Some people would probably prefer to write the word romance like this '*%$#@*)' and then nobody would know what they really write. Or maybe in Japanese or Korean? That might make it easier to admit?
What is so wrong with writing romance? Seriously, I don't get it.
I recently went to a book signing by a Historical Romance author and as I queued up to get my copy signed, I overheard this conversation.
Fan: What do you like to read Mrs Author?
Mrs Author: I like Sara Paretsky, Michael Connelly. I read mystery. I don't read romance. My novels aren't romance, they're full of other stuff, like murders and mysteries.
Sheesh--I wish me and Nora Roberts had thought of that.
She seemed genuinely ashamed to be a romance writer. I bought her book anyway, even though it galled me to do so. Why did I bother? Because I believe in supporting my fellow romance writers. I believe in their story-telling skills, their writing skills and I believe in their stories.
I've read a lot of other stuff, and apart from the occasional biography, crime, mystery, thriller, Sci-fi, fantasy, I only read romance ;-) I read the other stuff because there are great stories out there and we can all learn from our fellow authors. I rarely read 'literature' anymore. Generally, it bores me. Take me out and shoot me now--I've admitted it.
Now it is one thing for me to say literature bores me, having read masses of literature, and quite another for someone who has never picked up a romance novel to say romances are crap. We are all entitled to our opinions, but they should be based on fact, not inaccurate perception.
There is a good article on writing Scottish romances by Maggie Craig. The only thing I might add is that this isn't a Scottish phenomena. In the western world, romances are treated with that slight nose curl of distain.
Except by the fans who know what's inside. Who know they're going to get a feel good ending and a damn good story.