Saturday, March 10, 2007

So whats wrong with romance?

I appeared at a women's expo in Knoxville TN yesterday with the fabulous Susan Kearny. And while signing books I got the question that arises at every signing.

"I want to write. What do I do?"

I got out a bookmark and wrote on it. That's the url for Romance Writers of America, a wonderful organization that teaches the craft of writing. Then I proceeded to explain to this person about the local chapter, (shout out to Smokey Mountain Romance Writers).

This person looked at me in horror. "Oh no, I don't write romance. I write real books."

hmmm....and I don't? I'm pretty sure that all of us here at Alien Romance write real books, real stories with great elements such as life, death, love, family, happiness, tragedy, and the triumph over evil. Sounds like a real book to me. And a lot more exciting than some of the "classics" that I've read.

I bit my tongue and paitently explained to this person that if they wanted to learn the craft of writing that they really should check out RWA. And the writer of real books took my book, signed and personalized. Of course it was free, provided by the company that sponsered the Expo.

So why is it that some people don't think romance novels are real? I actually had someone in a local writers chapter (not rwa related) ask me when I was going to write a real book. Which was kind of funny because I'm the only published writer in this chapter. Is it the covers? I admit some of them are kind of "ick". OR is it the happily ever after? What makes our books different than say Nicholas Sparks who claims he does'nt write romance. Is it because our characters wind up together while his die or no apparent reason other than the fact that he wanted to make us cry? (and before I get a fan rant let me say that Walk To Remember is one of my faves.)

What is the stigma with romance? Any care to comment?


  1. Anonymous11:47 AM EDT

    What is the stigma with romance?
    I think its because the original romances were books for 'weak females'. Like the 'Count Adolpho and the virgin' sort that were written for victorian women who needed an escape from boredom. Not heavy writing like the men of that time might have been reading like the Greek or Latin sagas etc. (usually in the original latin LOL).
    Personally I think romance nowadays are some of the best kinds of books around. They have everything - adventure, mystery, action and love. What more could a dedicated reader ask for?

  2. 7I'm also so sick of the "romance" comments. As a romance reader I've had co-workers say, so Marilyn, "how's that trashby novel or how's your housewife prom?"

    But when I put out the "free" books, guess what? They're gone!

  3. Do you think that perhaps the publishers keep this image going by continuing with the bodice ripper covers. Although I haven't seen as many of those lately.