First of all, congratulations to Doreen R, who was the winner of a copy of SCORCHED, last week’s prize for commenting! Check out Jessa’s Monday post for her fabulous hot-off-the-press (and hot on the cover!) giveaway.
This week’s topic is “what one question would we want to ask readers.” I pondered this at some length. I have a lot of questions (about everything), but none seemed particularly bloggable. And then I landed on this head-scratcher:
One of the truisms of the romance writing community is “don’t write romance if you aren’t a fan of the genre, because Readers Will Know.”
The statement brings to mind a small, cramped room with a metal chair and an overhead spotlight. The room is hot, and the captive author is handcuffed to a table, which is in turn bolted to the floor. There’s a one-way mirror. A disembodied voice booms through a hidden speaker: “Are you, or have you ever been in possession of a book with an unhappy ending?”
And the only way the poor author can escape is by naming Nora Robert’s backlist in chronological order.
Yes, I’m a strange person.
Paranoid fantasies aside, it’s an interesting issue. I can’t imagine writing ANY genre unless you absolutely loved, loved, loved it. Writing a book is A LOT OF WORK. Writing one means living in that milieu 24/7 for a long, long time. If I went in with anything less than a burning passion to create my romance, I’d never make it past chapter three.
In other words, I think the effort involved would be a fairly effective gatekeeper against folks who really weren’t romance fans. The next barrier would be the fact that writing romance (or anything, for that matter) sucks as a get-rich-quick scheme. However, if the warning against masquerading as a romantic is to be believed, imposters do slip through the cracks.
Okay, readers, here’s my burning question: when you pick up a book that has been sold as a romance, how do you know if the author didn’t actually like what they were writing? In your opinion, what would be the telltale signs?