Saturday, September 28, 2013

When Did "Romance" Become A Dirty Word?

"I had a romance novel inside me, but I paid three sailors to beat it out of me with steel pipes." 
-Patton Oswalt

What does the literary community have against romance novels?

This is a question I've been asking myself more and more lately. When was the last time you heard anyone professionally affiliated with the book world seriously discuss or review a romance novel? I mean, a romance novel that wasn't 50 Shades Of Grey?

Anyone? Anyone?

Every time I hear a professional reviewer, critic, or commentator deign to mention romance, it is with a smirk, a snort, or a disparaging remark. At best, romances are dismissed out of hand. At worst, they are called "fluff".

When did "romance" become synonymous with literary dross? Have people forgotten the numerous classics that are also -gasp- romance novels? Here are a few to refresh our collective memories:
-Pride And Prejudice
-Sense And Sensibility
-Wuthering Heights
-Jane Eyre
-Lady Chatterly's Lover
-Anna Karenina
-Romeo And Juliet
-Much Ado About Nothing
-The Taming Of The Shrew

I grant, there are plenty of romance novels out there that meet the definition of "fluff". But I don't understand why people treat that as a bad thing. Many of Shakespeare's romantic plays were "fluff". Does Shakespeare count as "literary dross"?

If so, this is news to me.

There are also plenty of other romance novels that use love stories to delve into deep human and political issues. Why are these not taken seriously? What better way to understand these issues than through the one thing we all have in common?

Seriously, is this just me?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Some anniversaries you don't want to remember, but know you can never forget.

#911 #9-11

"The world breaks everyone, and after, some are strong at the broken places." 
-Ernest Hemingway

Monday, September 9, 2013

Decisions, Decisions: When To Go With Your Gut, And When To Stick To The Plan

"I love it when a plan comes together!" -Hannibal

I like plans.

Meal plans, chore plans, wardrobe plans, travel plans. When it comes to my writing, I'm a plotter. I rarely start anything without having a plan first. Plans are delightful. Plans work for me.

Except when they don't.

It all started when I was almost finished with my most recent book. The plan was, it would be the first book in a trilogy. I'd even started planning the next two books, but hadn't gotten very far (read: I knew the primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary characters, the titles, and the plots).

But then I had this idea.

You know the Greek myth where the goddess Athena springs, fully formed, from the head of Zeus? It was like that, only instead of a Greek goddess (I'm pretty sure Sherrilyn Kenyon has the rights to those), this was a story.

Okay, seven stories.

It was a tough call. I was already invested in the trilogy, and what I had in mind for the new series was a massive project. My brain rebelled against shucking an entire notebook's worth of work to start over on something else. I had to stick to the plan.

That's when it struck me. Wait a minute. I'm an indie. Whose plan do I have to stick to, exactly?

Planning is great. It's the only reason I'm able to crank out books at the pace I do. But sometimes, your plans hamstring you.

Sometimes, you have to go with your gut instead.

Curious about my new project? For a sneak preview of the first book, check out its Pinterest board.