Mea Culpa, confessional thoughts on romance

I haven’t talked a whole lot about Nationals and I don’t intend to now, having had a radically different experience from nearly everyone else who’s discussed it online.

But one thing that became very clear to me was that I needed to reevaluate what I was doing and why I was doing it, and that’s what I’ll talk about today. At Orlando I found my head was entirely stuffed with … I don’t know what, but I could barely think or write. Maybe it was the a/c, maybe it was something the hotel piped in to make us spend spend spend, maybe it was the swamp trying to reclaim its own and revert us all to far off primitive sluglike ancestors.

And it got me thinking about why I write romance. Why?

Because it changes people’s lives. Nope. Abolutely not. I have never had a letter from someone telling me that I burst upon them in their darkest hour and saved them from the great black hole (and please don’t tell me if, in fact, one of my books did. I don’t want to know). What a terrible burden to have to carry in all subsequent writing. What if you don’t make the grade the next time?

Because it’s all about hot men. No way. Really. You all know what I think of most cover art (although I’m impressed that Harlequin M&B shows males that look fairly human on their historicals). I alarmed a tableful of women in the bar at the last NJ Romance Writers Conference when I told them I was really more interested in writing about women, which I was–I’d just finished Improper Relations, which is primarily about the relationship between friends. But I am not averse to the male form. Check out this site (NSFW).

Because love conquers all. I think this one is really interesting because generally in my books love gets people into trouble. It’s the catalyst for change, not the answer.

And here’s the why:

Because … what I write fits in, in a strange niche of the genre, and since I starting write to sell, that makes me very happy and I’m happy that people enjoy my books.

And because it entertains me first. And that’s what came as the big realization at Orlando, that I need to think in terms of my pleasure to be able to produce. Who else but writers get to make stuff up for a living!

Why do YOU write? As a reader, can you tell if a writer is having fun?

And in the red print, CONTESTS! Enter to win a copy of JANE AND THE DAMNED at Goodreads (and thanks to HarperCollins for giving away the books!)
The contest on my website runs until the end of the month, as does this contest at Supernatural Underground where I ask for your help in writing the next book.
Go check it out!

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