Top Three Myths about Romance Novels
The title of this piece should give you a fairly good idea as to why I am writing this piece. I am a romance novelist. Check. I love reading them as much as I do writing them. Check. I am sick of people turning up their snobby noses at romance. Double-triple-check. And I am here to debunk some of the top myths about romance novels. So, here goes:
Myth #1. Romance novels are for the dumb, by the dumb, of the dumb (women)!
Romance is the top selling genre in the world and at last count it comprised a worldwide market of $1.44 billion. Crime/mystery is at No. 2. with sales of $728 million and inspirational books are at a close third with sales of $720 million. Translated, that means the world has a PRETTY large population of dumb readers (both men and women) who are spending their hard earned money on books written by dumb women (and men!) Go figure.
Women authors like E.L.James and Danielle Steel do rule the roost in this genre—that’s something to celebrate, not denounce! And yes, there are some brave gents too who write romance. Nicholas Sparks of The Notebook and John Green of The Fault is In Our Stars fame are also one of them. Who hasn’t heard of Love Story? Again penned by a male author, Erich Segal. So think again when you call a romance author ‘dumb’. You would be offending none other than the great bard of English literature, Shakespeare, and I don’t need to name the greatest love story of all time, do I? 😀
Myth #2. You have read one, you have read them all.
A reader who has never read a romance in his life is often quick to point out that romances are all the same—formulaic boy-meets-loses-reunites-with-girl trash. If you have read one, you have read them all. So, why doesn’t one hear a similar complaint about the mystery genre?: ‘Gawd, it’s the same-old-same-old who-dunnit!’ Or for that matter, Star Wars, circa 2015, continues to tweak the same old space-and-starships trope. But going by the box-office collections ($1.39 billion) nobody seems to be much perturbed about it.
If Christopher Booker author of The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories is to be believed ALL stories that have ever been told are derived from seven basic plots. So, do cut some slack for the poor romance writers of the world.
Myth #3. Romance is just a masquerade for mommy-porn.
The romance genre comprises of the erotica sub-genre which is one of the fastest growing book segments. However, there is a difference between erotica and romance: while the former focuses purely on the sexual journey, romance is about the emotional journey that the couple makes in their quest for love.
Like every genre, romance too has its share of good, bad, indifferent and downright ugly. Many a romance writer has been found guilty of throwing in a scalding hot sex scene to keep readers turning the pages and prop up a flagging plotline. But then there are also wonderful, uplifting romances that are inspiring, tell stories about flawed heroines and heroes who learn, change and grow, give hope to readers with their positive, happy-after-endings, engage them with wit and humour, and yes some sensuality too. So why deprive yourself of some good reads and uplifting tales? Erotica has its place as a sub-genre but not all romance is erotica or vice-versa.
Believe me, there is nothing better than a romance to drive away the blues. But be warned, you may get addicted! 😀
Article Contributed by: Adite Banerjie
Adite Banerjie is a journalist turned romance author. Find out more about her books here: http://aditebanerjie.com