I’ve been a published novelist since 2000. With the exception of one mystery written under my maiden name, Deborah Tisdale, and 3 women’s fiction novels coming out this year, most of my books have been classified as romance novels.
Why do I write romance? Because that’s one of the genres I enjoy reading. Here’s a sample of some of the conversations I’ve had with people who don’t understand.
Q: Don’t romance novels give readers an unrealistic expectation of real life? They are not based on reality.
A: No. Most readers of romance novels and other genres are intelligent people. They know they are reading fiction.
Q: Why do you choose romance over something more serious?
A: There are times when I need an escape, and I just want to be entertained.
Q: Since the romance genre promises happy endings, doesn’t it bother you to know how everything will turn out?
A: Skilled romance authors know how to take their readers on the hero and heroine’s journey, make them worry, and evoke emotion with the safety net that the genre dictates. As an author, I know that wrapping up a story with the promised ending isn’t easy.
Q: Do you ever read literary fiction?
A: Yes. I read across all genres, but I always come back to romance.
Q: I don’t think women should read romance. Doesn’t it bother you that those books create unrealistic expectations in real life?
A: Didn’t we already talk about that?
I get that not everyone loves…or even likes romance. That’s the beauty of having so many genres to choose from. You can peruse bookstores and choose mysteries, science fiction, westerns, romances, fantasy, or literary novels. Just don’t get so worked up over the fact that romance is still the single most popular genre in fiction.
Now go find a good book and enjoy it!