You know I love romance. I’m proud of writing it. No more does romance bear its stigma of ripped bodices and rape. Romance is GOOD. Romance today is written and read by smart women who like being in charge of their own lives.
But I’m tired of men (and some women) giving me that look when they ask me what I write and I say romance. Strike one: Romance. Strike two: Knitting. I can see them actually deflate when I say it, and while I know men are not my target audience*, I hate the combined emotion I feel of defensiveness and embarrassment. I shouldn’t feel that. Obviously, it’s MY own hangup. But I want a better answer.
I’m looking for a great, one line response to memorize that says: I write romance. Before you get that look, you smug bastard, tell me what’s wrong with fiction that celebrates a woman’s autonomy and her right to make her own career, sexual, and relationship choices.
Except without that defensive second sentence. I try to simply say, proudly, “I write romance and memoir,” but as soon as they get that look, I trail off into something like, “You know, popular fiction…like regular fiction, but more for women, oh, look at the bartender’s hat!”
Lyssa won the Vickie Howell book, and she’s been notified, but I LOVE giving things away, so:
I’m giving away three romance books I’ve recently enjoyed to three readers who give me the best answers to above dilemma in comments. These are finely written books/novellas that I know you’ll enjoy and that I’m happy to recommend.
(Bonus: they’re available inexpensively in e-format.)
(Double bonus, and I just realized this: they’re all very spicy! If you don’t like reading explicit sex, you might not be into these, but hey, if you enjoy reading me, you’re already there. The last two are erotic novellas (with PLOT, people!), and the first is a romance novel heavy on the sex.)
About Last Night, Ruthie Knox. This was lovely and very fun, and I had a hard time putting it down. It’s set in England! And it’s about a textile curator at the V&A! She works with knitting!
Cass: Taken in the Stacks, Jami Malroux. This is HOT. If you didn’t think you could marry hot-tamale plot with lyrical prose, this is where you find you’re happily wrong, my friend. (Set in a bookstore. Really. Meow.)
Bound by Desire: The Acadian Curse, Rebecca Lyndon Paranormal erotica (which is not normally my thing since I tend to naturally hear bumps in the night), this is such a super fun, delicious ride, and only induces dreams of the sexy kind, not nightmares. The characters are real, and the stakes are high.
Advice on my dilemma gratefully accepted!
* Generally speaking. Hi, Jeremy! Hi, Mel! Hi, Garret!
** PS – I’m going offline for five days. A little digital sabbatical, so I’ll draw the winner when I get back.
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