It never offended me, but it used to surprise me that people had a condescending and often derogatory attitude about romance books. Then when I started writing them myself I opened my eyes more and it began to occur to me. the people with negative attitudes about romance or the people that write them tend to be the people who have never read one. They seem to not know what goes into a romance, and worse they seem to not care because to them it isn't a shining example of great literary fiction.

My own husband, though he completely supports my desire to write and be published, was a lighter version of one such person. I actually hid the fact that I was writing from him for about 6 months before I fessed up. When I finally told him, he shocked me with his support and pride in what I'd done. He didn't make fun of me like I was sure he would. Over the coming months and years he came to see how much work and effort went into writing romance and grew to respect what I was doing, but he still didn't get the appeal of the stories.

Then last year, he picked up and anthology that a friend of mine was in. My husband, who reads how to books only, breezed through one of the stories in the antho. Better yet, he enjoyed it and remembered what it was about. When we talked about it, he said he finally understood why people choose to read romance. It takes them away from whatever may be going on in their life. It gives them an outlet to help release some stress or worry, and the results last longer than plugging into the TV.

Those exact reasons are part of what drives me to write story after story after story, and to continue pursuing publication after years of rejections. Some day I will sell the stories I write and someone will find a temporary release from the stresses in their life. I also tend to take it a step farther by always giving one of my characters something tough or traumatic to overcome, because for all I know one of the readers looking for an escape may have been effected by similar events. To me, a difficult background and overcoming tough odds makes the characters more real. More relateable.

What do you think? Why do you choose to read romance?

I look forward to your opinions.
Naughty Nikki (currently reading The Tycoon's Pregnant Mistress by Maya Banks)

Comments (5)

On February 3, 2009 at 12:32 PM , Brandy W said...

I will freely admit that I was probably one of those people who just didn't get it. My Mom read them and I had read one or two when I was younger but for me they were girly and screamed romantic; which I was not or tried not to be.

Now that I'm older and wiser I see the appeal and appreciate it. Reading romance brings me a different world. A sneak peek into something I will probably never experience. I read romance for pleasure and for the range of emotions the books bring out in me.

 
On February 3, 2009 at 3:11 PM , Jax Cassidy said...

I take pride in educating strangers about romance and it's easy how much people will listen if you tell them in a professional manner that some romances are disguised as fiction...most likely, they've read one and didn't know it. :) That always works. Excellent post!

 
On February 3, 2009 at 3:30 PM , Abigail McKenley said...

I've been reading romance for fifteen years now and chuckle when others criticize the genre. I've learned so much over the years from the books I've read, I'm pretty sure others would say the same if they gave us romance writers a chance.

We must be doing something right if my husband the 'Tech Guy' has become one of the genre's biggest fans.

 
On February 4, 2009 at 10:28 AM , WK said...

I've been reading romance for years. I read them for the HEA and the escape. But I always get kinda well it's odd to me when people comment. I've yet to see ANYTHING that didn't have a touch of romance. Horror movies and books even had a touch of romance, either in the people being killed or somehow in the motivation for the killer. It's everywhere, so why not read straight romance?

When I was younger I think I probably hide it more but now, well it's what I read deal with it.

Great blog!!!!!
hugs,
WendyK

 
On February 4, 2009 at 10:36 AM , Naughty Nikki Duncan said...

I went to the bank the other day and when the guy helping me asked what I did I told him I was a writer. He asked what I wrote and I thought, here it comes. I told him romance and he raised his brow and proceeded to tell me how much he enjoys reading them. So much, he got his MIL hooked on them. LOL. I like when men surprise me.