So. Romance. Don't even think about denying you like it. :D
Romance rocks, folks. Whether it's front and center or a subplot, it keeps you turning those pages to see if the hero/heroine will nab that main squeeze or not. *crosses fingers* A lot of people say music is the universal language, and I'm all for that theory, but love has to be the sidekick. Why else did you pay to see TITANIC? (don't even think about denying you've seen it!!)
That, among other reasons based on the overall awesomeness of our guest blogger, is why author Roni Loren is talking to us today about... what else?
Romance. *le sigh*
Take it away, Roni!
What Makes Romance Awesome
First, thanks so much for inviting me to guest blog over here! Anyplace called Operation Awesome is a place I'm excited to hang out. :)
So, I've been asked to talk about what makes romance awesome. Well, wow, that's a big topic.
First, let me start by saying I didn't start off planning to be a romance writer. Growing up, I mostly read YA, suspense, and horror. But it wasn't because I didn't want to read romance, I just honestly was unaware of its existence. My mom read suspense and thrillers, so I never really was exposed to the genre. However, anytime I ran across a book that had a romantic subplot in it--I devoured it. So I think my attraction to the genre was always there. I even attempted to write a YA romance at fifteen (without realizing that's what it was).
So when I started writing seriously two years ago, I automatically went to a love story. That first book, which I now lovingly refer to as my "practice novel", was a YA paranormal romance. I had a ton of fun writing it and learned a lot, but had beta readers complaining that my romance plot was "too hot" for YA. Oops.
All right, I love a good make-out scene, what can I say? But it got me to thinking--maybe I needed to play to what I liked best and what seemed to be my strength. So, after my first novel died a slow form rejection death, I decided--hey, what the heck, I'll give this adult romance thing a go. Well, I fell in love. THIS was my genre. Two books later, I signed with an agent and now have a two-book deal with Berkley. Yay! So romance has turned out to be a very awesome thing for me.
But who cares if it's awesome for me, why could it be awesome for you? Well, let's see....
First let's define the genre (From RWA website):
What Makes Romance Awesome
1. Happy Ending Guaranteed
I'm a big proponent of the happy ending and a romance novel guarantees that. Yes, I know, in real life things don't always end happily, but that is exactly why I want my happy ending in a book. Life is tough enough already, reading for me is about escape and fantasy. I don't want to be depressed after finishing a book.
2. There is something for everyone.
There are so many subgenres of romance that anyone can find something they like: paranormal, contemporary, historical, romantic comedy, futuristic/sci-fi, steampunk, fantasy, you name it.
3. You can choose how sexy you want your story.
Just like the subgenres, there are heat levels. If you blush at the sexy stuff or maybe it doesn't jive with your religious beliefs, you can go for sweet, inspirational romance where there is nothing more than a kiss. Or, if you're like me and love to throw the bedroom doors open on those characters, you can go all the way to no-holds-barred erotic romance (which by the way is what I write.) There's also everything in between those two ends of the spectrum.
4. Romance is a best-selling genre even in a bad economy.
Even with the economic downturn, the romance genre is going strong. Romance readers are VORACIOUS readers. It's not uncommon for romance readers to devour a couple of books a week.
5. The support for writers in the romance community is ridiculously awesome.
The Romance Writers of America is a highly active organization. The local chapter and national chapters are so focused on supporting writers and educating them. It's really amazing. I went to the RWA National conference this year and I was stunned at how unbelievable the resources and my fellow writers are.
6. Publishing options are vast.
Romance was one of the front runners in the ebook industry, doing it way before a lot of other genres. Therefore, there are tons of epubs looking for romance--especially if you write the sexier stuff. Also, if you prefer shorter form instead of full length novels, you can try your hand at category romance (55k-65k), which are primarily published through Harlequin's many imprints.
7. It's fun (and hard!) to write.
There are people who look down their nose at romance--it's formulaic, it's girl porn, it's easy to write. *snort* This gets my feathers all ruffled. First, if someone thinks it's easy, I tell them to try their hand at one. Secondly, the only thing that's formulaic is that it has to have a happy ending--everything else is fair game. And don't even get me started on the girl porn argument. As an erotic romance author who spent months working on my characters, their motivations, and their backstories to create a full, rich story, I'm not even going to go there.
And most of all what makes romance awesome is that it makes your readers feel good. Romances might make you cry, laugh, get angry, scared, or worried, but you know, at the end of the day, you're going to get that warm, fuzzy feeling that a happy ending brings. The feeling that all can be right in the world sometimes and that people who are meant to be together can find each other. Because as everyone realizes at some point in their life, there is nothing more powerful than love.
So, what do you think? Are you a romance reader or writer? Why or why not? What makes romance awesome to you?