I'm so excited about today's author for Writing Romance! Jennifer Turner is the author of Eternal Seduction and Eternal Hearts (Which I LOVED!!! Review here.) and has become one of my favorite authors. Please help me welcome Jen to Secrets of a Book Lover!
Do you have a dirty little secret?
When Kelly asked me to take part in the “Writing Romance” feature this week, I immediately felt humbled and honored. However, when she said she wanted me to write a guest post for the event – I instantly felt the walls closing in around me. You see, I’ve never been very good at writing guest posts, mainly because I don’t think anything I have to say is really all that interesting. ;) Luckily, Kelly already had a list of possible topics prepared (she’s super organized like that!) and one really caught my eye…
The "secret" of romance writers (why new authors don't tell anyone, including family, about their writing)
The second I saw this topic, I knew I had to write about it. But not because I have vast amounts of personal experience with the infamous “secret” – but more because I have none. That’s right. I’ve chosen to wax poetic about a topic that I have absolutely no personal experience with. Why? Please, allow me to explain. ;)
The picture above was taken in the dining room in the house I grew up in. And for those of you who don’t recognize the spines of those books (I know the picture is a little blurry) – they’re all romance novels. Every. Single. One. Each shelf is two rows deep with books, meaning there’s yet another row of books behind the visible ones. The bottom shelf is full of Red Silhouettes. I think the top shelves are a smattering of contemporary and historical romance, or whatever else my Mom received from her monthly book clubs. But wait, there’s more…
This picture is of another bookshelf on the opposite side of the room, right next to our front door. Again, the picture is a little dark, but the top two shelves are also packed two deep with romance novels. I think this one held Zebra romances, as well as various others that my Mom collected over the years. This is also the very shelf I pilfered my first romance novel from, at the tender age of 12. ;) FYI – it was Texas Temptation by Gina Robins. And yes, I still have it. :)
The reason I have no experience with the “secret” previously mentioned is because, like I said earlier, the bookshelves in the pictures above were in the dining room of my old house. And, well…when a visitor walked through the front door of our home, they stepped right into our dining room. My Mom never hid her favored books. She never talked about romance novels like there was anything wrong with them. In fact, she loved them more than any other book – and was extremely proud of the shelves my Dad custom built to hold all of them. :)
Truth be told, it wasn’t until I started frequenting online romance communities back in 2004 that I realized some women hid their romance novels. I was even more shocked to learn there were a number of romance authors who treated the entire genre like a dirty little secret. I still don’t completely understand why they feel that way – but I’m proud to say I wasn't raised with that kind of mindset regarding romance novels. And when it comes to the romance genre, from sweet historical to erotic paranormal and everything in between, I think the “secret” has everything to do with mindset.
When I first told my family and friends that I was writing a book, never once did I shy away from telling them exactly what kind of book I was working on. I shared my genre, dark paranormal romance, as easily as the title. I was, and still am, very proud of what I write. And I truly believe the obvious pride I displayed at the time helped shape how my family and friends think of the romance genre overall. After all, if you can’t hold your head up high when reciting the genre you’ve chosen, how do you expect anyone else to?
I guess what I’m trying to say is – why hide something you love? There’s nothing shameful about writing romance. And if someone disagrees with or mocks the kind of stories you’ve chosen to spend your time writing, politely remind them human history has been molded and shaped by great romances. From Cleopatra and Mark Antony to Mildred and Richard Loving, romance, and all it entails, has left an indelible mark on our society. So whether you’re retelling an ages old story of two famous lovers, or creating a new world where even an ancient vampire has the chance to find something as fragile as love – take pride in writing romance. Our world, literally, wouldn’t be the same without it. ;)
Jennifer has been so kind to offer a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to one lucky reader. All you have to do is be a follower and answer the following question in a comment.
What is the first romance novel you ever read?
Then, just fill out the form to enter. Please note, a comment with your answer is required but you will NOT be entered unless you fill out the form below.
Don't forget to stop by Reading Between the Wines where Crystal is featuring Zoe Winters!
Good luck and happy reading!
*Giveaway is open to US residents only and will run until 11:59 pm EST on July 15, 2011. Winner will be drawn using random.org and will be announced on July 18, 2011. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to reply at which time the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be drawn.