Clearing the Air
Sometimes, when I say “I tried writing Romance, but decided to move on”, people assume that this is because such attempts were just about the money (the more judgmental listeners might have concluded I was selling out) and that I stopped because I became less concerned about money (judgmental: moving towards artistic integrity).
So I just wanted to get this out into the open: I love Romance novels (capital “R” for genre and works within the genre). At their best, they’re stories of conflict and of hope. Sure, there are some that aren’t very well-written, with terrible characterization and gender stereotypes that make me wince. But there are also a goodly number of beautifully written, amazingly characterized, fabulously engaging Romances out there.
It’s like saying “I like opera” or “I like comic books.” No, I don’t like every opera ever written. There’s a ton of them that seriously suck and are never performed. There’s a second ton of other ones, that are performed regularly and loved by many, but that you couldn’t pay me to sit through. There are also a ton of comic books that aren’t great. But the great ones… ah, the great ones take you somewhere. They move you and do amazing things. They provide insight into yourself or your life, or even, occasionally, a moment or two of transcendence.