Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Walkabout Wednesday: Why I Write Romance

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.

(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 87:

I've been pondering lately why I choose to write romance. Romance novels, and the authors who write them, are stereotyped probably more than any other genre: the novels are often dismissed as "literary pornography" (which, in all honesty, far too many of them are), those who write them are looked down on as the bottom-dwellers in the pond of the publishing world.

When I tell people I write romance novels, the looks on their faces generally register somewhere between horrified and offended. I might as well tell them I hock stolen goods on a seedy street corner or sell used cars with sawdust in the engine. One would think I had just announced my life's ambition to corrupt youngsters and undermine the fabric of America.

Don't get me wrong--I have no doubt that the romance genre contains works that would bring a blush to Hugh Hefner's face. But that's not what I write. Not even close.

So why would I choose a genre that inevitably brings that kind of book to a person's mind, especially when it isn't what I write or read?

Last year I was asked to present the award at the Whitney Awards gala to the winner of the Best Romance category and, as my introduction to the genre, I chose to explain exactly that: what a true romance really is and why it is worth writing.

Here's an excerpt from that speech:

"What is Romance? Is it a wind-swept Fabio on a cover? Is it Jane Austen or Jane Eyre? It is merely a book with a love story?
"In a true romance, love is the story. Love is the destination and it is the journey. Romance is the genre of "love conquers all," of "happily ever after," a celebration of human connections and an unwavering dedication to the belief that life can be good and the future can be bright."
This is the genre of hope, optimism, goodness and love. Or at least it should be.

That is why I read it. That is why I write it.

My name is Sarah M. Eden and I am a Romance Writer.




Reminders:
  • May 3rd, 7pm at the Provo City Library, Provo Utah Not Your Neighbor's Romance Novel Panel discussion with romance authors--Michele Paige Holmes, Jennifer K. Clark and Sarah M. Eden [Door prizes!]

4 comments:

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Sometimes I get odd looks when I tell people I write fantasy and SF. However, for folks who know me, if I said I wrote romance, they'd look at me cross-eyed.

I guess we all get steriotyped.

Anna said...

I appreciate writers like you and others that write clean romance novels. I've never read a harlequin romance novel and never plan to. But sometimes you just want to read a good romance novel that won't make you blush if your family knew what you were reading.

Paul D. Eden said...

I'm proud of you Sarah!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Ah, Sarah. That's lovely. I'm so grateful you shared the link in the ANWA group.

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