Okay, I should have been ranting about three weeks ago. Sorry, the madness of a new schoolyear sucked me in and has only now spit me out again. A little damp, but still mostly myself. Now that our daily routines are in order again, I have time to think about – well, everything. And mostly, I don’t like it.
Recently, I stopped watching the news – it’s too depressing. It’s like the whole world has gone mad and we’ve run out of pills. There’s so much I could rant about, so much that makes my insides twist with anger and sadness and general disbelief.
Luckily, I’m a romance/fantasy author. I can go places other people can’t (at least in my head). So I decided to leave all the nastiness behind and enjoy some much needed escape time. Which is basically what books, especially romance books, are for. When I attended college, the romance genre was always depicted as inferior and unsophisticated, something for housewives and people with no education, because, how much depth can there be in a love story? Especially one with explicit sex scenes?
I always resented that attitude. Granted, there are books out there which are more complicated than an average romance. But what good does that to me, when my brain is so overtaxed, it can’t handle complicated? Books are there to take the reader on a journey to places their bodies can’t go. They’re supposed to make the reader feel better after reading them. Perhaps not always happier, depending on the topic, but with a sense of calm.
People turn to books to deal with reality, because reality can be harsh and cruel and demanding sometimes. Reality is often a place we don’t want to be in. A book provides a safe space, an environment of the reader’s choosing where we can forget about all the things we can’t change. Romance books even more so. Who doesn’t enjoy a HEA? And, yes, that is a repetitive motive, but even Shakespeare deemed it important enough to write several plays about it. Relationships are something we all have, or wish to have, or wish to end, depending on the individual. So it’s only natural to read books about relationships and even more natural to like books with a happy ending.
I have to admit, I’m a reader who’s easily moved. I’m known to have cried over Yaoi comics and, of course, when Groot said his famous last line – We are Groot. I love to be moved by books. (I know, Guardians of the Galaxy is not a book, but, hey, work with me here 😊). I love becoming part of the story. I love getting so invested in the characters, I see them as real persons, even though they are not. Romance provides all these things to me. Romance makes me laugh and cry and giggle and sniffle. So what if sometimes the story-lines are a bit generic? That’s quite natural for a genre that focuses on one thing only – love. Besides, ‘generic’ doesn’t equal ‘boring’. It just means the reader is on familiar territory and can be surprised more easily with sudden plot turns.
Next time you feel the world is too much and you just don’t have the strength to counter it with a smile and by lighting a candle – grab a book, make yourself some hot chocolate or tea (sorry, I can’t recommend coffee, since I don’t drink it), find the coziest spot imaginable and just lose yourself in the utter perfection of a love story ending well.
And next time somebody wants to tell you romance is not a ‘real’ genre at all and anybody could write a romance, since it’s obviously just writing about sex and the couple having a misunderstanding and then getting together again, smile and think about the last time a romantic story saved your sanity. You can even pity the poor soul who’ll never have that kind of comfort.
Keep on reading!