This is a brave step for me! I am so use to being beat down that it has taken me YEARS to come to terms with my romance preferences. I know many of you are not yet at the point that you can be open and proud about your romance reading. Perhaps some are only part-time romance readers—using romance as “fillers” between your more weighty reading. Whatever the reason you pick up a romance book, do so with pride. I have devised a few steps to help you come to terms with the romance genre in hopes that you will read openly and honestly.
1. Admit that you do indeed love and read romance literature. Take an inventory of the books you have read or are currently reading. Are there ANY that fall in the romance genre? If so, you are indeed a romance reader.So how do you know if what you’re reading is Romance? Here are some characteristics of the genre according to The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction by Joyce G. Saricks to help make the distinction .
2. Recognize that you are not alone. According to the Romance Writers of America, over 78 million people read at least one romance novel in 2008 with 29 million being hard-core romance readers. Go ahead, take a sneak peek around you. Chances are the person right next to you shares your love of romances. They may not be as evolved and open about it.
3. Forgive the teachers, professors, librarians, fellow travelers on airplanes who have looked down their noses at your reading choices. Just as you want others to respect your reading choices, you must accept theirs (however misguided they may be).
4. Do not be afraid to suggest your favorite romance titles to your friends and acquaintances. You may inadvertently find that you will provide the impetus for them to realize and accept their inner romance reading tendencies. Then take it a step further and welcome them into the fold with open arms. Continue to feed their growing need for romances.
5. Try new and unfamiliar romance authors. Romance readers in general are a loyal bunch. We stick to our beloved authors like glue. But with over 7,000 new romance books published in 2008 alone, there is a lot of new material to choose from. Embrace and encourage new authors. Your find may become the number one romance writer of the future.
♥ The plot follows the formula of boy meets girl, boy loses girl (or some conflict occurs), boy gets girl back. A happy-ending is required.
♥ The characters are stereotypical. Tall, dark (or blonde, or even red headed) and handsome is the preferred male character. The women are usually independent, smart, and of course, beautiful (or at least interesting and unconventional).
♥ Romances are “fast” reads. You can stop reading and pick it back up easily. They are perfect for the chauffeur parent who is always waiting for their kids to finish extracurricular activities (that would be me).
♥ Romances use very descriptive language to set the mood, define the characters, and convey the action in the story.
Whether you are a current romance reader or new to the genre, hold your head high! Here are some of my favorite authors (feel free to post some of your own!):
Written by Angela J.