When I write strong female characters, I think of it more with the emphasis on strong character, creating heroines and female main characters that are strongly written, fleshed out and three dimensional. The character isn’t strong, necessarily, because of her physical abilities or emotional capacity. She is strong because the characterization is strong and complete.
When I tell people I write romance novels, I get myriad responses. By far, the ones I find most offensive are those people who ask, Do you ever want to write real books? Yeah. I do want to write real books. That’s why I write romance novels.
While I came of age in the era of Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson romances, there is no doubt in my mind that we are living in the renaissance of romcoms.
Romance novels create a utopian relationship, critics often squawk. There aren’t any real men like this. Every reader or writer of the genre has heard the refrain in some way, shape or form and there’s a reason for that. It’s called sexism.
We’re still here. A year after the RITA awards were acknowledged as problematic and promoting of a biased system, we are once again, as a romance industry, fighting for inclusivity and equal opportunities for all authors.
The themes and lessons so to speak, that show up in my books are more a reflection of my own deep and fundamental values, things that I feel are important, beliefs that I have that I need my characters to share.
We spoke about the wage gap, fists in the air feminist issues last week, so let’s think a little smaller now and discuss an issue that, though subtle, though nuanced, is just as feminist and just as important. Food shaming in romance novels.