Why Romance?

I can’t count how many times I have heard comments or questions about why I read (and write) romance books. “Can’t you find anything of more value” or my favorite “couldn’t you find a good book to read?” It got worse when I was working on my Master’s Thesis in a private Christian College on Marketing and promoting Romance authors and the Romance book industry. The scholars I was surrounded by wanted me to do something that had more of a positive impact on society.

I could go on and on about gender bias, but I in truth that has little to do with anything. In truth it is more about lack of awareness. I could go on about the marketing numbers, and the average age and educational level of the romance reader (Women over 35 with at least a Bachelor’s degree) interestingly enough, in today’s struggling economy where people are tightening their belts and cutting extra’s, the romance book industry is still showing growth. Readership is increasing, to the point that even men are now picking up books by Authors like Nora Roberts and Christine Feehan. Even the Best seller lists are being taken over by Romance Authors (now almost 50% of the books listed are from the romance shelves) .

Romance books reach out to each of us, giving everyone something to look for, Mystery, Suspense, Action, even the closet Fantasy and Sci-Fi fanatics can find something they love. No matter where you turn, there is bad news.. War over seas, crime rates increasing, reports of abuse and crimes against women and children on the rise. Companies closing down, and people losing the roofs over their heads. Where else can you find a great escape, and be guaranteed that the end is going to be happy?

5 comments:

Roxann Delaney said...

Only in a romance novel, Carrie! And if it doesn't have an HEA (Happily Ever After), it isn't romance. You can bank on that.

There are several men who write romance. I know one who writes for Kimani (Wayne Jordan who lives in Barbados) and, at one time, RWA's President was a man. There's also K.N. Casper, who has added the E in his name on his books. So, yeah, men are reading and WRITING romance.

I'm happy to write romance. It's the one thing I can control and be sure there's a HEA :)

Pat Davids said...

Carrie,
Romance gets a bad rap from people who don't read it. Fortunately, that's not very many people because we are selling like hotcakes. Yea!!!
At least, I hope that's what MY royalty statement will tell me next week.
Fingers crossed.
Pat

Carrie said...

I am a moderator for a couple of e-lists and have been moderating author chats for years. While women almost always outnumber the men in these venues, we almost always have men participating in the discussions about the books and authors as well.

Joan Vincent said...

Carrie,
I love happy endings and there is a special gratification in writing them. I rarely know how my books will end except that it will be happy. My husband always teases me when I say I have to write to know how it ended. Everyone has enough troubles and there is nothing better than a romance to escape them for a time.

Penny Rader said...

When I worked at the book store we had several men who read romances. One in particular would buy 6-7 at a time. His favorite was Connie Mason.