In my rwa enotes that came today, there was a link to a news story in the Rapid City journal about the popularity of the romance genre. Romance has experienced some great press this year so I forgot to go in with my "realistic" hat on.
The whole thing set my teeth on edge.
We start out quite promising: "She knew she shouldn’t be so drawn, but she couldn’t help herself. It was just so easy to do; the attraction was undeniable. She didn’t think she could bring herself to let go of the addiction. It always made her feel so good.
Even if it was just a trashy romance novel.Whether you favor a racy bodice-ripper with cover art of a half-naked woman in the arms of a shirtless lover, or a dive into the paranormal world of vampires and demons who interfere in the world of mortals, romance novels are seeing an increase in readership during these tough economic times."
I've seen this before - the cheeky, sensational opening followed by a strong article of numbers and support. But not this time. No, this wasn't done tongue in cheek at all. I couldn't believe a bookstore manager would call it "mindless reading" - shame on you Ms Barrows, for you've just insulted the millions of readers who support your business.
Not to mention Clare Hafferman, who used to work in a bookstore and was even more insulting by saying “I think a lot of the romance novels are drivel,...I was amazed at the number of romances that we sold.”Hafferman is a fan of mysteries herself, because “I like a plot.”“I wouldn’t waste my time,” Hafferman said.
Not only are millions of my readers wasting their time reading plotless stories, but I am clearly wasting my time by writing drivel. And horror of horrors, I'm making a living at it! Shame on me for selling out.
Newsflash, Ms. Hafferman. Mysteries are genre fiction, just like Romance. Just because you don't like the romance genre doesn't mean they aren't well written, at times thought provoking, inspiring, and entertaining.
I don't often get on my soapbox about this kind of thing and maybe it's a reaction to enjoying the GOOD press the genre has had recently. But the whole thing smacks of literary snobbism and totally made me grit my teeth (and just ask my dentist, I'm not supposed to do that).
Now, I'm going to go enjoy my company and vacation while plotting out my next book. And I'll thank my most lovely readers for keeping me employed in a job I adore.