A couple of interesting and fun things:

First, in a memememe moment (I’m sorry, I am human, some times I have these :) ), everyone should know Barbara Vey, who writes the Beyond Her Book blog for PublishersWeekly.  She’s a fun lady, classy, and has exquisite reading taste and is always recommending great reads.  Now, today, for instance, she’s got Edith Layton’s, His Dark and Dangerous Ways, Patrice Michelle’s Scions: Insurrections, and one Sex, Straight Up, by this unknown, Kathleen O’Reilly (cheeky wench).  Anyway, you guys should visit and post and NO, this doesn’t mean I expect you to be all fan-girl foo-foo, just tell what you’re reading.  When Barbara gets good traffic, it means romance gets good traffic, and that’s good for romance readers everywhere.  Doing my part for the community.  Word.

And also, because I wanted to write about this the other day, but I’m keyboard-deep in book-writing, DearAuthor had a post on why people think women read romance.  The conventional wisdom at one time was that women inserted themselves into a romance as a place-holder for the heroine.  After reading Janet’s essay, in which she says (so eruditely),

I know there’s a lot of eye rolling when this subject comes up. I bristled when I heard those comments in that documentary trailer, wondering when the hell we were going to dispel this notion that women read Romance because that’s how we want life to be. To which I say: blech. You couldn’t pay me enough to put up with some of the crap – and some of the heroes — that happen in Romance.

Hehehe…  Tell us how you really feel Janet.  But seriously, I agree with Janet.  I don’t want to live my life in a medieval castle, nor do I want to share my bed with a vampire.  That is not ME in those books, not as a writer, nor as a reader.  I love James Patterson’s Alex Cross books, but I don’t want to be Alex Cross, nor his serial killers, and especially not those victims.  

Awhile back (March 2008 to be precise), I wrote a blog entry for Magical Musings on reading romance and the promise of hope.  THIS is why I read and write romances.  Yes, I love the characters and I love watching the story unfold, and there’s suspense, are these two EVER going to get together, and yes, when the steam is good, it’s fun, but those are NOT the reasons I read romance.  I want to read a book and when it ends, I want to sigh.  I want to smile.  I want to find a source of strength within myself.

Believe it or not, romance reaffirms within me the belief that I can do this; I can tackle whatever obstacles are thrown in my way (usually involving laundry) and overcome.  A lot of people devour Oprah picks for the exact same reason.  For me, it’s romance.  When I finish a great romance, or honestly, any great book, I feel revitalized, like I can take on the world.  

So, that’s me.  I suspect there are readers who are inserters, just like I suspect there are people who think that steak smothered in strawberry jelly is a good idea, but I suspect there are a lot of people out there who read romance for revitalization.  It’s that warm bath, that long vacation on the beach, the sleeping until noon on Sunday.  I think it’s Dr. John Gray, who might have found the answer.  Romance novels, or any great books, are a woman’s well.  

:rant off. 



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8 Responses to “”

  1. Yes! Just thinking aloud, though, is there a difference between “inserting” and “becoming”? Because in a really good book, romance or otherwise, I become the main character – I lose myself in his or her life. Am I inserting? I don’t think so – I’m succumbing to the magic of good writing, just as I did with The Time Traveler’s Wife or The Age of Innocence. If romance readers are getting slammed for doing what anyone who loses herself in a good book does, well, that just goes to show there’s no justice in the world.

    Now back to the laundry…and the WIP.

  2. Well, I’m just back from vacation and only managed to get one of my books read while I was gone. But the good news is it was Shaken & Stirred. LOL! I loved it. You are so darned funny. I’m looking forward to reading the other two, especially Daniel’s story.

    And as for the DA blog, grrr….don’t get me started. In fact, while at my parent’s house over the weekend, my mom made a “porn” crack, for which I quickly shot out my position about the social acceptability of explicit rape scenes in murder mysteries (their genre of preference), but put in some consensual sex and it’s “trashy porn”. And by golly, she didn’t make another romance is porn crack all weekend!

    One down, how many to go? LOL!

  3. Kathleen O'Reilly Says:

    Margaret, OK, so this is interesting…. Do you become the hero or the heroine, both, neither? I lose myself in a book yes, and I feel *for* for the hero and the heroine, but I don’t feel *as* them, if that makes any sense. Are you a *for* or an *as*. LOL. We will have to talk more about this at National. See, I see the characters as apart from me, but I do experience their emotions, probably most likely in an empathetic way, I think. We will definitely talk more.

  4. Kathleen O'Reilly Says:

    Lori, you’re already back!!! Wow that was short. You need another vacation! Glad you enjoyed S&S, and my ego is very tickled that you think I’m funny. My family does not think I’m funny. I try to tell them that, but nooooo…. I’m Mean Mommy. Sigh. Do you get that?

    I got my first porn crack the other day, too. It’s miserable, isn’t it? And your mother!!!! I’m glad you set your mother straight. :) I wish more people who made the cracks would actually *read* the books first, and then, I think the big lightbulb in the sky would finally go off. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. *sigh*

  5. Hi, Kathleen – both, actually, but not all the time, just those scenes that actually grab me and make me forget where I am. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen, and interestingly, on the second or third read, probably because I know what’s going to happen so I can get lost. I’m weird.

    Lori, just a quick comment on the porn thing – you are SO right. It irks me that when sex is involved in a love story, people get so uncomfortable they use derogatory names, but when it’s part of a mystery or adventure/suspense, it’s just sex, or not mentioned at all. Why are we so uncomfortable with two people in love making love…or is that the problem, that it’s intimate, not sport or titillation?

    I made the mistake of letting a former friend read one of my earlier Blaze attempts. She later invited me to a party in a group email by saying I should come so she can get her “lit porn” fix. I didn’t go.

  6. Yes, we keep family visits short and sweet. It keeps us all getting along. LOL!

    I am lucky in that my family does think I’m funny. Although my humor stopped maturing around the age of 8. Hey, I admit it. When the Cubs signed Kosuke Fukudome, I was the first in the family to make toilet humor out of his name. So, while I don’t get “Mean Mommy”, my son’s teachers have never been too crazy about me.

    As for “porn”, I don’t know what it is. I was young and impressionable during the bra-burning 70′s, so I’m kinda WTF about the hang-ups with it. How awful on the invite, Margaret! Ooh, I would have stared at that screen a loooong time thinking of a witty comeback. Several come to mind….none of them nice!

  7. Kathleen O'Reilly Says:

    Kosuke Fukudome???? ROFL. And I think the ‘porn’ conversation is best held in a bar, along with copious amounts of alcohol. See you soon.

  8. Kathleen O'Reilly Says:

    I thought of you in today’s post. :)