Friday, November 3, 2006

Never apologize for your reading- or writing - tastes.

In the first edition of Genreflecting, Betty Rosenberg told readers, and especially librarians, NEVER to apologize for their reading preferences. I think it was a revolutionary idea back then, and it still is now.

How many times have you been reading a romance in public and hidden the cover because you were afraid people would look down on you for reading it? I’ve been there as a reader, it was like my dirty little secret. But how much more so does it affect you if you are the writer? I’ve felt the need to apologize or dismiss my own work…. Oh I write romances… Um… yes, they are kind of hot….

NO MORE! I’m proud of it! I write romances, damn it. And not only that…I write EROTIC ROMANCES! The hot steamy kind that require pot holders to handle.

Wooo Hoooo!

Okay, I admit, I’ll have to work on remembering my pride 24/7 but I want to own it and we all have to start somewhere. As a reader I loved reading the erotic romances, I just didn’t want everyone staring at my book’s cover art featuring Fabio’s slick, muscled chest. But talk about contrary, I was one of those readers that WANTED the stepback covers so my hot hunky Fabio was still available to drool over. I just didn’t want to share him with the businessman stuck beside me in coach.

What does this have to do with Betty and librarians? When I’m not writing erotic romances, I’m a librarian. Really, I am! And…Nope. No bun and I rarely shush people, but I do wear glasses. I love being a librarian, yet I’ve known librarians who called romances trash. Now I admit, the ones I’ve heard use the word “trash” were men, but I’ve met female librarians that crinkle their nose about romances. It pisses me off.

Romance is a multi-billion dollar business but I’ve known people who would only add romances to a collection when they received a specific request and did it only reluctantly - like pulling teeth. Romances would circ (check in/out) like mad if they were kept current and weeded well. I honestly think if librarians broke Romance out of the collection the way they do mystery and SF/Fantasy and really BUILT a romance collection circulation would go way WAY up. Oh well, when I win the Powerball and have a few hundred million to throw at the problem, I’ll open my own library with Romances FRONT AND CENTER.

For now, I’ll work on not apologizing for what I read OR WRITE!

Hi, my name is Francesca.

Hi, Francesca.

I’m an erotic romance writer, and I’m damn proud of it!

More about Betty Rosenberg here: http://lu.com/ranews/june2005/rosenberg.cfm

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