I met Kristyn when she hosted Amy Edelman of Indie Reader on Romantic Love Books.
Amy guest blogged there about 5 Great Indie Romance Books and named my book JANE I'm-Still-Single JONES as one of those five books.
Since then, Kristyn and I have found we have much in common. She truly loves romance novels and is a great supporter of the genre. I not only write romance novels, but I also love them too. When all is said and done in life, love and relationships are the only things that truly matter.
A Fine Romance
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by Kristyn Gansen
I remember picking up my first romance novel. I was working at a health club at the time, and Harlequin had sent in boxes and boxes of books to distribute to the members in honor of the publisher’s 60th anniversary.
Never one to pass up a free book — or anything free, for that matter — I picked it up. I was done with it three hours after I started. Ever since then I’ve been hooked.
When people hear that I run a romance novel blog, or that I read romance novels all day — as a job, with income, no less — I get a lot of mixed reactions. Sometimes, people are excited and want to know all about it.
More often than not, though, people turn up their noses and ask me how I read so much of that garbage, day after day.
In truth, I love reading romance. And it turns out I’m not the only one.
In fact, in 2009, more than $1.36 billion were spent on romance novels, according to Romance Writers of America. In 2008, more than 74.8 million people — 9.5 percent of them men — read at least one romance book. More romance novels are sold each year than novels in any other genre.
And those numbers don’t even include mystery, suspense, inspirational, etc., books with romantic elements!
Let’s be honest. Because love is a universal truth, something to which all people across all time can relate, plenty of non-romance books include romantic elements. In fact, a lot of those people who turn up their noses at me probably go home and read romance and don’t even know it.
Are You A Romance Reader?
So how do you know if you are reading romance? Romance novels are made up of two core elements: the story must have a happily-ever-after ending, and the love story must be central to the development of the novel. If you are reading a book with those components, you are reading a romance novel.
The novels are not all the same. They are not all full of sex and stupid women. Not all romance novels have brute men, not all have poor dialogue, not all have unrealistic outcomes.
And no, romance novels are not all read by middle-aged housewives with nothing better to do. In fact, 9.5 percent of romance readers are men!
So, it’s time to let go of some of those romance stereotypes, because chances are, the stereotype is wrong. Instead, stop into your local bookstore and give a good romance a chance. You might be surprised.
* * * * * * * * *Thank you so much to Joan for allowing me the honor of guest posting on her site!
Kristyn, it's been my pleasure.
Readers, if you love romance novels -- and I know most of you do -- you'll love Kristen's website Romantic Love Books. Bookmark it today.