Reading Romance is Dangerous

ScarlettWestHeart to Heart, Writing Bits0 Comments

Warning: reading romance novels is dangerous! A dangerous good, time, I mean.

This blog is for my fans. No need to explain. No need to justify why we love to read and write romance.

It’s rather ironic that we’re “allowed” to watch romantic movies, listen to romantic music, but not read romance novels. For some reason, it’s acceptable to sink into a chair at the movies and watch actors live out a romantic story while chowing down on popcorn, but when the same adventure is written down, we should feel ashamed or embarrassed for our interest.

Hmm, very strange. Like this guy…

My mother was the first romance novel fan I ever knew, so growing up I regularly saw a book in her hands. I always wondered what she was doing. I was curious about the covers with strapping men and women with half-open bodices. She read a lot of  those and I wanted to know what the big deal was.

When I began to write my paranormal, vampire romance series, I didn’t tell many people about it. At the beginning of a project, I tend to be private about my things until I’m ready to share. Part of that’s because I like to save the creative energy to write. I’m not sure why, but for my whole life when I talk about my ventures too early it tends to deflate my enthusiasm. But there were other reasons I didn’t share as well.

I was embarrassed, thinking, what are people going to say because I write about love and include graphic sex scenes in my books? Are they going to judge me? Criticize? Look down on me?

I’ve already had people roll their eyes and make faces at me when I tell them what I write. Some people say, “really?” They have that underlying tone, as in, why would you do that?

really meme

Funny, this guy kind of looks like a vampire.

Seems that critics feel writing romance isn’t up to par, is easy to write, or it’s defective. Sorry to make you roll over in your grave Shakespeare, but those plays you wrote aren’t up to snuff!

Reasons I have read or heard why romance is flawed: it’s tacky and trashy; we must not be that intelligent to read the stuff; we have no sex life; it’s a waste of time; romance is easy to write; etc, etc…

I won’t bother with rebuttals.  There are some great blogs that cover those and I don’t find it to be necessary.

What I will say is that our books are not substandard. I don’t think it’s wrong to enter into another world for a while, enjoy the buildup of a couple’s relationship, and accompany them on their trials and tribulations until their happily, ever, after.

Isn’t that what we all want in “real life”? To live happily, ever, after?

In a blog written by Sunita, off, she talks about how when “we defend romance as escapism, the critics win.” There are points in her blog with which I agree, but this is not one of them.

I’m all for escapism. I have a sense that a healthy escape leads to healthier people, so I have no bones about being dreamy, liking fantasy, and bailing out through a book! I’m convinced that when we read these amazing stories, a rush of endorphins fills our blood making us happier people. Now that I’m a romance reader myself, I finally get what my mother was doing all that time with her nose in a book. She was on a fabulous, one woman, getaway. And good for her.

romance sexy reader meme

Books can make us feel this sexy.

Also, despite what society or critics have to say, my taste in romance and paranormal romance, is not related to my integrity or intelligence.

A point I do agree with in Sunita’s blog is the term “escape” is used pejoratively in reference to undermine romance novels. And that leads back to my original point, lots of opinions are full of ironies and need not apply.

You might be like my character Velta, who declares, “I don’t need to be defended.” And we don’t. And she neither does she. She’s a capable, strong as iron, sassy, female vampire who can defend herself.

So why am I writing this blog if I don’t feel the need to justify or defend myself?

Because it’s fun, entertaining, and because like Velta, we all need allies. Romance readers and authors, I’m your ally in this field both to provide you a lovely escape and to support those of us in our fantastic field. Yes, I said FANTASTIC!

As I’ve come along in my writing adventure, I’ve developed camaraderie with other romance and paranormal romance authors. I no longer feel embarrassed. In fact, I feel pride and find writing romance to be fun. I’ve also developed a love and appreciation for others people’s work.

So here’s the conclusion. If we like contemporary, paranormal, thriller, historical, erotic, inspirational, or young adult romance, who cares?

It’s our life, our business, our brain, and our good times. Life is too short. We need to be ourselves, and enjoy it.

you were wild meme

And you know what I love about romance readers and authors? Despite all of these criticisms and judgements, we don’t care enough to stop reading and writing our delicious books.

So say it loud, and say it proud, I LOVE ROMANCE! Let’s dig in!

As always, thank you for reading. If you are interested in my future books and blogs, please sign up for my newsletter.


Scarlett West


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