Confession: I write romance.
I feel annoyed with the state of the world that an author should feel like this is to be looked down upon. Equally, I feel annoyed that women should feel like romance is a 'guilty pleasure'. It's not. Romance is women's writing, most often by women, most often for women. (Yes, there are exceptions. Yes, it's a gross generalisation. Yes, some people will find that offensive.) But take a look at the statistics. Who is reading romance? You guessed it. Who is writing romance? Yep, right again. Romance is women's writing - I'll fight anyone who disagrees. And haven't we had enough of men telling us what is good and bad literature? Who is deciding what is considered worthy?
I've spent a lot of time thinking about this. Why should romance be looked down upon as low brow? Why should a genre that is enjoyed by so many be put on the back-burner as less serious, less important?
There's the time and place for gritty realism (which I love and write myself) but similarly, there's the time and place for uplifting, heartwarming, sexy, romance. And there is no reason this should be shameful or looked down upon. Authors should be proud to write romance and I am hoping that with the revival of the uplifting romance genre is seeing in recent years, we'll see a revival of the good ol' fashioned rom-com in film, too.
All you have to do is look to the thriving communities of romance readers on social media to know that the demand is there. It might not be politically correct, but the human heart yearns for what it yearns, and you can't change that. You can't rewire humans to stop wanting (and needing) love, affection, and romance. It might not be reality- but who cares. If the pandemic taught us anything, it's that we need each other.
All of this to say, I'm going to serialise a romance novel. It will be free, you just have to sign up for the newsletter, which will be on substack. We don't get Vella outside of the States, and I'm not patient enough to sit around and wait for Amazon, or anyone else, to develop a platform to suit my serialising needs. So, if you want to join me: here's the link.
I'll host an IG live every second week to discuss, and then I'll send out a chapter in the following week.
What do you say? Should we revive the 19th century tradition of serialised novels?