THE ROMANCE WRITER EXPERIENCE
What the writer envisions when she tells people she wrote a romance novel:
What people envision when they hear the writer wrote a romance novel:
THE ROMANCE READER EXPERIENCE
“Romance” as a Genre
I walked up to a table at a book fair and a woman asked, “What do you like to read?”
I answered, “Romance.”
“Oh,” she said, passing by the array of different types of books spread out in front of us, and pointing out one on the side, saying, “Here is a book of erotica.”
The woman seemed to immediately dismiss my interest in relationships and assume I just wanted to read about the sex.
To me, “romance” still means “a love story.” Sex is part of a relationship, but the most important aspect to some of us “romance” readers is the exciting and sometimes complicated dynamic of attraction turning to love.
With occasional banging.
In all seriousness, I prefer sex scenes to leave something to the imagination.
FROM ROMANCE READER TO ROMANCE WRITER
What I don’t want in a novel… And what you won’t find in mine:
(FROM THE TYPICAL HISTORICAL ROMANCE)
The sexy pirate or viking.
Come on, we all know he would rarely bathe. And please, no scenes where the heroine is forced to bathe with him just to give me a feeling of security that he does bathe sometimes.
The word “rake” (the historical romance’s word for “player”). I just hate this word, like I hate the word “flip-flops.”
Yes, Yes, YES!
(FROM THE TYPICAL CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE)
A bare-chested man on the cover of the book.
Unless it’s this guy.
A male romantic lead with no edge. Because when I read a male character that sounds like a regular person, I imagine an average guy from match.com instead of a fun hottie.
Sweet dog stories. All of the cats I know and I are tired of cats always being portrayed as evil while the dogs are pure goodness wrapped in a happy dog suit.
It’s not their fault that nearly all cats have resting bitch face.
The romantic leading man with long flowing hair.
It just doesn't do it for me to hear about a man's luxurious tresses blowing on the breeze.