Why Romance? Why not?

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There are dayslike todaywhen I find myself on the receiving end of…

The look.

It’s the one people lay on me after learning what I do for a livingmore specifically, the fact that I write…

Wait for it…

ROMANCE.

It’s a look that evolves from…

Are you serious?

To…

No, you can’t be serious.

To…

Holy @#%&, you ARE serious.

To…

Oh, how cute. You actually think you’re a REAL writer.

And, to further drive the spike into my already fragile ego, a saccharine-laced response usually piggybacks “the look,” something along the lines of…

“Those books are okay to read if you don’t want to think too much.”

Ouch.

Unfortunately, this perplexing (and rather unwarranted) romance-is-a-subpar-genre attitude is something I’ve been running into for as long as I can remember.

There’s an assumption shared by many that neither effort nor intelligence is required to write romance novels and that their pages contain nothing but embarrassingly sappy drivel. And if you actually read them, then God help you, because you’d better be armed with one mother of a justifiable reasonnamely, your brain needing a sabbatical.

Pffft.

Personally speaking, I can tell you that reading and writing romance has nothing to do with a lack of creative depth or an unhealthy penchant for heaving bosoms and quivering loins.

By the way, 99.999% of romance imprints did away with those terms eons ago.

Fact: Romance consistently wins out as the best-selling literary genre…by a landslide.

Yet, ironically, it comes up the rear in terms of respect and credibility…which, if I’m being frank, kind of steams my clams.

Whether or not people admit it, they’re reading romance and lots of it. So, you know what I say?

Be proud!

When you’re engaged in bookish chit-chat with someone who asks you, “Why romance?” you can fire back with a simple, but effective…

“Why not?”

Then point them in the direction of a book like Pride and Prejudice and I’ll bet they never ask you that question again.

The one thing I love most about voracious romance readers is that they…just…get it. If you’re reading this right now, then chances are, you do too.

And I am so grateful to have you along!

Of course, I’m not suggesting that everyone should go gaga over romance novels, because as we all know, art in its various forms is subjective. What one gets off on the other may yawn over. It’s a matter of personal preference.

Even as a self-proclaimed sucker for all things swoon-worthy, I still enjoy dipping my eyeballs into horror, mystery, suspense, and fantasy.

Stephen King, if you’re reading this, I love you!

(Who am I kidding? There’s no chance in hell he’s reading this.)

What I’m saying is that romance deserves equal inclusion as a legitimized, stigma-free genre among its industry counterparts.

Does that mean all romance novels are worth critical acclaim? Heck no. There are some sucky ones out there for sure. But do other genres have their own share of craptastic representation? You betcha.

Again, if you follow this blog, then I’m probably preaching to the choir. Maybe you’re actually a romance writer yourself. If so, then you’re also familiar with “the look.”

There will always be people who don’t understand, or even want to, and that’s okay. Because the rest of us know that with the romance genre, there is so much more than meets the eye upon that curious first glance. It’s the type of fiction that gets into your mind and stays there, the type that explores love and intimacy from within the intricate tapestry of the human condition. It inspires hopeand yes, even change. So…

Whether you read it…or create it…

I hope it inspires you too.

If you’re proud to be a romance fan, let me know by leaving a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Copyright © S. A. Healey

 

Image source: flickr.com – Tsahi Levent-Levi, artist

 

 

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25 thoughts on “Why Romance? Why not?

  1. I write my take on ‘romance’ … you should see the looks I get! I say ‘contemporary relationships’ nowadays, I can’t be arsed to explain what comes out of me. I read it too, if it’s got an edge, if of a story, but not just the story, and above all well told. You know the kind of thing … you write it very well.

  2. I learned so much about history from my years of reading historical romances. They were fascinating. I say, brava and amen, beautiful girl! I love the fact that it is a thriving genre. Well-deserved. xo

  3. You go Girl!!! Loved the look of You on a high horse charging after all those “Naysayers” LOL! You write very well!!!!
    Thanks for coming to visit me. I hope my blog was worthy of your time!!!

      • Really loved Your “Feeling Stuck? So Dream”! Such a fantastic and fun piece to read and so much to think about and consider. Will have to reread this a number of times! I like to search for little gems and this was stuffed with them. I put them in my Word Bank for use as future seeds of inspiration.

        I wanted to share this with my followers on WordPress as a reblog as some of them have a significant number of followers and this is exactly what every blogger needs to read every month or more often. Is there a way that I can do that? I did send myself and a few close friends the article as an email but that is not something I can do with my followers on WP. Please let me know! Thanks,

        I really love your writing style, humor and the two posts I have read have been great topics. Looking forward to MORE! I love More and ask for it often. My philosophy is there is no harm in asking? So, More, like “Feeling Stuck?”

        One of my favorite quotes is “What have you done – Today, to make your dreams come true”!

        The other is a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, THE POWER OF BELIEF “”Believe in yourself. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face . . . You must do that which you think you cannot do.”
        Please let me know about the reblog. I would love to introduce you to my followers!!!

      • Wow, I cannot thank you enough for taking this time to read “Feeling Stuck” and for leaving such encouraging and thoughtful feedback! Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a way to reblog that specific piece by itself since the webzine VoElla.com owns the rights to the content. There’s always the option to reblog the post where I reference it, but I understand if that’s not something you’re comfortable doing. In any event, thank you SO MUCH for sharing with your friends via email and it’s so lovely to have made your acquaintance. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 😊

  4. You are more than welcome as it was time well spent!! I thought you might like those quotes. I understand about the reblog. I’m thinking that it would just be better for me to make a post on making your dreams come true and mention you and your piece and include a link to the article on VoElla.com. I think that will be the simplest.

    I was very happy to share this with my friends as they are ones that will appreciate it. And it is great getting to meet you too. I’m always looking to make new friends!!

    Oh, hey! Something for you to see if you can get done with VoElla.com. I’m an old guy, 68 living in a Sun City Retirement Community in Georgetown, Texas. We have about 15,000 seniors living here. We have a monthly magazine called “Sun Rays” and they are always looking for good content and so it just hit me that your article is just perfect for them and the seniors living here as everyone is “reinventing” themselves and most have the chance to pursue the dreams they put on hold. Can you find out if VoElla.com will grant reprint rights to them?

    Sun City Developments are nationwide in the U.S. so you could have quite a number of communities that are the same size or bigger and you could have your article reprinted in their monthly magazines. Seems like something fun to see if you could make happen?? Always looking to help out a friend!!!

    Thank you for visiting my poems. They do appreciate the chance to make new friends too! Ha!
    Thanks again for such a great article!!!

    • Aw thanks again for everything! I’ll reach out to VoElla’s editor regarding reprint rights. Oh, and I love the quotes you shared! I have some of my favorites on a wall next to my desk for inspiration…I’ll be sure to add those to it. 😃

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