I debate a lot with folks about the importance of romance. Romance is not tripe, it’s not wank fodder. Romance is valuable, and serious (yes, sometimes it’s also wank fodder, but one shouldn’t negate the other). Not to mention, it’s the top selling genre of fiction overall particularly since the advent of e-readers. I firmly believe that for all the people who snort and crack wise when I tell them that I write romance novels–gay romance novels–romance fiction has an extremely important place in the world. I know that especially in the field of LGBT fiction, romance with a happy ending is seen as a little too fluffy sometimes. A little too much like a fairy tale.
And I argue that romance is uplifting. It can help raise awareness (many who stumbled upon the genre of gay romance have wound up becoming advocates for marriage equality, etc). Romance can also provide fantasy, escape, and hope. Sometimes love does win the day. It improves readers’ sex lives. Gets them through illnesses. I once had a reader tell me that reading paranormal romances like mine helped get her through the pain and depression of losing a family member. Fairy tale? Maybe so.
Sometimes people need the fairy tale.
And writing romance is tougher than people think. Crafting a well-told story takes time, effort, and knowledge. Writing is not simply typing. Right now, I’m working on a project that’s got me researching my ass off. I love research, but my noodle is so cooked I barely remember my own phone number. F’real.
Today though? Today, I was flipping through inspirational photos. I realized, after I’d been staring at one for awhile, that I’d zeroed in on the guy’s crotch. Yes, well, what can I say? Legitimately, I had been working on a love scene. I had penis on the brain. I’ve been stuck in “serious” mode a lot lately, and truthfully I’ve been more than a little down. I guess my mind was announcing to me loud and clear that it was done with all that for awhile and needed a break.
So, fine. Happy weekend, everyone. Let’s shake off the serious, shall we? I’ve got some awesome novels to dive into. The British Devil from Greg Hogben and the latest from Cameron Dane. And, ohyeah, I dare you not to stare at that guy’s crotch down there.
Oh, almost forgot! If you’re looking for some free smexy fiction, check out Sue Brown’s episode of Boxer Falls on the Goodreads M/M romance group, or Alix Bekins’s Blogwarming serial story.