View Full Version : Defining Romance

08-17-2004, 07:38 PM
I pulled this from the Erotica board. The quote is from Heathen Prince.
my parole officer (he's really my brother) says that the romance market, like Harlequin (sic?) is prolly the biggest of them all.

As a writer of romance (single title) and a member of the RWA I can tell you that yes, romance is the largest selling genre out there. Harlequin, Dorchester, Avon, Silhouette, Avalon, being among just a few of the top publishers.

No, a romance isn't about the sex. It's about the relationship between the "hero" and the "heroine"...what keeps them apart and what brings them together. All romances end in "happy ever after" regardless of the catagory--regency, historical, western, suspense, etc.--you write (or read). If you chose to show the more intimate side of the relationship, then sex is fine to add. I write romantic suspense, and lets face it...after all the suspense a good roll between the sheets is a great stress reliever.

For the record, not all romances are "bodice rippers" and not all have Fabio on the cover. If you chose to write romance and want to be published by Harlequin, then you would have to bend to their "rules" I don't which is why I write single title.

If this post sounds terse, it's because it irritates me how so many people stereotype a romance writer or the books out there.

Okay,,,climbing off my soapbox now.


Writing Again
09-18-2004, 03:46 AM
It interests me that those who would discount Danielle Steel label her a "romance writer" yet a Dean Koontz novel is more apt to end with an unstated, "And they lived happily ever after."

As you point out, romance is the largest selling market, so why should writers in other genres avoid it and its elements? Nor should romance be limited to the courting phase. I think the Mr. and Mrs. North mysteries were enhanced by the romance shared by the married couple.

While women may compose the bulk of the readers, I think more men than just myself read them, and some may have a closet full.

How many people have scoured Perry Mason mysteries for hints of love between him and Della Street? The implied possibility of romance can be pretty strong.

While I doubt I will ever again attempt a "romance" I will never go out of my way to avoid it in any novel I write. Romance is, after all, part of life, legend, story, and the basic human condition.