I’ve been scrapping via email with someone who honestly believes the romance genre has no value, that it debases women and get this, contributes to the degradation of literary genres in general. A, could someone be more pretentious? And B, how could a billion dollar industry be without value?!?!?!?
Romance novels are loved by women literally all over the world, and not only don’t they debase women, they’re a source of freedom, power and a virtually endless well of creativity. The entire paltry situation smacks of ignorance: I don’t understand what you see in it or I don’t understand why you feel comfortable discussing sex and romance and women’s entitlement to both in front of everyone. There may even be some jealousy in there. Romance authors are extremely popular with their fans, and command insane amounts of loyalty. I know I routinely stalk my favorite authors – Jaid Black and Nalini Singh to name just a few – for their latest books and stories. And I can’t think of another more desirable, pots of money generating gig to have. What could be better than generating happy endings and exploring all the different ways men and women, or whichever combination makes you tingle, can express their feelings for one another all day every day?
I say, ptthphththth (hard, with spit flying and everything!) to the very idea that romance novels in all their multi-faceted splendor are not a valid form of literary expression. I dare a reasonable person to read Susan Elizabeth Philips, Susan Johnson, Rochelle Ayers, Nora Roberts or even Jacki Collins, who’s been taking crap for DECADES (all the while cashing checks and doing photo shoots in front of fabulous chinoiserie desks) and find these authors lacking in merit with regard to dialogue, plot, character development and sheer pizazz!