Recently, I was given the remarkable opportunity to write about the romance writer, reader and industry. A culture snapshot, my editor explained, to give insight into what makes this genre so successful and beloved, despite generations of doubt, dismissal and outright rejection. IMG_6838

As a long-time outspoken advocate for the romance industry and someone who prides herself on being part of both the discussions where romance succeeds and where romance needs to work harder, this assignment was near to my heart and supremely educational. I was fortunate enough to speak with writers I have long-since admired, industry professionals, like the owner of the Ripped Bodice, America’s only romance-exclusive bookstore and the President of the Romance Writers of America.

What were the takeaways? I don_t want to read books about women that are written by people who don_t believe that women are people

Well, for one, romance is the most open, giving, responsive faction of publishing. In fact, I ended up with too many sources, too many great quotes and too many reasons to start developing a book based on the subjects covered in my interviews.

But beyond that, if I were to explore one topic that ultimately ended up at the core of the story, it is this: Romance is a reflection of the world around it.

And that is one thing so many detractors, scoffers, and pretentious readers get wrong about this genre. Romance is both what the world looks like now–and what we want it to look like. 

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Check out input and expertise from the wonderful industry professionals I spoke with