And yet some people look down on the one story we all want to live—a love story. Romance is a four letter word in the literary community. Those of us who like, nay, need a happily ever after are mental midgets to those of loftier aspirations.
Unless you’re Gargamel or Scrooge, who doesn’t desire love and romance?
It’s like cutting off your non-dominant hand because it doesn’t perform the majority of the tasks. Sure, you can survive one-handed, but why?
I remember when the romance bug bit me. I used to read horror exclusively—if it wasn’t Stephen King or Dean Koontz, I passed. They spun fabulous webs of terror and mayhem –two of my favorite ingredients.
I was more than satisfied.
Until a Harlequin romance, sitting unobtrusively on the shelf, minding her own business, caught my attention. I pulled her down for a little look-see. My eyes rounded at the woman with long, flowing blond hair clinging to a bare-chested, dark-haired hero. I was twelve, maybe thirteen? I didn’t know why the cover fascinated me, but I damn sure liked it.
I read the book. In one sitting. And though I don’t recall one detail about the plot, I do remember thinking, “What is that? And he’s going to do what with it?!”
I was hooked.
I loved the tension. The angst. The heartache. The high highs and the low lows of the heart. Even when I knew the hero and heroine would find their happy ending, I wanted a ticket on that ride.
As writers, we strive to capture all that’s worth suffering to get our Happily Ever After. It’s not always pretty—sometimes it’s downright ugly—but never is it negligible.
We all want to connect with someone special, to know we’re appreciated and loved for who we are.
And to you snobby-bottoms who think romance is smut for the dim-witted, over-worked housewife, statistics show romance readers are college educated, work outside the home, have happier marriages and enjoy sex more than non-romance readers.
Our numbers are growing and soon we’ll take over the world (cue evil laugh)!
Romance. It’s the new black.