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Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

06 April 2007

Taking the Heat for Writing Romance


My first book’s publication is looming large, even though it isn’t released until September, this week I am making ARCs, getting bookmarks ready, and sheepishly confessing to astonished co-workers and family that yes, I WRITE ROMANCE. Someone invariably raises a quizzical eyebrow and says “bodice rippers, you?????” Then they snigger, and ask me why don’t I write a real book? That I write historical romance (or in my case, “horsetorical” romance) is even more laughable apparently.

But you know, few things can compare to sitting down at the computer and spinning a tale of my own creation, and when I hit the zone---good grief, it’s better than chocolate!

So, to all those historical romance writers (and romance writers of any genre) who know what I am talking about---the funny looks, the covert or not-so-covert comments from those who have probably never even read a romance (or have and didn’t realize it was a romance), take heart. The truly greats have taken heat for writing romance, especially for romantic comedy. What fluff! the critics say. . .

To the first two History Hoyden blog readers who post the name of the author who wrote the quote below, I’ll send you a signed cover flat of my book, DARK RIDER.

"I could not sit down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life; and if it were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I would be hung before I finished the first chapter: No, I must keep to my own style and go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other."

Happy romance reading!
Kathrynn Dennis

14 Comments:

Blogger ellie said...

Jane Austen

10:45 AM  
Blogger pearl said...

Jane Austen

10:49 AM  
Blogger Kalen Hughes said...

Aren't they fast! LOL!

I "came out" almost two years ago to the day (I remember the date exactly because word of my Golden Heart final spread through my gang's annual "Drink Up, It's Easter" party faster than a fox with its tail on fire). I have to say, that for a group of tattooed, left-wing, intellectual bikers, they were really supportive (and have remained so). My book launch party should be interesting . . .

11:19 AM  
Blogger Lynna Banning said...

Jane Austen.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Congrats to Pearl and Elle! Send you snail mail addy to me at:
Kathrynn.dennis@gmail.com and I'll get your cover flats to you!

LOL, Kalen. You are brave...I haven't "outed" myself yet, and the people who snark on the romance writing thing, well, I wouldn't count among my close friends. ;-)

Lynna, you Hoyden, you! Thanks for answering!

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kathrynn,
Congratulations on your debut this coming September!
I'm semi "out" because I sorta have a "ask and I'll tell you" policy. lol. At least for now.

That and I'm supersticious, I want to finish my book and enter a contest(s) before I start telling the world I write romance.

Isabel
*fellow SVRWA* ;)

PS: I didn't know who the author of that quote was, thanks for the answer ladies.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

"Ask and I'll tell you. . . "

LOL, Isabel! I'm right there with you. ;-)

Kathrynn

5:24 PM  
Blogger Karin Tabke said...

go on, Kathrynn, out yourself. It feels great!!

4:28 PM  
Blogger Pam Rosenthal said...

Well maybe it was just because I first published porn (er, erotica), or because I'm so clearly, unambiguously, and contentedly a nerdy intellectual... but I never got any flack from friends or family OR co-workers for publishing a romance. People simply thought it was great that I had the discipline to get up early every morning and write the thing, keep doing it until it was good as I could make it, and then get an agent and a publisher to agree that it was good enough to go live.

And I'm sorry, but I can't understand how anybody could give anybody heat for accomplishing that.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Kalen Hughes said...

My friends are all really into it (and they're so not giving me any flack as I'm the only one with a graduate degree, LOL!). I couldn't keep it quiet if I wanted to, my best girlfriends tell EVERYONE. And then there's my mom . . . everyone at my mom's office has preordered my book. Cracks me up.

I've had a total of one snotty comment (from a guy). He said something about how he really should write the sci-fi novel he's been thinking about, as he could use the "easy" money. I made a face. And he said, "What, it's just a romance novel." I let the silence stretch and then said, "Yeah. When you finish that novel, sign with a major agency, and then sell to a NY Publisher, you come back and tell me how easy that money was." Three days later he tracked me down to grovel.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Score, Kalen! I love it. And Pam, I want what you're having . . . a grounded dose of self-security!

My biggest fear is that someone will whip out my book and read from "one of those pages" in the middle of meeting.

I asked the great Madeline Hunter, who has a conservative office-related career, and she offered this advice: tell who you want to at work (or whoever asks) and you will be surprised at how many others will remain clueless.

It's a double edged sword, try to promote and at the same time, hope to fly under some people's radar!

LOL.

Kathrynn

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Jane George said...

Hmmm, I posted something about John Singer Sargent on the previous blog and this ties in rather eerily.

For a good article that conveys my thoughts rather better than I can:
http://artnews.com/issues/article.asp?art_id=915

I wonder how things would have gone if he'd shown those male nudes?

I'm always going to fall on the side of "be true to yourself and the world will be better because of it," whether it's romance writing, one's religion, or sexual orientation. For instance, I'm Wiccan and openly wear my pentacle at the office. I'm out of the broom closet, tee-hee. It's my constitutional right and if I'm too scared to enact that right then it is all too easy for that right to be taken away. And if individuals hide their differences in fear, then it's all too easy for the pigs to cart off the old workhorse, if you get my drift.

Plus, it seems to me that in order to makes things happen for oneself on the planet (like publishing success) one needs to be behind that endeavour one hundred percent.

So here's to writing whatever we darn well please. Here's to lots of people wanting to read said writing. And in the words of Kalen, "Drink Up, It's Easter!"

1:18 PM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

You are totally right, Jane, and Kalen, and Pam . . . .

This romance-writing thing I do has been going on for years. Time to get out of the closet.

I'll screw "screw my courage to the sticking place."

Wish me luck and thanks for your support!

7:21 PM  
Blogger lacey kaye said...

OH, I understand! But at least you can say PUBLISHED, nyah!

7:28 PM  

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