Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rants of a romance writer

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I'm back from RT & all I have to show for it is some weird voice destroying plague!  Yes, I have plenty of gossip, news & other happy tidbits, but it's going to have to wait until I stop seeing pretty pink & purple spots dancing before my eyes.

So for now I'll post a little rant I wrote after watching people buy books in the airport bookstore. Oh how little we pay attention to those watching us :)

Someone please explain this situation to me. A person can easily and happily pay for a non-fiction book about true crime or some sex manual without a hint of a blush. But ask that same person to buy a romance novel and all bets are off. What is up with that? You're too shamed to purchase a book that guarantees you a happily ever after, but proud to by a serial killers autobiography? I'm not even talking about the old school books with the heaving bosoms and all that.  Covers today are more detailed and some are truly works of art so please tell me...where is the shame?

I write romance. I'm proud of my work. When someone asks me what I do for a living I tell them. I don't say I write women's fiction or mainstream fiction. I'm a romance writer..the end.

Here's a happy little fact for any who dump on my favorite genre. While most other categories' sales have fallen in the past two years romance sales have gone through the roof. Yep, we are kicking butts, taking names and all the while remembering we're ladies. Romance novels top over a billion dollars a year in sales and that ain't nothing to laugh at. So it seems we (the writers) must be doing something right in a time where even movie ticket sales are down.

Sorry didn't mean to jump on my Diet Coke box and get started again, but it just bothers me. Today I saw a woman slide a paranormal romance across to the sales clerk like she was buying snuff porn. People, wake up. Romance is a good thing. You're always left feeling happy and satisfied. Can you say the same thing for self-help books or real life murder novels?

Keep you fingers crossed that the plague either kills me or leaves me in one piece. I'll start writing down tidbits, rumors and all the wonderful gossip that floats around.



Harlie Williams said...

I read all over the place from Tom Clancey to Harlequin to erotic. I'm not ashamed at all to buy books. I'm proud that I read period and should everyone else.

Harlie Williams said...

Get well soon. We need the gossip. LOL!

Tess MacKall said...

Take care of that plague, hon. And I love going into bookstores with my girls and embarrassing them by oohing and ahhhing over the covers. LOL

But you're right. The stigma attached to romance books and romance writers in general is that it's not really literature.

Screw it. The proof is in the pudding. Just like you showed us with sales!

Jannine Gallant said...

Maybe all those closet romance readers should buy e-readers to help with the deception. LOL!!

Allie Standifer said...

Thanks, Harlie!!! I hope I'm feeling human again soon. CA didn't agree with me at all. Lost my voice the third day. Too much bar time & too little sleep. But oh the stories I have to share...LMAO!!

Molly Daniels said...

I've never been embarrased to buy romance books, but I still can't work up the nerve to borrow the Kama Sutra from the library. And am still uncomfortable in the 'adult' section at Spencer's gifts or even Adult Toy Store...

Regina Carlysle said...

I find it interesting that folks will laugh and talk about the newest romantic movies (either comedies or dramas) to their friends yet won't talk about their love of reading romances. Don't they realize that ALL of those movies began with the written word? Seems the height of hypocrisy or maybe just downright stupidity, to me. I am who I am and I've never claimed to write anything other than romance. Women's fiction? No ma'am. I write romance. Sometimes I'm even REALLY gutsy and say Erotic Romance.

Jude Mason said...

People are very odd, aren't they? I'm afraid I'm one of those people who has no shame when it comes to going into sex shops. I'll never forget being in one and helping out a truly gobsmacked man who'd 'accidentally' picked up a butt plug and was unsure of its use. I'm not sure if he was trying to embarrass me or someone else, but it backfired. And, man was he red!!

Ahem. Back to books. LOL I'm not sure if it's because we've actually sat down and taken the time to create the story. Maybe people thinking about that is what makes them uncomfortable. Seeing a movie, they can ignore the creation of it. Honestly, this is one thing that's always confused me too.

Take care of yourself and make sure you let us know when those RT posts are coming.


Cherie Le Clare said...

Great post, Allie, and so true. I always feel slightly embarrassed when I boldly choose a Mills and Boon (obvious to everyone it's a romance)and place it on the counter.

I consider myself to be very well read in all styles and genre but it's hard to shake off that perception that others will instantly place me in some sort of 'category.'

My two adult sons, who are very well educated, are bemused by me writing romance - one told his father I should be writing something more 'literary.' There's certainly a real prejudice against the genre:(

PS: Judy, my curiosity overcomes my embarrassment to ask: What is a butt plug and what does it do??

Calisa Rhose said...

I'm 'one of those', too. And when I'm in the book section I enjoy standing back and watching what others will pick up. I get some covert glances as they snag their fave romance author and scuttle away, head ducked. Me? Hell, I read blurb after blurb, ask strangers if they've read 'this one or that'. And I don't mind telling anyone that I write. I am more likely to get into a conversation of "Who's you're fave writer" than not.

Thanks Allie.

*snickers*... butt plug, eewww... *snort*

Rachel Randall said...

I always liken it to the way that when you first visit peoples' houses, they often have their "impressive" books downstairs on the shelves in the living room, and hide all their genre fiction and the stuff they REALLY read upstairs in the bedrooms or their studies. Why? I would think much more of someone who has an active passion for different kinds of fiction than someone who read "serious literature" once in high school or uni and kept the book just to leave it on display.

Allie Standifer said...

Rachel, I never thought about it, but you're right. Most people have public books & private ones. Me? If there's a shelf available I'll have books on it. Books I read, have read or am planning to read. Nothing embarrasses me about what I read or write.
I'm proud to be a romance writer and reader!!