One of my RWA (Romance Writers of America) chaptermates brought my attento to this MSNBC clip from the Today Show about romance novels and the recent RWA conference in San Francisco.
Take a moment to watch. I know a lot of people thumb their noses at romance novels and romance writers. As a newly published author, I'm asked, "What kinds of books do you write?" I'll answer with, "Romance, a combination of romantic comedy and suspense." Quite often their response is, "I don't read those kinds of books."
Well, somebody does. Most likely, the very person that thumbed their noses at romance reads romance, they just don't realize it. Romance sells more books than any other fiction category. Yup, it's true, more than mysteries, more than SciFi, etc. Last year romance novels generated 1.375 billion in sales according to statistics on RWA's website.
Why are romance novels so popular? Part of the reason is what authors call the HEA--happily ever after. If you're like me and hate bad endings, you know that romance novels guarantee a good ending. With all of the stress and bad news in our lives, it's rewarding to escape into a fantasy world if even for a few minutes.
Another reason is diversity. There are romance novels for every taste. You can read steamy or sweet, paranormals, suspense, historicals, contemporaries, futuristics, science fiction. You name it, you can find it in romance.
Romance continues to grow and meet the needs of a young audience. The romance novel of today is very different from the one of twenty years ago. It'll be interesting to see where we are in the next twenty years.
So keep reading, and we'll keep writing.