The Power of Love!
Updated: Aug 14
Why I read and write romance novels!
It's Valentine's weekend and when better than to celebrate my love for all things romantic!
As a romance reader or writer, there’s every chance that you’ve had to defend the genre at some point in your life! Perhaps you hide your favourites in the covers of more hifalutin books or read on a Kindle with a serious expression so everyone around imagines you’re deeply entrenched in a literary classic.
Time to step away from those safe hidey-holes. It’s high time we stand up for ourselves as readers and writers. Why should we be ashamed of our book preferences? Romance novel sales speak for themselves. It’s one of the highest performing genres and there is a constant demand for new material. These facts come as no surprise to me!
What annoys me most is the stigma which often accompanies these books. Reactions often include statements like, “those books are trash” or “they don’t have a storyline”. I take exception to this. Having been a reader and writer of romance books for a long time, I know they definitely have storylines. Although they are often heavily character based, I have come across some great romance plots and I also enjoy writing them. It’s boring as a writer if there’s no plot. Writers know readers aren’t interested in books where nothing happens!
For people who label these books as trash, this often goes along with the idea that they’re too steamy. Some people don’t want to read what goes on behind closed doors, other readers get annoyed if they’re left outside! It’s a fine line for writers and you can’t please everyone all the time. As a writer, I let the characters guide me. As a reader, I don’t mind how steamy or not a book is as long as it’s all part of the plot.
And that’s the key point. Good romance stories have a plot. The plot is usually the developing relationship between two central characters with huge and varying subplots, locations, eras and demographics. And one of the best parts of the romance plot is that after all the struggles and conflicts you’ve worked through with the characters, you’re guaranteed some happiness at the end. Because it’s not a true romance without a happy ending! Even if it’s a ‘happy for now’, you get the satisfaction of knowing everything was worth something.
And that’s the power of love.
In the real world it’s a fact that feelings of love create the happy hormone oxytocin. If people can get ‘all the feels’ from a novel, then it seems obvious to me why this genre is so popular.
Here are my 10 reasons why I believe romance is the best genre!
1. I love people!
Romance novels focus on characters I can relate to and invest in. I want them to be happy and have their dreams come true.
2. I’m nosey!
Romance novels are like a window into other people’s lives.
3. It’s escapism!
So what if it’s not always realistic, that’s part of the point of entertainment. Exotic locations or tough times in a Victorian mill… Whatever floats your boat, it’s an escape from the norm.
4. Relationships are fascinating.
People don’t always react to other people in the same way. Romance novels pluck people from all walks of life and throw them together in creative ways. I love this explosive cocktail… Sometimes you know the characters will butt heads for a while, others might be perfect together then get thrown apart by circumstances – whichever way I like getting in and cheering them on!
5. Happy endings!
Yes, I mentioned it before and some people might call it predictable but I prefer to think on it as a guarantee. When you order that chocolate cake at your favourite café and they serve you a cake which looks like chocolate but is actually coffee and black cherry… Hmm… Well, it wasn’t predictable but it wasn’t what you wanted either, was it?
I found my true love quite late compared to a lot of my peers and I like to think there’s someone for everyone (if that’s what they want). Romance novels fulfil this hope over and over!
7. Girl power!
Romantic heroines these days aren’t helpless princesses looking for a knight in shining armour. These women are so much more! Take Beth, the female lead in my book A Spring Retreat, she runs a farm, drives a quad bike and doesn’t take prisoners. Of course, she has her hang-ups and insecurities but she’s not a two-dimensional doll waiting to be saved!
8. Man power!
Ok, the point above is true… But I also like the guys! And falling in love with an on the page hero is always fun. And as long as they have lots of positive qualities, what’s not to love?
Yes, there’s a similar theme to every romance book: boy meets girl style. But I’m always interested in how this is achieved in so many ways.
At the end of the day, I like romance! I enjoy both reading and writing about people, their lives and relationships. It’s a pleasant way to spend time and something I look forward to doing every day!
Why do you enjoy reading or writing in this genre?
Do you have favourites or pet hates? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear your thoughts.