Romantic fiction is often given a bad press – it’s seen as too pink, too light, and too predictable, but I firmly disagree. Here’s why I decided to write romance, and why I’m very proud to be an author of this genre.
I’d never read a ‘proper’ romance until I was introduced to them by my mother-in-law – she’s a bit of a Mills and Boon fanatic, and has shelves and shelves full of romance novels. I’d just had my first baby and was looking for something to flick through whilst feeding him, something fun, entertaining and engaging. I settled down to read, and was amazed by how quickly I became engrossed – that’s the thing with romantic fiction you see, because it’s usually fairly short for a novel, it’s imperative that the author gets the reader straight into the heart of the action as quickly as possible. It’s vital to make use of each of those 50,000 or so words!
Another characteristic of the romance genre is that the books contain relatively few characters – only the two protagonists and then a few ‘extras’ (none of whom usually play a pivotal role in the story). The novel IS the couple and their love story, and is therefore extremely focussed, and often very intense. The reader becomes hooked and carried away by the tale, and only truly comes back down to Earth again once the book is finished.
Romance novels also always have a happy ending, but this doesn’t mean they have to be predictable, an accusation often thrown about when discussing the genre. On the contrary, a good author will lead you through twists and turns and ups and downs in their tale so that you honestly doubt sometimes that a happy ever after can be achieved! And oh, what a wonderful feeling when it is, and the two people you’ve been so involved with, who are so right for each other, finally end up together. There’s no feeling quite like it!
Not everything that we read has to be terribly ‘high-brow’ and, frankly, hard work to get through. Romantic fiction may be easy to read, but it’s also very good for the soul. It offers a little bit of escapism and brings a smile to the face of the reader. And it’s not just me who thinks so: millions of people read romances, and if you haven’t already, I really suggest you give one a try. You might just surprise yourself.