It’s Romance, Not Trash
Why do you write those trashy novels?
Sigh. I write Romance, my friend. Love stories. I’m endlessly fascinated by the push me-pull me between the sexes, and falling in love is nothing to titter about like a prepubescent boy with his first girlie mag. Look around you–can you honestly point to many people who aren’t looking for love these days? It’s a universal desire. Just listen to the radio, go to the movies, pick up a non-romance book, look at fine paintings. Finding/keeping/losing love are themes that weave their way through darn near every artistic expression. It’s not always the main theme, but more often than not it’s the subtext that runs throughout the story.
Yes, there is sex in my books. Pretty darn good sex, too, if I do say so myself. Between one man and one woman cautiously feeling their way toward a committed relationship. And, please. It occupies perhaps twenty pages out of a three hundred and fifty page book. Among the rest of the pages you’ll also find women who aren’t afraid to speak their minds. Men who are tough, hard alpha guys—yet harbor nurturing streaks as wide as the ocean. You’ll find friendships and family dynamics and friends who have cobbled together their own family when the ones they were born into were perhaps not all that they could or should have been. And on top of it all?
It has a Happily Ever After.
I write romance because I love reading it, because it engages my emotions, leaves me feeling good. And because every now and then I’m told that something I’ve written made a difference in someone’s life. Most of the romance writers I know have at one time or another received a letter, an email or a Facebook message from someone who recently came through a devastating experience. Maybe they sat by their husband’s hospital bed as he lay dying. Perhaps they had breast cancer. Whatever the circumstances, readers have taken the time to tell me that my books helped get them through it, that reading a story that occasionally made them laugh and had a positive ending made the pain of their loss or personal ordeal more bearable, if only for a short while.
And that matters. To me it matters a whole helluva lot.
Questions for Susan:
What is the craziest or ugliest object in your house, and why do you keep it?
The ugliest object in my house would be Clyde, the pottery bust of a beatnik I made when I was in junior high school. I adore him because my mom would hide him in out of the way places and I’d find him again and put him front and center.
What is the best non-monetary gift you ever received?
The best non monentary gift would be when my son was little and picked me a bouquet of flowers from someone else’s yard. “You shouldn’t have,” I said.
He laughed and said in delight, “That’s what all the moms say!” To which I replied, “No, you really shouldn’t have.” But I was thrilled that he had.
If you had to pick one romantic scene or couple to recommend to a first-time reader of YOUR books, which would it be? (Any picks for romance novels in general?)
Picking from my own books is always a little like picking your favorite kid. But maybe Elvis and Emma in Exposure. Or Catherine and Sam in Baby, I’m Yours. Or…….see what I mean? <g>
You are reading this essay at ReadARomanceMonth.com. Be sure to visit the About Read-A-Romance Month to learn more, or the Authors & Contributors page to see a list of all the great romance writers who are participating in celebrating the romance genre during the month of August. Also visit the Awesome Contests page to see how you can register each week to win “A Month of Romance” (31 books), e-readers, and even the Grand Central Grand Prize, an iPad mini. If you love romance, then this is the place to be!
Susan is three copies of Some Like it Hot. (U.S. only, apologies to international readers.). U.S. readers, to enter, either leave a comment here or enter the weekly drawing on the contest page. Or both. (Only one entry per commenter per post, though – multiple comments on one essay does not give you more chances.) Comment entries must be posted by 11:59pm EST Aug 21 to be eligible, though winners will be announced the following week.
Susan Andersen is a bestselling author and the proud mama of a grown son. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of 44 years and her kitty-boys Boo and Mojo. The inhabitants of her little piece of the world are weird and wonderful and Susan credits the attempt to stay one step ahead of them with keeping her young. To be added to Susan’s email list to hear about upcoming releases, please visit her website and enter your email address on the contact page, or join the fun on her facebook page.
Buy Susan’s Books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble