Bad Romance part 3: Demanding greater diversity in who gets a happily ever after in romance

One of the big success stories in self-publishing is romance. According to popular platform Smashwords, the genre dominates the market. With a few clicks any writer can become an author. Which makes it possible that a novel most major publishing houses and quite a few small presses would have turned down, one that hasn’t seen an editor’s red pen, or even a proofreader will wind up on Amazon more than in other genres.

There’s an argument for gatekeepers, right? Not so fast. Here's part three in this series on romance as a genre…

Bad Romance part 2: The romance genre needs better critique, not more gatekeepers

Though romance novels have always centered relationships and women, there’s no argument that issues of consent and coercion abound in the genre's shady past. Consider the conflicted relationships readers have with Kathleen Woodwiss’ The Flame
and the Flower
, a novel that is said to have started the modern “bodice ripper” romance genre. Here's part two analyzing the romance genre in books…

Bad Romance: Yes, I'm a feminist who loves romance novels (+ a Seattle event on May 8th!)

I, like a lot of romance readers and writers, wasn’t always proud to admit that the romance genre was my passion. Contrary to popular belief, it turns out many smart, creative, thoughtful, well-educated women are reading romances (and our status as houswives, or not, is beyond the point). We raise families, nurture careers, create art, and break through barriers personally and professionally without expecting to have our problems solved by a billionaire into kinky sex. We sure as hell aren’t longing to be thrown over the back of a horse and ridden away with (though if you are, I don’t judge!). Here's part one of how things are evolving in the romance genre…

Looking inward teaches me to accept myself as I am

During yoga last night, I was instructed to look inward, to close my eyes and only see myself. To look inward toward myself for satisfaction. I spent the entire hour with my eyes closed just doing what felt right in my body and not trying to compete with the girl on the mat next to me. That simple choice to keep my eyes closed and look inward was incredibly awakening. It inspired me.