See, I used to not have such a high opinion of romance novels. I admit it. Oh, sure, there are some clunkers, but you find that in every genre. But now I don't know how I ever looked down on romance in the first place. I do understand not liking it — there are genres I don't like, and I have to admit, I don't love all the romance subgenres.
But…think about it; humans are genetically wired to mate. Every animal is. That's how we keep the species going. So for most of us, from the time we start noticing the opposite sex, we start thinking about how we're eventually going to settle down. Of course, there are varying degrees of WANTING a mate.
Some little girls dream of their weddings from a very young age. Others, like me, think weddings are a giant waste of time and money, and never really gave a whole lot of thought to marriage. (Yes, I eventually got married, but I didn't spend much money on the wedding…I preferred to spend the money on the honeymoon, which was more for me and hubby than for a bunch of wedding guests who were probably going to speculate on how long the marriage would last anyway.)
Funny…I write romance novels…
And then there are those who have no interest in marriage at all. Ever.
But those people still date. They still want companionship. Even the men.
As a species, we NEED companionship. Romance. Mates.
So why do we sometimes look down on romance novels, which are all about this biological imperative?
Take a look at movies. Even action movies for MEN often have romantic subplots. Comedies have romantic subplots. American Pie, that goofy movie that men seem to love…it's all about MATING! Oh, sure, it seems like it's all about overactive teen hormones, but at the very core, it's about relationships. It's just packaged in a funny high school wrapping.
So anyway, the point of this was that it's odd how people often look down on romance novels (yet they LOVE American Pie,) but what's even odder is how sometimes book stores themselves treat romance.
I love my local Barnes and Noble in Green Bay, because the romance section is right in the open, on a main aisle. It proudly screams "Best selling genre in the store." The employees have been wonderful to me, and I heart them a lot.
But the B&N where I used to live? The romance section was the size of my bathroom, and stuck way in the back of the store in a corner — and not so coincidentally…near the bathrooms. The employees were never overly nice when I went in to sign my books, and on one occasion, they actually refused to put out my new release on release day because the shelves were "too crowded." That book, Passion Unleashed, didn't make it onto the shelves in that store until two weeks after release day, even though they had it. I know this, because I signed the books…and they went right back into the storage room.
So…what about you? How do your local book stores and employees rate when it comes to romance? Are you happy with the way you (and your reading choices) are treated, or is there room for improvement?
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