When someone discovers I’m a writer, I find myself bracing for the inevitable question.
“What do you write?”
If you haven’t realized this by now, I write romance. Is this a bad thing? No, I certainly don’t think so. But I get the feeling sometimes people frown upon my choice of writing stories that slide neatly into the romance genre.
Romance itself isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I’m aware of this. I don’t judge those who prefer literary, non-fiction, fantasy, or horror, so why all the negativity toward my preference for romance.
“Oh, it’s unrealistic.”
“You must be so lonely you need to read romance to make up for not having a boyfriend.”
“You like reading all that smut.”
Seriously, we’re going to go down that road?
First of all, I’m happily married. Reading romance does NOT give me a delusional image of what a relationship should be like. It does NOT make me wish for something outside of my marriage. It doesn’t make me love my husband less, in fact, it makes me love my husband MORE.
As an avid reader of romance, I’ve become aware of several things.
1. Communication is the very cornerstone of a healthy relationship.
How many times have I read a romance where the only thing stopping the heroine and hero from finally achieving their goals is communication. I’ll give you a hint. It’s a lot.
Reading romance also gives you insight into things you’d never think to search for in your own relationship, things you should discuss openly with your spouse or partner. There is nothing wrong with being open about your dreams and desires, especially when it’s with someone you are sharing your life, body, and future. It may be the push you need to unleash the sensual self within.
2. Sex is NOT a bad thing, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
Whether it’s sweet inspirational romance or hot and steamy erotica, chemistry and sex play a huge role in the story. The same is true with reality and our own personal love stories. So often are we shamed for our enjoyment of sex with the person we love that we find ourselves not enjoying the intimacy that binds us as a couple.
As a writer of what I consider mainstream romance, I often have people call what I write porn or smut. Many of them have never even picked up a romance novel, let alone read one. All they see is that “clincher cover” (you know EXACTLY what cover I’m talking about) and suddenly I’m indulging in my lustful fantasies.
Honestly…most of the books I read only have a love scene if it pushes the story forward. That’s how I write, and that’s what I prefer to read. Does reading romance turn me on? Yes, it does.
I love the idea of love. I’m obsessed with the concept of romance. I’m addicted to sexual tension and the chemistry that pulls two people together. I find it fascinating and beautiful. I am unashamed of my passion for romance novels, both in writing them and reading them. Love and sex are wonderful things, and there should be no shame in exploring them in prose.
I may never write literary prose or the next great American novel. But I don’t care.
I write romance because I adore it, and because the world could always use a little more LOVE.
Feel free to leave your comments below…Thanks for stopping by.