I don't like romance.
I mean I like it, I remember what it was like when my dark little heart would pitter patter over a new love, or what it meant to be wined and dined by Mr. Wilkes instead of going out to dinner without the kids and just talking about the kids. WTF is up with that?
Anyhow, I mean as a genre. I've tried, I really have, but I can't read it. I want to read it to learn, I want to understand how other authors craft their stories, I want to know what marks I'm not hitting and I want to hit them in order to reach more readers.
But I can't read it.
At this point I'm also nervous about picking up too much from other books and regurgitating them in other forms. I know there is so much of that happening in this genre, and in the book world in general. There's this constant pressure to produce, produce, produce that apparently wasn't around even a few years back, and I don't want to accidentally borrow a line here, or a phrase there, and cobble them into my own bizarre backyard frankenstein of quivering wombs and clenching lady caves.
But here's the thing. I fucking LOVE romance. Does that make sense? I know, it doesn't. I love it because it allowed me to start writing. I love it because I've met the most loyal, passionate, intense and hilarious readers of any genre. I truly believe romance readers are the shit!
I love it because it's provided my family with a decent "stay at home" income over the last year or so.
I love it because for some reason I'm drawn to write sex and love and human relationships, and when I'm surrounded by those passionate romance readers I mentioned, I can be completely unapologetic about tossing in a quivering this, or a clenching that.
I am not ashamed to write romance. I used to be, for the first year or so, I'd couch it in terms like, "ladies naughty fiction" or "contemporary fiction". At some point I thought fuck it, I write dark erotica, I write romance, deal with it motherfuckers.
And that felt good.
But I was still blocked. Everywhere you look, people tell you "mommy porn" isn't really "literature". It's not really well written, it's mass produced pulp for the peanut munching masses (women predominantly).
As a feminist, a mother, a wife, a daughter, and a human being, this has been pissing me off lately. How is it any less meaningful or serious as say...the Tom Clancy spy jerk off franchise? Or the Dean Koontz horror jerk fest? Why do we ignore the fact that the biggest selling genre pretty much anywhere in the world is romance? What does that say about our stupid, backwards oppressive culture?
So I've been embracing the "cheese" lately, as I call it. I've been losing my preconceived notions of what "mommy porn" is and learning to write through my block. I've been writing short pieces, 5-10k, most of which will never see the light of day. Or maybe they will. Who knows?
Anyhow, I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't read romance, but I love writing it, I love my readers and I love doing what I'm doing.
If you don't like it, you can go choke on a bag of dicks and read your Tom Clancy novel. :D
(PS I have nothing against Tom or Dean or any other genre. :D)