Saturday, April 30, 2011

Guest Blogger Kaily Hart..You Read WHAT???

You Read WHAT!?
You wouldn’t believe some of things I’ve heard people say or those that have been said to me about women who read romance. Or perhaps you can J. Can you imagine what’s said about the women that actually WRITE it? With all the talk this week about Judy Mays and her situation this seemed like such a worthy topic to bring up. The disparaging way the romance genre is viewed overall still confuses and frustrates me and not much really ticks me. Actually, I don’t often get ticked off at all, but this really does it for me. Yes, it’s probably primarily from men, but I’ve heard a lot of very disparaging remarks from women as well, women who “wouldn’t lower themselves to read such trash”. LOL. Sure, not everything is for everyone. But when it comes to romance, it’s not just that some people choose not to read it, it’s almost like they have to belittle those that do as well. It doesn’t seem to be the case with other genres of popular fiction. In fact, quite the opposite, so what gives??

Here are some things I’ve come across and my thoughts on it:

Women who read romance are fat, ugly, unmarried women who can’t get a guy – Wow, generalize much? I know for a fact this is not true!

Women who read romance just need a good lay by a real guy - Ah, great defensive comeback, usually masking your own deficiency and every woman everywhere could do with a good lay now and again J, romance reader or not.

Romance is not serious fiction – Oh, and science fiction and urban fantasy are? And by the way, many, many books from other genres have an element of romance in them. Almost every blockbuster movie does as well. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but what genre outsells more than any other? Huh?

Erotic romance is basically porn – Oh, honey what kind of porn have you been watching LOL?

Romance is so predictable – I love this one. You mean when you read a mystery you don’t know by the end it’ll be solved and you’ll know who did it? That sounds pretty predictable, but that’s just me.

Romance encourages women to expect something that’s not real. It sets unrealistic expectations about love and marriage – OK, this is probably said by guys who don’t…er…shall we say, measure up? Why shouldn’t women or anyone for that matter, have high expectations when it comes to the person they’ll spend the rest of their life with?

Anyone can write a romance novel - Oh, really? I get this ALL the time. People think writing romance is so much easier than writing any other type of book. Couple meet and fall in love. They boink and declare their undying devotion to each other. The people don’t think they really have to come up with any ideas, that they just have to write it. Alrighty then. Have at it!

That’s not all of them. Not by a long shot, but it gives a flavor. Romance isn’t just the 50 pound gorilla in the publishing room. It’s more like the 1000 pound monolith that aint going anywhere anytime soon.

So…have you come across some of these asinine comments and thinking? Why do YOU read romance?

About Me:

Kaily Hart, a seemingly straight-laced mother of four left corporate America and a high-powered, lucrative career to be a stay at home mom. Ha! That lasted about four weeks, during which time she realized she had a deeply repressed dream —to write. And romance at that! By day, Kaily plays conservative wife and soccer mom, but at night crafts hot and steamy tales of romance and love with gorgeous heroes who wouldn’t dream of leaving the toilet set up. Ever. She’s smart and sassy, at least in her own mind, and is trying her best to bring the alpha male solidly back to contemporary romance, one hot story at a time. Two years ago she never would have thought she’d be doing this, but now that she is? Well, you couldn’t pay her enough to do anything else.

Kaily’s books, PICTURE THIS, PAY UP & PLAY ME are all currently available from Ellora’s Cave and other ebook outlets.

If anyone would want to contact me (which I would love by the way) or just keep up with what I’m doing, you can find me all over:

Web –

Blog -

Facebook –

Twitter -


Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

Your points are so dead on.
As a reader I want to know that the authors/writers are everyday people who have a foot in the real world. Why? Because if there is no base of everyday life even in fantasy or the paranormal genres..whatever how can you believe anything? Does this make sense.
Naysayers can bite me. I live, have always lived by these beliefs that: "Those that can't imagine nor create are critics. They lack empathy and imagination to appreciate romance/erotic romance period. They just fail to leave their funky little world of disappointment in their own lives.
Hope this does not sound too harsh but it's what I believe.
I've been married for 30+ years, just over 50 years old and yes, even old married broads want romance and sex. *S*


Kaily Hart said...

Thanks so much for having me here today!! It's nice to be back.

Darcy, I think most people want romance and sex, but probably not all will admit to it, certainly not in their reading material!!

She said...

Good post. I read romance and erotic romance because I like it. I read other genres as well. I like reading. I like romance because sometimes I don't want to follow an intricate story line with so many people I need a score card to remember them. I read romance because I want a happy ever after. Almost every book has romance in it. Some books would be helped it there were sex and romance in them. I read romance because the stories are good, the sex is good, the romance is good. Romance authors are able to infuse a story with emotions that touch the reader and make the reader hate to close the book and lose the characters. They pull me into a story and wring out all my emotions, making me feel like I know their characters. I know how the characters feel and why they act like they do. I'd rather by happy reading romance than struggle through a "literary" read that leaves me depressed and fighting to finish it.

Kaily Hart said...

Thanks, She! Yeah, I'd prefer a romance over 'literary' fiction as well. I have enough reality in real life :).

Anonymous said...

Here's a stupid one I've heard. A woman who reads romance isn't satisfied with her husband/partner in bed.

I read them as a calgon moment to take me away from the demands of being a mom to 9 kids and I watch my grandkids too. I love a happy ending.

Marie Rose Dufour said...

Romance is my genre of choice in reading and writing. Once, I was in Barnes and Noble and the salesperson was trying to sell me a Nook. She looked down at the romances in my hand and one of her selling points was that I could read in public and no one would know what I was reading. Like the books in my hands were dirty little secrets. I am not ashamed of what I read and write. I come from a mother who never goes anywhere without a Harlequin romance in her purse! And anyone who has tried to get something published in the romance world knows that "it ain't easy"! I have the rejection letters to prove it. LOL!

anny cook said...

Some of the most profound books I've ever read were romances. There will always be self-righteous people who believe they should tell the rest of us what to read and write. It's important that we don't permit that to happen.

Rula Sinara said...

Excellent post, Kaily! I'm terrible at comebacks and yours rock (made me laugh). I'll have to borrow a few ;).

What really gets me is that romance and sex on TV or in mainstream movies doesn't get frowned upon or mocked the way it does in books. In fact, it's applauded, called artistic etc...
Why the prejudice regarding the form of media it's presented in? What happened to 'read more, watch less' LOL?

Bottom line...prejudice/slander is usually fueled by ignorance. I don't think the people making those comments have bothered to really read romances (of several subgenres).

Kaily Hart said...

Zina, wow 9 kids?? I thought I had a lot at 4 LOL! Nothing beats a happy ending in my opinion. I want to feel good when I finish a book :).

Marie, yes it is frustrating to me that people (who've never actually written a book) think it is so easy to write romance. And...shame on that sales person!!

Anny, I agree. I love when I read a book and I can't get it out of my mind. I don't want to read about doom and gloom. Well, unless there's a romance involved and I know there will be a satisying ending. And I'm with you. Some of the most profound books I've read are also romances. My son just turned 11 and is reading middle school 'literary fiction'. He just finished Crispin and is reading Out of the Dust. He asked me why he has to read about terrible, sad things. I didn't have an answer for him.

Rula, yes!! Almost every blockbuster movie and most TV has some form of romance and sex. I never thought about the media specifically before, but you're right. What is it about books? I know the cheesy covers of the past probably didn't help, but we should be way past that by now, right? Weird. And frustrating as heck!

Anonymous said...

That was a great post. I especially loved your expression "they boink". LOL!
You're points are dead on. All of us need a bit of escapism from the stress and routine of everyday real life. Whether it's romance, erotic romance, sci-fi, or maybe it's going rock climbing instead of reading.

Fiona McGier said...

I think it's like anything else, when primarily women do it, it's looked down on as less important. Since women write romance for women to read, it's considered less important than when someone like Norman Mailer writes similar books from the male point of view, describing sex as men imagine it. That's called literature. Excu-use me! Bo-oring! Give me a good erotic romance anyday!
Great post!

Kaily Hart said...

Casey, I'm fond of 'boink' as well. The word of course ;)!

Fiona, you may be right. Unfortunately. I've actually never really thought about it that way but I think you have a really great point.