There is a trend in book sales which saddens me. I remember hearing people refer to the romance books written twenty to thirty years ago as “bodice rippers.” The books were all about women who were kidnapped, or otherwise thrown into the hands of a beta “hero” who violated her but in the end became her so-called “happily ever after.” The term stuck and as the years passed, if anyone heard me say I wrote romance they looked at me in shock. Romance authors carried a “stigma” or “stereotype” which may not have reflected the truth regarding their writing. I did read those books so I know why they had that expression of horror on their face when they heard me say “I’m a romance author.”
Let me clear the air. I am a romance author and I do not write bodice ripper romance. Nor do I write erotic or erotica. Many of my fellow authors hopped on the train when they saw the lucrativeness of “following the trend.” I’m not trying to diss any author or the path they have chosen for themselves. The way we choose to make a living is a personal choice. No this isn’t what saddens me.
I’m sad that readers today would rather read about bedroom romps and sex than about “romance.” For me, romance is the speeding heartbeat when two people care for each other. The breathless feeling when you are in the same room, the thrill of holding hands, the first kiss–the journey of falling in love, yes LOVE. Finding a soulmate, a best friend, someone who will hold you up when you’re falling, laugh with you, cry with you, encourage you, care for you, and treat you with love and respect.
That’s the kind of story I write–stories about finding that special person you were destined to be with–a romantic relationship blessed by God. My books won’t appear on the bestseller lists because I’m too laid back to pressure the public with “buy my book!” I’m one of the tiny little fishes in a huge ocean of much bigger fish.
But there are readers out there who don’t follow the trends. In the big ocean of readers, there are also little fishes among the big fish who want to read books about hope, romance, and happily ever after. I hope we connect one day.