The things I’ve put up with as a writer/reader of romance

27 Apr

You wouldn’t believe some of things I’ve heard people say or those that have been said to me about women who read romance. Or perhaps you can. It still confuses and frustrates me and not much really ticks me off more. Actually, I don’t often get ticked off, but this really does it for me. Yes, it’s probably primarily from men, but I’ve heard a lot of very disparaging remarks from women as well, women who “wouldn’t lower themselves to read such trash”. LOL. Sure, not everything is for everyone. But when it comes to romance, it’s not just that some people choose not to read it, it’s almost like they have to belittle those that do as well. It doesn’t seem to be the case with other genres of popular fiction. In fact, quite the opposite, so what gives??

Here are some things I’ve come across and my thoughts on it:

Women who read romance are fat, ugly, unmarried women who can’t get a guy – Wow, generalize much? I know for a fact this is not true!

Women who read romance just need a good lay by a real guy – Ah, great defensive comeback, usually masking your own deficiency.

Romance is not serious fiction – Oh, and science fiction and urban fantasy are? And by the way, many, many books from other genres have an element of romance in them. Almost every blockbuster movie does as well. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but what genre outsells more than any other? Huh?

Romance is so predictable – I love this one. You mean when you read a mystery you don’t know by the end it’ll be solved and you’ll know who did it? That sounds pretty predictable but that’s just me.

Romance encourages women to expect something that’s not real. It sets unrealistic expectations about love and marriage – OK, this is probably said by guys who don’t…er…shall we say, measure up? Why shouldn’t women or anyone for that matter, have high expectations when it comes to the person they’ll spend the rest of their life with?

Anyone can write a romance novel – Oh, really? I get this ALL the time. People think writing romance is so much easier than writing any other type of book. Couple meet and fall in love. They don’t think they really have to come up with any ideas, that they just have to write it. Have at it then! 

That’s not all of them. Not by a long shot, but it gives a flavor. Romance isn’t just the 50 pound gorilla in the publishing room. It’s more like the 1000 pound monolith that aint going anywhere anytime soon.

So…why do YOU read romance and do you come across some of these asinine comments and thinking?

14 Responses to “The things I’ve put up with as a writer/reader of romance”

  1. Kim April 27, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Oh, yes, I’ve come across the stigma MANY times. Friends will talk about their latest NY Times best-selling autobiography they’ve read, blah, blah, blah (yeah, that’s what my mind does). When they ask what I’m reading, whether it erotic romance or paranormal or whatever, I usually get a, “hmmpf…ooooh”. I just look at them and say, “yeah, and it’s really HOT! It’s about…” (they usually walk away from me at that point LOL). Keep in mind, I haven’t always read romance. I used to read Stephen King, James Patterson, John Clancy, et al. Their novels are exceptional, but I found it difficult to find other mystery/suspense novels that were the same caliber of these writers. With romance, there are SOOOOO many EXCELLENT authors, I don’t have to search forever to find something to read. PLUS, I can choose between an array of genres within romance. Thanks for the blog. It was great!!!!

  2. Shoshanna Evers April 27, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Yeah, I’ve encountered many people who think they can easily write erotica because they’ve had sex and/or watch porn, and people who think they can write romance because it’s just “boy meets girl, boy chases girl, and they end up HEA”. LOL

    Fortunately, I tend to surround myself with people who love to read too, and I don’t get too much flack for reading romance non-stop 🙂

  3. Heather April 27, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    I love reading romance novels and yes it’s probly because I need to get layed by a ‘real’ man but I live in a very small town and they just don’t exist here. I’m 23 yrs old, in good shape and I’m not beautiful but nobody has ever called me ugly and I’ve never had trouble getting a guy. But I also have a 3 yr old son and we do everyting together. Every available second goes to my son and I don’t want to waste that time with him looking for Mr. Right so I just don’t date. So yes I read my romance novels because I have no man in my life and not interested in finding one at this point. And as for the ‘it not being real,’ we live vicariously through yalls books because the men in our lives don’t even compare lol. Yall do a great job writing romances and I couldn’t do it so thanks 🙂

  4. shelli rodgers April 27, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    yea i have heard all of that crap. and i laugh! because i know that im a goodlooking woman who only has a small muffin top (after two big babies) lol and who does get laid by a real man and i have also gotten a few of my straight male friends hooked on my kind of books. in my opinion the laugh is on the people who put us down cuz it just shows how unhappy with themselves they are when they have to put others down, and i would bet some of those people are closet romance readers. and i read romance because i love happy endings!

  5. Karen C April 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Yes, I’ve heard all those comments before, too, and I used to be defensive when I told people what I was reading. Finally got over that! Now, I tell people about how hard authors work, explaining some of the things I’ve learned through reading their blogs, websites, and even FB (like the workshops and classes). The response is something like “I had no idea ..” or “how interesting'”. So, yes, I do read romance – romantic suspense, paranormal romance, thriller romance, contenporary romance, and so on… and proud of it!!!

  6. Elece April 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    I am a proud reader of romance and erotic romance! I say, whatever floats your boat to read, you should read. I’ve had many people make snide remarks about my literary pleasure (:0)). I don’t give them the satisfaction of a reply or defense comment. It’s their loss!

    As for writing it…well, it’s damn hard work! I’m just getting into the writing aspect of it, and it takes more time, energy, and your full attention to do it. Much more so than my day job. And I own my own business, so that’s saying a lot!

    All I can say is thank you, to all the authors of this genre. Not only for opening my eyes to a new world of reading, but also for helping me find something I’m passionate about in life.

  7. KJ Reed April 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    I’m sure everyone, by now, has heard about poor Judy Mays and people’s pre-conceived notions about romance. (If not, try http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/).

    Just another example of ignorance and intolerance in the genre. Here’s an idea, everyone… you read what you would like to read, and I’ll read what I would like to read.

    The “not real fiction” stuff always gets me. Romance makes up approximately 50% of all book sales. So really, at the end of the day, what makes something real?

  8. Nara April 27, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    Here’s an interesting article by an ex-romance hater. When I read things like this I feel like we’re making progress against the ignorance. http://unprofessionalcritic.blogspot.com/2011/02/cynics-defense-of-romance-novels.html

  9. Stephanie April 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    I’ve heard them all! But I am not ashamed to say I have a weakness for romance. No I admit that fully. What’s ironic is that I have read some Romantic suspense novels that were better plotted and more creative than some of the bigger names in “fiction”. Not real fiction? Excuse me while I roll my eyes…

  10. Marilyn Campbell April 28, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    Sorry I’m late replying & forwarding Kaily, I only just was able to see it this morning! Anyway, as an old timer I can confirm the insults have been going on for decades. Obviously naysayers haven’t stopped romance from being the most read genre. I used to approach every interview with statistics from Forbes magazine & Pub Weekly & that usually softened the attitude.

  11. Kaily Hart April 28, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    Kim, ‘blah, blah, blah’… love it! I’ve read a lot of literary fiction, but I just prefer romance. There’s enough of the harsh realities of life in real life!

    Shoshanna, I’ve encountered people who think just because I write erotic romance, I must be a sex expert and they start telling me their bedroom problems LOL.

    Thanks so much, Heather. I love your attitude :)!

    Shelli, yeah I’m hooked on the feel good moments of a happy ending too!

    Karen, you sound like a great advocate!

    Elece, yes it is hard work and thanks!

    KJ, yeah I saw all the news about Judy Mays. It’s crazy.

    Nara, progress maybe but slow LOL!

    Stephanie, that’s the funny thing. Some ‘romance’ books are such great novels and would offer readers so much if they could just get past the label.

    Marilyn, they can’t argue against facts, right?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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