Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Should Romance be Required Reading?

My Halloween blog was up way too long. I confess it's because I didn't want to lose my hottie photos. So--

Whew. I feel better now. If you want another hottie fix during this blog, feel free to check out my Trick or Treat Blog Hop post.

Now, moving on to the actual topic of the day. I've been thinking a lot lately about this kind of thing:

Me: "I've been writing romance, and I have a book coming out in December..."
Former Acquaintance: "Romance? You don't mean, like those Harlequin ones?"
Me: "Well, no, not that there's anything wrong with..."
Former Acquaintance: "Oh, I never read those books. They're all the same. I like mysteries."
Me, silently to myself: You mean those mysteries where someone is always killed at the beginning, the main character always has to track down the bad guy, solve the crime, and wrap up the loose ends ... before the killer strikes again?

I'm not knocking mysteries. Love 'em. The point is, I like the comfort and familiarity of the structure of romance, the fact that you know everything's going to work out in the end, the lovers will be together, nothing too terrible will occur. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT? I know life isn't that way. I know real love is far more complicated and unpredictable than a romance novel. So what?

We need fantasy in our lives. It helps the hard parts go down easier. It helps us be optimistic. It brings comfort and escape. It brightens your mood. If you're in a better mood, you can be nicer to those around you. So, IMO, romance novels can help your relationships. Which means ... the fantasy actually becomes reality. Maybe reading about love brings more love into the world. If so, why the heck isn't it required reading?

I've always turned to romance novels during times of personal angst. In fact, I feel kinda sorry for someone who can't enjoy a good romance novel. You're missing out on a lot of fun, sweetness, emotion, adventure, excitement, and hotties, Former Acquaintance!

Hey, did someone say hottie?

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

Peace and love,



Anonymous said...

Amen sista, and don't forget that lots of romance stories have mystery, intrigue, murder, sabotage, and suspence. Three cheers for the romance novel.

Boone Brux

LizeeS said...

It's like my old fave singer (as in, he really is old now) Paul McCartney wrote: "Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. What's wrong with that, I'd like to know ..." Well, you make the same, perfect case for our books. If we all just gave love a little chance--the world might be filled with a little more wonder and happiness.
Great post, Juniper.

(See, I can slip those Beatles in ANYWHERE!)

Tamera Lynn said...

Mmmmm, hotties. But seriously, you make excellent points. Why are people so down on romance? Sure, there are bad ones out there. But there are amazing romance novels, too! Same with mystery or any other genre (or even literary fiction!) Gooooo Romance!!

Juniper Bell said...

Liz, it's amazing how the Beatles have the perfect quote for every occasion! LOL. Boone and Tamera, you make some great points. I admit there are some bad romance novels. But that's no reason to reject the whole genre, which does, as Boone says, have all kinds of other elements too.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

I agree; there are good and bad romances just like there are good and bad mysteries, suspense, etc. I think a good romance novel can lift your spirits, give you a good laugh or cry when you need one, and provide a break from reality when things are not so brilliant in your own life. The world might be a better place if everyone read romances now and then.

Tielle St. Clare said...

Preach it, sister!

Bella said...

Amen, Juniper! And good point boonebrux. Plus, it ain't just romance -- it's EROTIC romance! And that is also why we love it ;-)

PG Forte said...

Mysteries are great and really good mysteries can be intellectually satisfying. But a good romance is emotionally satisfying...and, yeah, as Bella mentions, frequently very hot as well!

What could possibly be wrong with that?

Vivi Andrews said...

A toast to the most defamed genre in fiction! And my sympathies to the poor people who don't read THOSE books. ;)