In Defense of Romance

Usually I save my links for Fridays, but I read this post over the weekend and I so wanted to share. 

I have a wonderful family who supports me, but none of them read or respect romance. Though they support me as a writer, they often roll their eyes at what I’m reading. I believe it was my sister who, when I got a Kindle for my birthday, said “Oh, good, now people won’t know you’re reading trashy novels.” The closest thing I’ve gotten to a positive comment about romance is when my Grandparents asked what kind of story my book was. I said love stories, and my Grandpa (can I repeat that, my GrandPA), said, “Oh I love stories with happy endings.”

I don’t care what people think of what I read. I read and write romance for much of the same reasons Ms. Knox puts forward in her post. Which is why I wanted to share, I’m sure many of you feel the same.

I don’t believe romance novels are “trashy”, but yes… I love a happy ending and I love love. This does not make me stupid. I studied English at a very demanding university. I have analyzed Keats, Joyce, Austen, DeLillo. I studied and taught American classics for much of my adult life. I enjoy Kingsolver, Thoreau, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck.

But in my rare free time to read, I want to be uplifted. I want that warm, yummy feeling of falling in love. I don’t think something needs to be about death, destruction, or depression to be worthwhile reading. Reading is intensely personal, different people get different things out of it. No matter what genre that work falls into.

(Also, Sunday, I read this article about Nora Roberts that fits in with this post. My favorite part? When Nora is quoted as saying “There’s nothing wrong with being happy.”)

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