Are you ever self-conscious about what you write?
This question was asked of me a couple of weeks ago at a book fair. I write contemporary romance and BDSM erotic romance, so this particular person was specifically asking about the sex I write in my books.
She went on to ask me if I would feel comfortable with my family reading what I wrote. The answer to that question is simple. Yes, I'm comfortable with my family reading my books. My mother and sister-in-law have read most of the books I've written.
Over the last three years, I've been asked these questions, and similar ones, regarding the genre I write. For a reason I'm still trying to wrap my head around, romance has this stigma attached to it. Granted there is some pretty racy stuff out there, but there are also sweet romances that contain no sex at all, and everything in between.
Romance is a genre that encompasses a huge variety of sub-genres and writing styles. At its heart, however, it is about relationships. Since when did love become that dirty word that can't be talked about?
Then again, it's not the love part some people have a problem with. It's the sex. Again, this confuses me. Most adults I know, especially those in romantic relationships, are having sex. It's human nature. So why is it taboo in books about the development of an adult relationship?
I'm not sure this stigma of the romance novel will ever completely go away. There will probably always be those who will look down their nose at the genre thinking it is inferior. It's not. There are romance authors that spend hours writing, revising, and editing the same as writers of any other genre. Writing is an art, no matter the genre.