As an author, I think it’s important to read books that aren’t perfect so we can perform more effectively in our own stories. That said, there are a few things that will make me put a book down.
I cannot say I’ve ever read a romance novel where the heroine sat around twiddling her thumbs waiting for a two-dimensional character with no name, (looking you, Prince Charming... ) to give her a new life.
The discussion is ongoing, but the panel was insightful, educational and full of actionable steps that authors, readers, and industry professionals can take to further a fully inclusive, fully intersectional romance genre.
Will they or won’t they – it’s the most important, infuriating question of every romance novel. Will they give into their desire now, in the dark corners of the library? How about now, in the hidden coves of the rose gardens? When will they finally succumb to what they both desire most?
Whether there are only seven stories to honestly be told or a vast amount more, the reality is that when you—or any other author—puts those stories to the page, it is the very first time they have been done that way.
From the outside, writing doesn’t look too hard. After all, I spent eight to ten hours a day on my computer, doing the thing I love most in the world. What could be difficult about that? I get to research unique and interesting things, and tell the stories that I want to tell. It’s the dream job.
And it is the dream job, but it’s sure as hell not an easy one.
Why aren’t these books marketed as romance novels and why do so many stories have love-story plots or subplots but scoff at the ones that do so intentionally?
But despite all those things people tend to say about romance, reading it has made me a fundamentally better author, both in and out of the genre. These books are often escapist and fantastical, yes, but I have taken many important writing skills and themes away from them. Here are just a few.
Sometimes I write about important things. This isn’t one of those times. This is one of those times where I stomp my feet and beat my chest and demand that our alpha He-Men are also capable polyglots with an eye for Baroque art and a surprisingly vast knowledge of the erotic language in the Decameron.
I got to sit down with MJ Roberts to talk Playboy, rock music, and her current series, Hard Rock.