Monday, July 11, 2016

Why Romance?

by Brighton Walsh

I get asked a lot why I write romance instead of one of the dozens of other genres out there. Why not fantasy or sci-fi or mysteries? (I get this especially from my oldest: “Can’t you write a non-kissing book?” No. No I cannot.) My simple answer is because I love love. I love reading about it and writing it. There is something magical and exhilarating about those first looks, first touches, first kisses. Imagine what it was like to fall in love for the first time. Now imagine getting to feel that over and over and over again without ever leaving the comfort of your couch. Romance leaves me breathless and happy. But that's not where it ends for me.

I read and write romances because I need to.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the world is pretty damn scary, and it doesn’t appear to be getting better anytime soon. It seems like every time I log onto Twitter, I’m reminded of another tragedy that’s happened. It’s a dystopian novel right in my timeline. I see enough horror in every day life. I don’t need to have it in my books, too. Not when those books are supposed to be an escape for me. 

That’s the amazing thing with romance novels… You can have a thousand different stories—contemporary, historical, paranormal, suspense. You can be taken on twists and turns, you can have your heart ripped out in the middle of the book, but the one thing you can bank on? Those characters are getting a Happy Ever After.

If there’s no HEA, it’s no romance.

Having that comfort there, knowing that when all is said and done, my main characters are going to be happy and together, makes everything else okay. I don’t have to flip to the back of the book to make sure the heroine isn’t going to die or to make sure the couple doesn’t end up with two other people. You can go to any other genre and gamble with the endings if that’s your bag. Maybe you like having your heart ripped out and torn to shreds. I don’t, and that’s why I rarely—if ever—stray from this genre. And it might be a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but it's important to me to know I can provide an escape to someone else who's looking for it—or maybe who desperately needs it—with the books I write.

So while this 1.4 billion dollar industry—the highest earning and double what the next genre (crime/mystery) is at 728 million—gets looked down upon because it’s “silly” or “predictable,” I’ll be over here getting lost in a book that might make me cry along the way, but I know will give me the HEA I desperately need before it’s over. I'll end that book with a smile on my face and my heart happy. 

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