So I just read this post by contemporary romance writer Jeannie Moon, which, of course, made me feel all twitchy. Why, tell me why, are people always knocking romance novels? Tell me how a romance novel is “not a real book.”
What makes a “real” book? Plot, character, description, tone? Because romance novels have all of those things. And have the people who say such things actually read a romance novel? (Or, if they have, do they just skip to the dirty parts? Tsk tsk tsk.)
I just realized I’m preaching to the choir. *steps away from pulpit*
I was already feeling mildly irate because, in a writers loop I belong to, a fellow writer said that her boss called her books “silly romance novels.” Silly? Romance novels are silly? They’re not real?
Oh, wait, excuse me while…
Sorry. I’m back.
Jeannie, who managed not to turn into the Incredible Hulk, raised some valid points to put her particular naysayer/book snob in her place:
“I set out to bury Harpy with the facts. Facts about romance’s incredible reach, profitability and the most basic of all: that if the genre were to become extinct, 1.3 billion dollars in book sales would be lost. It would decimate publishing and all those “real books” wouldn’t have anyplace to go. I talked about academic work being done at major universities studying the genre as literature and I talked about how it made people happy. And in the end, that’s all that mattered.”
So here’s my piece. Why do I think romance novels are most certainly REAL books, and not at all SILLY? Because…
Books change us; all art does. Books help us understand the human experience. The last time I checked, romance, yummy parts included, is a vital part of that experience. And we’re never more alive than when we’re in love.
I could go on. And on. And on. But I think I’ve said enough.
And this whole thing has inspired me to blog about why I chose to write romance novels. But that’s a separate post for another day.
Why do you love romance novels? Why do you think people feel this way? And how can we help them see the light? Or, if you’re a hater, why?