It’s the age old argument. Is romance real literature?
According to Washington Post writer Justin Wm. Moyer, romance is”formulaic with fill-in-the-blank qualities.” His recent comments expressed in the article about the plagiarizing case against Laura Harner sparked a firestorm of controversy in the romance community over his generalization of the genre.
The truth is, romance is a billion dollar business catering mostly to women. Romance is no more formulaic than the mystery, suspense. or science fiction genres, but you rarely hear diatribes on the worthlessness of those stories. I write romance. I read romance. And I can appreciate the work behind a well-written love story. I wish everyone could.
Love makes the world go round. When people lie on their death bed, they don’t want co-workers or acquaintances around–they want their loved ones–husbands, wives, lovers, children, family, and friends. These relationships are what matters in life–all that matters in life, so I become confused when books that delve into the making of said relationships are bashed as worthless.
I suppose Justin Wm. Moyer, upon his deathbed, will feel gratified while surrounded by stacks of newsprint. May that same pile of print keep him warm at night.
What are your views of romance?
Have you ever had a disagreement with your significant other over the temperature in the house? Whether you’re female or male, the answer is probably yes.
For years, my husband has been after me to install air-conditioning in the house. For years, I’ve resisted because I love to open the windows in the summer and let the natural breeze cool the house.
But last month, I finally gave in, and we now have a monstrosity of a unit outside our back door. And that’s when the temperature wars began…
He Said: (comes home from work, sweaty and hot) “It’s roasting in here. Why isn’t the air-conditioning on?”
She Said: (wearing t-shirt and sweats, and after a day inside, non-sweaty and cool) “It is. Give it a little while and you’ll adjust.”
He Said: (checking the temperature on the thermostat) “What’s the point of having air-conditioning if you’re going to keep it this hot? What a waste of money.”
She Said: (trying to be understanding) “If it’s set any lower, it’s too cold downstairs.”
He Said: “The temperature down there is only 20C (68F). How can that be too cold?”
She Said: (just the tiniest annoyed) “Trust me, it is.”
Ten minutes later, there’s a significant temperature change in the house. Upon checking the thermostat, she discovers the temperature has been lowered.
She Said: (pulling on a sweatshirt) “22 (71F) is too cold.”
He Said: “How can it be too cold? In the winter 22 is warm.”
One hour later, she’s sitting in the downstairs family room reading, covered with a blanket. It’s so cold, she has to get a tissue because her nose is running. She heads upstairs to the dining room where he’s playing Solitaire on his PC…
She Said: (grumpy as all get out) “It’s freezing down there. It’s freezing up here, too. The air-conditioner has been running for a solid hour without stopping.”
He Said: (bundled up in a warm sweater) “How do you know? You can’t hear it inside the house.”
She Said: (seething) “The furnace room is right across from me. I can hear it run and it’s not clicking off.”
He Said: “Not possible.”
She Said: (stomping away, heading back downstairs to the good book she’s reading) “I’m not stupid, you know. Go sit in the family room for a while and you’ll see what I mean. It’s so cold, I’m ready to haul out my winter jacket.”
He Said: (actually, he just ignores her, which pisses her off to no end, and makes her regret installing the stupid air-conditioner)
Finally, she goes outside to warm up, but because it’s still hot enough to fry eggs on the pavement, she’s soon all sweaty. She gives up and heads inside, grabs a second blanket and hauls it downstairs…
Two hours later, he comes down to the family room…
He Said: (hands in pockets, looking smug and righteously right) “It’s nice down here.”
Then he goes back upstairs.
At bedtime, the air-conditioner gets turned off. The windows upstairs stay closed because, you know, you’re not supposed to open the windows when you have air-conditioning.
The residual heat from the day is trapped inside the house and the temperature in the bedroom climbs. Despite the fan above the bed, it keeps getting hotter, until she finally heads outside to cool off…or maybe just cool down.
She Said: “Stupid air-conditioner. Stupid men. One of them has to go.”
Do you have He Said, She Said moments in your household, too? If so, I’d love to hear about them!
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on reaching out to my readers. But outside Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, blogs and book signings, I’m wondering where to go next. Where do authors and readers connect? Online? At book club meetings?
Where do readers want to connect? How do they want to connect? Do they want bookmarks, recipe cards, swag of all sorts? Do they want signed books, personal meetings, interesting tidbits of information gained via newsletters? Maybe connecting isn’t as key as enjoying a good book. Authors write, readers read.
But readers are my lifeblood as an author. I write for myself, but I write for my readers, too, and I want to know what they want, what they care about… I don’t want to waste their time. So I’m asking, as writers, has there been an exceptionally wonderful way you’ve connected with your readers?
And readers, how about you? What would you love to see from your favorite authors? Inquiring minds want to know! At least this inquiring mind, anyway.