A while back, I was talking to my co-workers and sharing my good news: Cobblestone Press had accepted Valentine, my gay erotic paranormal romance, and they were going to publish it!
Josh, the office admin, turned to me and said: “Did you just say your gay erotic romance?”
I nodded. “Yep.” I said.
You mean like a fantasy right?”
Yeah, but it’s a gay romance.”
You write romance?”
Lindsay, my other co-worker, huffed. “For goodness sake, Josh! He just told us that his gay erotic romance was accepted. So yes, he writes romance.”
But I thought you wrote fantasy stuff.” Josh said.
I sighed inwardly.
The truth is that I write a lot of different things. I have a horror/fantasy series about soap operas and zombies. I have the first book in a dark children’s trilogy out now in paperback. So, I’m more known as a fantasy author. Only I like to call it speculative fiction.
Thus far, aside from my husband, everyone has reacted the same way when I’ve told them the news about Valentine: Bemused bafflement.
One of my friends reacted in a particularly amusing way. “You wrote a romance?” My friend scoffed. “Isn’t that a little tacky?”
For whatever reason, there seems to be this stigma about romance novels or erotic romance stories. People are always leery of either admitting they read them or that they enjoy them.
I read tons of romances. Nora Roberts, Heather Graham, Diana Palmer, J.D. Robb, Carly Phillips, Caridad Piniero, Pat White, Pamela Palmer, all of them are fantastic. I don’t know what it is about romances that I love so much. Perhaps it’s because there is no greater thing on this earth than passionate love and a happy ending?
Whatever the reason, I’m proud to be in the company of such talented writers. I’m proud to be writing stories that touch the heart, pull on the emotions and evoke feelings, something I think that is lacking in literature today.
And though quite a few people might discount romances as smut, they are the only books I know of that consistently evoke a reaction: shock, envy, lust, contentment, sadness, happiness, a sense of triumph. I experience those emotions and more each time I read a romance.
I think the true power of romances is that it brings our fantasies to life and shows us its okay to dream, to hope, to want something better. They show us its okay to love. What can be more powerful than that?
Later on in the day, Josh came to my desk with a grin on his face. “What?” I asked.
Your romance.” He said sheepishly. “Can I read it?”
I grinned and shook my head. I guess some people can be lured by the power of romance after all.
For more info on Valentine, check out the blog!
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