If you were to read the current projects that I’ve written so far, you’d find that three out of the four of them have “strong romantic elements.” (Ooo, I’m learning the publishing lingo! Go ‘head with my bad self!) My novellas, much to my own shock and horror, are bonified contemporary romances. After I wrote the first one, I sat back in my chair and said to myself, “How the hell did that happen?”
You see, I am a mocker of romances from way back. Hated them. Thought they were stupid, trivial, and anti-feminist. Never read them. I have a good friend from graduate school who has been a die-hard romance novel reader from the moment she could pick up a book. She is also a Barbie-hating, Women Studies minor whose favorite t-shirt says, “I speak fluent patriarchy, but it’s not my mother tongue.” Seriously. I’m not making this up. I would watch her as she clutched her Harlequins in one hand and her copy of The Feminine Mystique in the other and roll my eyes.
Now I find myself downloading romance novels to read on my Kindle. At least that way, no one can see what I’m reading. Even worse? I just wrote three romances.
How did this happen?
I don’t know. I think it stems from the fact that I’m fascinated by how people relate to each other. Friendships, relationships, and sex are messy, complicated, and difficult. They also fill our souls and stimulate our bodies. We use love to make each other feel good. We use love to manipulate each other. We just use it. Period. That fascinates me.
So when the writer inside me decided that she wasn’t dead, she took a hold of my hands and made me tell the story of complicated people who find each other in a complicated world. When I was done telling their stories, I sat back and saw that I had written a romance.
Huh. Me–a romance novelist. Funny how that happened.