I sometimes feel that writing romance novels is ‘less’ than writing ‘real’ fiction. But I think that is a bias that I have inherited from literary world. Only uneducated housewives read romance novels, right?
Wrong. It turns out that stereotype is dead wrong. The average romance reader is a woman (15% and growing are men – what is that guy on the bus reading on his e-reader?) but well educated, a busy woman, often with children and a professional job. She isn’t a single woman yearning for a husband…well okay, there are some of those. And she isn’t a spinster sitting at home with her cats.
The romance reader is a well-rounded woman who also knows good writing vs bad. She reads romance to escape the mendacity of her life. She reads it for the same reason I read New York bestsellers on my vacation. I don’t want to think. I want to disappear in another world for awhile and forget my own. I want to take part in adventures vicariously while sitting in my lounger at the beach. It restores me to go somewhere else in my mind, away from family, work and other stresses.
So I’m proud to write romance.