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.
It’s hard not to notice that one side of my family’s history is far more represented in the romance novel.
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.
Through that long and lasting journey, romance has cultivated a reputation. For the diehard enthusiast, it is a positive one – a love for books that represent female stories, friendships and love. For the uneducated, myths abound about the role of romance and how it impacts our world. I’d like to set a few of those straight.
If romance makes the changes that should have been made centuries ago, if romance opens its publishing houses and agencies and offers the same opportunity to authors of color as it does to white authors right now, we take away the excuse that it won’t work.
Romance celebrates the woman’s story all on its own, whether that’s at work, at home or wherever. It validates our belief that our stories matter.
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 an fully inclusive, fully intersectional romance genre.