Monday, April 19, 2010

For Me, It's Romance

I love YA.  I write YA.  But if there was another genre for me, I think it would be Romance.  
Actually my current wip is YA romantic-chicklit and I’m just loving working with the elements.
When I was 16, I found my mother’s ‘Harlequin’ series buried in her bookshelf.  With the exception of one book ‘Desperado’ (not Diana Palmer but an older book with the same title), the books nor the genre managed to keep my attention for very long….hmn.  I wonder why.  Big difference ten years later, when the kids start accumulating and the marriage anniversaries fly by. 

Suddenly the Romance genre takes on a whole. new. appeal.

And so, like I always do when I find a genre or an author I really like - I binged.

Big time. 

And in my experience, I discovered three different kinds of Romance:

1.       The cute, funny, witty, lighthearted stuff that makes me smile.

2.       The kind with heartbreaking or intriguing back story that gets me totally involved with the characters individually before they get together.

3.       The kind whose characters share an ever elusive deep-rooted love (you know, the eyes shining, tightness in the chest kinda thing) that makes me look over at my husband on the couch as we’re stuffing popcorn and feel as though our marriage is suddenly inadequate.  I try and stay away from those now.

Rachel Gibson got me hooked on number one and after her I just searched out other authors with the same contemporary genre.  Susan E. Phillips got me hooked on the second.  Deborah Simmons got me hooked on the third with her ‘Devil’s Lady’ – which is an older book but well worth the read.
And then there were what I refer to as the ‘J’authors:

Julie Garwood
Jude Deveraux
Johanna Lindsey
Judith McNaught

Seriously- why do so many romance author’s names begin with ‘J’?  In any case, they’re all awesome in their own way.

It’s true, once you read enough romance, the plot lines do start to meld together, but then something will come along and completely knock you off your feet.  For me, this was Lisa Kleypas’- ‘Sugar Daddy’. A perfect mix of the three kinds listed above and totally original.  If you haven’t read it.  Do.
And it’s books like this that keep me hooked in.  I will be a Romance Reader (and maybe even a romance writer) for the remainder of my days.

What is your ‘other’ genre?


Vicki Rocho said...

Oh, the memories!

My mom used to read nothing but romance. The formulaic kind where you know exactly what's going to happen, they just change names around a bit.

I remember the first romance I read - I was in 6th grade and it was a sweet book about a girl who gets dragged to Scotland for the summer and who meets someone over there. I was completely enraptured. Up to this point I was reading fairy tales, dinosaurs, or paranormal.

Then my girlfriend asked me to hide "Wifey" by Judy Blume at my house so her mom wouldn't find it.

Mine did.

Told me she thought that was a "little mature for me." But she didn't tell me I couldn't read it.

So of course, I did.

OMG. Scarred for life. hahahhaha.

Now, I read a whole lot of light-hearted, witty, fun stuff. Love historical fiction (my soul belongs in England circa 1850), and am working my way through the classics.

Slamdunk said...

It is non-fiction history for me. Truth is stranger than fiction.

Laura Pauling said...

I love reading great middle grade, YA and some adult stuff. I do enjoy romance, usually because they have great storylines and great tension. I love reading YA, even though I don't write it. Not yet. I enjoy writing middle grade too much.

Lydia Kang said...

I love YA right now, but 19th century English Lit is my other go-to genre. Always gets me.

Stina said...

I used to love reading historical romances. But I'm so used to reading YA, that when I tried to read a HR the other day, I quickly became bored. Too much telling and the pace was slow. I'd read this book several years ago and hadn't had any problems with it. Oh well. Fortunately I love YA so much, there's no need to go back to HR for now. :D

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I write women's fiction and my other genre would be the cozy mystery aka Agatha Christie.

Bish Denham said...

I like historical novels (with romance thrown in for good measure.) My mother used to called hysterical novels! I also like scifi.

Creepy Query Girl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laura S. said...

Great question! I love all books, and like you, I "binge" when I read a great genre or author. For awhile there I was reading Grisham's law thrillers, then I switched to fantasy, then I stumbled upon cozy mysteries, now I'm re-reading all my favorite middle grade novels and reading new ones, too. After I'm through that fix, what will it be next? Who knows! There are tons of great books out there and I want to read them all!

Saumya said...

This post totally reminds me of my childhood. I also unearthed my mother's "hidden" romances and made them my stepping stone into the world of reading. Now, I'm a women's commercial fiction gal!

P.S. Your blog is so cute and fun!

Talli Roland said...

Yay, another romnce/ chick lit lover (and I don't mean that in a romantic way...)!

Hm. My second genre would be maybe YA? Although I've tried my hand at that and it wasn't great.

Mel Chesley said...

Fantasy is always going to be my one true love, but if I have to pick a second, I would have to go with historical non-fiction. I love history! I can't get enough of it. I've got a ton of useless trivia that I will just have to write out a book for someday.



Shannon O'Donnell said...

I absolutely adore Julie Garwood's romance novels. Every one them makes me laugh aloud at some point! She is awesome. :-)

Clara said...

Fantasy is my love, buut if I had to find a second genre, it would be crime.

Lola Sharp said...

If it's well written, I'll read any genre. I binge read and float around genres constantly.

As for writing, my first love is literary fiction/contemporary fiction.

Great blog you have here.

Unknown said...

Holy crap I love you! Wanna know why? Because you said Susan E. Phillips!! She rocks my socks off, reading her chick lits makes me giggle, love and never want the story to end! I have loved all of her books!!!

I love YA fantasy so I think I'll stay there for now, though I have dabbled in romance...the chick lit department!!!

Amazing posts!!! One of my absolute favorites!!

Sarah said...

I think we are the same person.

Read Julia Quinn if you haven't. (Another J!!)


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