Friday, August 22, 2008

A Little Off-Topic...

I've just "outed" myself as a romance author on a local newspaper blog where I frequently post. I won't say where or what it is, because I admit that I'm not always as polite and generous as I should be when posting. It sometimes does get heated, and there's just no sense making someone reading here angry for a dumb reason. But my writing and publishing is not always something I want to make "public" in the sense that I go around telling people. For one thing, "romance" for some people means "smut". I don't agree, but everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I consider reading tastes--likes and dislikes--free choice. Read it if you like it, don't if you don't like it. I won't twist your arm to tell you about my books, but if you ask, I'll give you whatever information you want. Simple.

I write romance because I like to READ romance. Not the sex, per se, although sex is often a part of romance and relationships, but because I like the uplifting feeling when two people have overcome odds and come together as a couple in love. It's that HEA (Happily Ever After) that will make me sniff with a happy tear or two, or sigh with the smile of satisfaction that comes from a well-written book, when all is said and done.

But I'm also a bit jaded. I know that what I write--what all romance authors write--is "fantasy". People don't meet, fall in love and so easily resolve whatever conflicts they might have in 80,000 words or less. Once the wedding and honeymoon are over, real life takes over, and we all must continue resolving conflicts throughout the rest of the relationship. Or hopefully resolve them, anyway. But it's nice to close the book, smile, and think maybe THIS one will make it, or maybe not even think of that at all, just revel in the enjoyment the story gave me.

While at Barnes & Noble buying books today, I was asked by the clerk who was checking me out if I was a writer. (When you're buying a How To Write Romance Book, written by a NY editor and a reference book on synonyms, it does raise the question!) Now, usually, I'll say yes and feel embarrassed. Today I added that, yes, I am, and that I write for Harlequin American. She said, "That's neat!" I said, "It's a job,". I smiled and shrugged. What I should have added was that it's a job I enjoy, and I feel tremendously blessed that my books have been chosen to to be published. It IS a dream, and one that I never thought was possible, and I'd be hard pressed to give it up. In fact, I don't think I ever could give it up, until my mind is completely toast and I don't have the faculties to put coherent words on paper. I believe most of my writer friends feel the same. We can't not write.

Well, I like to read romance. I also like to read True Crime. Horror. Biographies. Suspense. Historicals. Even Self-Help. And the list goes on. I'm an eclectic reader, although my oldest daughter is even more so than me. I like books that make me laugh, make me cry, make me think. Books that surprise me or make me feel at home within their pages. I LIKE BOOKS!!

Whatever you're currently reading--and I hope you ARE reading something!--I hope you're enjoying it, no matter what the genre. Reading is like stepping into another world. Books can take a reader places they have never and may never actually experience. Books can give a reader insight into his or her own life and maybe make things better. And as they say in the grade schools, READING IS FUN! I'll just add, TRY SOME TODAY!

Love and Hugs to all the readers out there, no matter what your taste!

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