(God I love Empire Records.)
I’m not all that tuned into the blogosphere, so it was pure chance that this particular…incident even made my line of sight.
Someone’s taken another pot-shot at the romance genre.
Sigh. I get it. We all get it. Romance writers are the bottom of the barrel. Go ahead, snort derisively or pooh-pooh our books that make up 50% of all mass market sales. Insult our intelligence and claim our books are trash. Or porn.
I, for one, am tired of defending myself, both my choice to write (mostly) romance and read an abnormally large amount of books in the genre. I am an intelligent human being. I have a thicker skin that most (you’d have to, working in customer service) and I can take it.
Most of the time.
A few months ago, in the middle of NaNo, I met up with a couple of other local participants at Barnes and Noble. I was the first one there, and as an older woman sat down at my table, thanking me for waving at her (I recognized her from her picture) she asked what I was working on. I told her it was a paranormal romance novel. Her response? She figured as much, because I was young and, get this, blond.
I know I look younger than my age. I figure this will come in handy when I’m, oh, fifty. But blond? I haven’t been subjected to a blond joke in over a decade, let alone insulted because of my hair color. And just what does that have to do with choosing to write romance, and paranormal romance at that?
Needless to say, it took a while longer for me to get over the slight. These days, I only have to put up with ribbing from my friends, who are, underneath it all, incredibly supportive. Yes, even the one who challenged herself to write an erotic short story because I claimed she couldn’t, then balked at the idea once I told her she would actually have to write a sex scene. No having it happen off-stage. Oh, and the BF, who insists that what I write (and read) is porn. Then sits there and offers valid suggestions on how to make a plot line more plausible. Seriously. Best. BF. EVAR.
So that’s that. Jami Gold has kindly posted instructions on how to find the original post that started the firestorm, if you’re interested.
In other news, Writer’s Digest is accepting submissions for its annual writing contest. Many thanks to Shannon O’Brien for originally bringing it to my attention by posting the link to the contest (and be sure to check out part one of her short, Entombments Inc., while you’re at it.)