Oh, no, she's not conforming to societal expectations of a professional woman, let alone a single mom. It's scandalous that she writes about LOVE and SEX--and then she also swears and has an opinion! Oh, the horror! *cue the judgy eyes*
I love writing romance novels. Yes, I also write nonfiction, new adult, and paranormal--but today I'm talking about my favorite genre, the romance novel.
Romance doesn't equal trash. In some writing groups, being a romance author is the equivalent of being the woman wearing a too-short skirt showing off killer legs while sitting on a pew in the back of the church. Sure, she's shown up and has a good heart--perhaps she's even more devout than you--but she's sassy and beautiful so she's shunned by the rest of the congregation. Perhaps she's even labeled a whore and deviant without anyone bothering to know her.
That's how it feels being a romance author. Disrespect abounds in writing groups with mixed genres who somehow think BDSM is the same as rape or that we have no moral standards where we draw the line at incest or pedophilia.
You write romance so should be tolerant of pedophiles, right? Isn't BDSM the same as rape--just be honest with yourself. When you write trash like that, is there really a line?
Yes. Yes, there is a line. And, no, I don't write trash "like that." We have standards, morals, families, and careers to protect. Believe me...there is a line and we all know where it is. We don't need non-romance authors trying to impose their stigmas on us--just get the fuck out of our business.
I'm a damn good writer who has been writing since the age of nine for fun and as a professional since the age of twenty-one. I'm now forty-eight. You do the math. I have published over two-hundred articles in the past decade alone and have thirty published books (some under a pen name), yet I'm dismissed in many literary circles--usually by people with far fewer credentials than I have--and even by people who meet me for the first time who snicker when I proudly declare, "I write romance novels."
Don't you want to write something serious, something you can be proud of? What on earth do your kids say? Do you keep it a secret from them?
I'm a romance author, not a drug dealer or a pimp. No, I don't keep my career a secret...what the hell is wrong with you for suggesting otherwise?
With all the turmoil in the world, I am proud that I write stories that make people smile, keep them on the edge of their seat, give them a thrill, and leave them with a happily-ever-after or happy-for-now ending. I love LOVE. I'm not bashful about sex. I'm excited to deliver my readers a story that makes them fall in love with a hot book boyfriend and takes them away from all their worries.
Yes, there are hacks out there who don't know how to construct a sentence, write believable dialogue or weave a clever plot. The advent of self-publishing has unleashed them onto the world with gusto! But those hacks are in every genre--usually, they are the snobbiest of them all in these writing groups.
I used to bite my tongue and move on, shrug off the snottiness, but I'm not doing that anymore. I say to those who snicker at the words "romance author", remember what your mama taught you and, if you can't say something nice, say nothing.
The world needs more love and we all need to stop being so uptight about sex. Writing a full-length novel is a big task, no matter what the genre, so show each other some respect. Would it really kill you to be nice? If so, then maybe that's not a bad thing in the big scheme of life.
Offended by this post? Good. Then you're the person I wanted to read it.
Peace and love to the world! Read more romance novels! Live a little! Get wild! Don't be so damn uptight! Respect your peers!
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women's fiction, and nonfiction. She also writes five different blogs, works as a professional editor and author coach, creates a line of inspirational journals, volunteers for children's literacy, and advocates for suicide awareness. In addition, she is the mother of two extraordinary human beings who lives in a small cabin high in the Rocky Mountains where she is completely aware of how lucky she is. To find out more about her books, please visit http://www.amberleaeaston.com.