22 Oct 2015: …Oh … You write Romance books (insert sarcasm here)

Snobbery.  Everywhere you go, there it is.

Yes, on many occasions during my career I’ve come across folks that seem excited when you tell them you’re a writer, but then when they ask what kind of books you write and you reply “romance,” they sort of internally roll their eyes as if to silently say, “oh, I thought you were a ‘real’ writer.”

snob2

You’d think that I wouldn’t have come across this attitude at a writers conference, but if so … you’d be wrong.  Several times I’d fallen into conversation with person next to me while waiting for a session to begin.  I’d ask what genre they wrote in.  I got a lot of Mystery, Thriller or Suspense answers mostly.  Being polite folks, they’d then ask me what I write.  Yeah, I got some internal eye rolling from fellow writers.  As if they thought romance was beneath them or somehow easier to write than say a mystery.

Okay, I’ll admit some romance books are somewhat formulaic.  They tend to go something like this:

Typical Romance book plot movements

  • Intro Girl
  • Intro Boy
  • Neither looking for love
  • Boy and girl meet in peculiar way
  • Accident brings them together again
  • Immediate attraction
  • They start to get together
  • Something happens to make him doubt her
  • They get back together
  • Something happens to make her doubt him
  • They get back together
  • They face some challenge together
  • They overcome and live happily ever after

I should know, I read tons of these books and believe me, this formula is very accurate.

when-boy-meets-girl

Yet, I call myself a romance writer and none of my books follow anything like this lazy formula.  I write literature.  But try to explain this to those pesky other genre folks who simply read one bad romance novel and wrote off the entire genre.  Seems a bit unfair, no?

So what do we do about it?

Well, besides hold ourselves to a higher standard, I don’t suppose there’s much we can do as romance writers.  I guess that’s why I say I write romance with a twist. The twist being I don’t follow the typical formula. My books tend to be as quirky as I am, and let’s face it, I can be downright strange at times … or so I’ve been told by folks who call themselves my friends despite my odd yet endearing habits.

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, writer of such wonderfully fantastic novels as If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story (yes, it’s a romance novel, but it ROCKS!) and The Purity of Blood Novel Series (Yes, romance too, but it’s totally better than those stupid mystery thrillers, No?)

If Love is a Lie: Finding and Losing Love Online, by Jennifer Geoghan

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