This weekend I was visiting Tina Donahue’s wonderful blog: http://www.TinaDonahue.com/
Tina asked the question many of us ask all the time— why is it so hard for Romance authors to get a little respect?
This is the answer I posted on Tina’s blog:
“I always want to ask the nay-sayers of romantic fiction—If ‘romance’ is so cheesy, easy and unimportant, then why do so many romance novels get dog-eared at the best parts, treasured, hidden in night stands for years on end and stolen from libraries? Romance novels are part of a woman's secret world and that's what is viewed as unimportant—how sad.”
This is what I want to talk about just a little bit more—A woman’s secret world.
Speaking for myself, I really need and cherish this secret space. I love picking up a good book, or my e-reader and escaping into a favorite fantasy or theme. Some days I can only spare fifteen minutes but I do it wholeheartedly because this is something I’ve loved to do since I was a teen and it makes me feel whole. I need to be reminded now and then that a world of imagination is waiting beyond the long list of “practical” things that must be accomplished.
Funny thing is I’ve read a lot of critically acclaimed fiction and non-fiction best sellers that bored me to tears. I’ve also bought a lot of little known romance novels from tiny presses that clung to my thoughts for years. A few of those novels were full of flaws, but it didn’t matter.
What made the reading experiences so different? Emotion. The romance novels sunk in at a deeper level because they were written with emotion. The author’s attention to emotional detail triggered my compassion and drew me in. When a book carries a lot of emotion it pulls the reader into its world and little flaws can be easily over-looked because the book provides such a strong and satisfying experience. Emotion is what bonds a reader to a book.
We all need a little entertainment, escape, emotional release and a glimpse beyond the borders of our private reality. Romance novels do that in spades. I have a lot of love and respect for the many wonderful romance authors, both living and dead who have brought a spark to my day, thank you.