This is one of my favortie posts from years past. Since I’m taking an unexpected trip home for family business, I don’t have time to come up with something original for my blog. I hope you’ll enjoy this post from a few years ago…
We’ve already established. I read ROMANCE. I write ROMANCE. I’m not ashamed. I don’t hide it and frankly I don’t care if other people think I’m some bimbo who’s not capable of understanding a complex sentence or able to string more than three words together without giggling. What I choose for relaxing has no bearing on whether I can discuss the latest green technology or cook a seven course meal (which I can’t, but that’s not my point).
So the romance genre gets a bad rap. Who cares? Get over it.
There have been blog posts in the past where people have lumped the whole genre under “Bodice Rippers“. The outcry from romance authors was a firestorm of indignation. Comments posted on the blogs went viral. I couldn’t understand why it mattered. Granted, the term Bodice Ripper seems to originate from a 1980 New York Times article:
“Women too have their pornography: Harlequin romances, novels of ‘sweet savagery,’ – bodice-rippers.”
It no doubt was spurred on by images of covers like those above (which I love, thank you very much). It’s meant as a derogatory term. Yeah, so? Some people don’t like romance. Like this guy who thinks romance is disguising itself as thrillers, suspense and paranormals. Um, no buddy, romance stories ARE thrillers, suspense and paranormals. But you know it’s okay if he doesn’t like romance. I don’t like Dr. Pepper, rude people, documentaries about wars or men named Charlie (that last one I just made up). Sue me. Point is, Dr. Pepper commercials will never appeal to me no matter how much dancing, cute puppies or sexy men are involved. They aren’t going to get me to buy their product.
Not only do I write romance, but I go even deeper into the red-headed stepchild realm by daring to write smut porn erotica. And no matter how much someone might like romance stories (despite the fact that even mainstream is becoming hotter and hotter) there are some who wouldn’t pick up an erotic book if George Clooney said he’d read it to them. Frankly, I’d let George read me my grocery list … but I digress.
I’ve had people look down their nose at me and claim I write Smut. “That’s ROMANTIC smut actually.” See? I don’t care. When someone says they wouldn’t like my stories because they don’t read that. I smile and tell them “oh, but you’d like mine”. Okay, maybe not the erotica, but still, I’m proud of what I write. I’m happy to be part of the biggest market share of the publishing industry.
An English professor at the university I attended a few years ago said “Hemingway is way up here. We’re somewhere down here. Our goal is to improve in writing so we’re somewhere in the middle. That means we’re successful.” Ummm, excuse me? Hemingway died a lonely alcoholic at his own hand. Most people read his stuff in high school or college classes and never think about it beyond the test. That’s really not what I’m striving for. I want to entertain, to sweep readers away on a fantasy and if I can create memorable characters along the way that wiggle their way into the reader’s hearts … all the better. Yeah, I’m quite happy being part of the Bodice Ripper genre thank you very much.