freaking difficult.

Fiona McGier said...

You're right, Tina. I think it is fostered by the continued denigration of anything female-oriented. Romance is mostly written by women, and mostly read by women. So it must, by nature, be low-class, since everyone knows that females are not as good as males, right? Sigh.

And let's not even get into the males who write romance. Some, like our buddy Tim, proudly write M/F romance, and he's very good at it. Some, like our Andrew, write M/M romance, and since he's actually a gay man, I respect his writing much more than hetero women who write gay romance. I wouldn't presume to be able to describe the intimate moments of 2 men together...or even of 2 women together, since that's not been my experience.

But some males who write romance, (cough! Nicholas Sparks! cough!)are heralded as best-selling authors, but would never cop to the fact that they are writing romance. They call it "general interest", or whatever genre they think will not scare their male readers away.

I've been a feminist since I was a kid, and we raised our 4 children to respect equality also. I don't understand how and why we're still living in a society that devalues over 50% of its population. But then I don't understand bigotry either.

Tina Donahue said...

How right you are. A man prepares a meal, he's a chef. A woman does, she's a cook. Don't get me started on Sparks. I don't have the time to hurl. I figure we're too smart for most men and they're jealous - not to mention afraid. Frankly, I feel sorry for most of them.