Tuesday, 14 August 2012

What does 'Romance' mean to you?

I'm finding it hard to understand what people usually mean by the word 'Romance' when it comes to books.  To me it conjures images of two or more people falling in love and lots of feel good romantic feelings with a large side of mushiness thrown in.  Stuff that'd make you go "d'awww, that is so cute/romantic/etc!" when you read it.  I can't tell if it's my view on Romance that's skewed, or if it's societies in general.

Looking at the top ten Romance books on Lulu I see three that are BDSM related (one is even a collection of real life stories that have been fictionalised) and a fourth has a warning that it contains adult material.  Throw in Fifty Shade to the mix and I'm left wondering what the hell 'Romance' actually means to people these days?

As far as I can tell, it's just erotica that's been labelled as romance so that it's acceptable to read in public.  Don't get me wrong, I have no qualms about people reading what they want and I won't ever say 'oh, you shouldn't be reading that in public' as I'm not like that, but would 50 Shades have done so well if it wasn't in mainstream shops and was labelled as erotica and not romance?

It seems like people are expecting romance to include erotic sex scenes or something along those lines, whereas I don't think that romance has to have any kind of sex at all.  I'd rather read a book that explored the relationship and the feelings and didn't have any sex that one that just had sex, no matter how well written that sex is.

Is it me that's wrong?  Is it everyone else?  Are we all wrong about everything to do with romance and relationships?  It's not like I have anything against BDSM or erotica, because I don't.  And I can see how BDSM can be romantic, but I'm not sure I agree with putting the two in the same category as romance.

I know I don't get many views, but I really would appreciate comments or thoughts on this.  I'm thinking of recategorising my book so all input on this would be great.

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