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:~: Monday, June 11, 2007 :~:

Drive By Posting

This is going to be short because I've had a crazy busy day, so I apologize in advance. But I have a question for you. Have you ever heard anyone refer to romantic literature as trash? I've heard it a couple of times in the past few weeks, most notably by someone who doesn't normally read romance but who is my biggest fan and the person (aside from the DH) who is most proud of me. (She knows who she is.) It struck me, I won't lie. Because I don't write trash. And the word has such a negative connotation, even though I know this person wasn't trying to imply that I write badly at all.

So how do you handle comments from others about what you write? And I'm going to leave you with a quote from the book I'm reading now. Yes, it's a romance (RS, actually) and I think this passage sums up how I feel about romance in today's fiction.

It comes from Angels Fall, Nora Roberts' latest paperback release. A woman who, in my opinion, so eloquently knows how to say what most romance writers think. In the passage, the hero, a writer, is telling the heroine about the characters in his latest book. She (the heroine) is a chef:

"I started your book." She lifted her gaze to his as she spoke, and his heart took one, quick lurch.
The woman had a pair of eyes on her.
"How's that going for you?"
"I like it." She came around the counter to sit beside him, spread her napkin on her lap. "It's scary, and that's good. It takes my mind off my own nerves. I like Jack - he's such a screwup. Hope he doesn't end up in that grave. Plus, I think Leah can straighten him out."
"Is that what women are supposed to do? Straighten men out?"
"People are supposed to straighten people out, when they can, and if they care enough. She cares for him. So I hope they end up together."
"Happily ever after?"
"If justice doesn't triumph and love doesn't make the circle in entertainment fiction, what's the point? Real life sucks too often."
"Happily ever after doesn't win Pulitzers."
She pursed her lips as she studied him. "Is that what you're after?"
"If it was, I'd still be working for the Trib. Cooking pot roast over a diner in Wyoming, or flipping buffalo burgers in that diner, isn't going to win you whatever the epicurean equivalent of the Pulitzer might be."
"I thought I wanted that once, too. Important awards, acknowledgment. I'd rather cook pot roast..."

Kinda says it all about why romance writers write romance, and why so many people buy and read them. I'd rather cook pot roast too. What do you think?



Blogger Laurie said...

Not only would I rather cook pot roast - I admire Nora's talent for being able to say so much in such a short scene. Pot roast, crock pot suppers, salad suppers, whatever...there's alot to be said for writing for real live people. Not academians who haven't come out of their university cloister in the last upteen years.

When I get comments about how much crime I put into my RS's, I just say, "Read the newspaper lately?"

10:06 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

there's alot to be said for writing for real live people.

Well said, Laurie.

And I agree. Nora can say so much in only a few words.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Elisa said...

That's an awesome quote from the book. She sums it up so well.

I would much rather cook pot roast. It's too bad that some people have to be so judgmental. I hear it from time to time, too. Mostly from family, unfortunately. I recently offered to donate a print book of mine to a charity auction my mother was putting together. She turned the book down, telling me most of the people who would be there don't like romance, and some of them might be offended by the subject matter (2 love scenes, neither described in complete detail).

10:51 AM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Actually, I hear "smut" not "trash", but the meaning behind it is the same.

12:00 PM  

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