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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You're Gonna Have to Face it...

By Kelli Collins 

So this was fun. This article warning women of those dangerous, dangerous romance novels. You know…those things to which I’ve dedicated my professional life.

Apparently romance novels can ruin your marriage, turn you into a recluse, cause clinical depression, lead to nosebleeds, increase flatulence, prompt rituals in the name of Aphrodite and contribute to tingling in your nether regions. (And let’s not forget the dreaded Fluttering Vajayjays.)

What? You didn’t know?

The article by Kimberly Sayer-Giles points out romance sales exceed those of inspirational, religious and self-help books combined by more than half a billion (though she fails to mention from which year she culled those figures). That Ms. Sayer-Giles is a self-help guru speaks volumes. Gee, lady, how about veiling your attempt to drum up business for yourself by trashing an entire industry? Home-wreckers like myself would really appreciate it, thanks.

Oh, I’m sorry. Not self-help guru. Ms. Sayer-Giles is a “life coach”. Yes, in quotes. Largely because I figure we need “life coaches” like we need “executive phone managers” and “deep-fry specialists” and “nail technicians”. Slap a fancy title on your business card and you’re still making a living telling people their underachieving choices aren’t good enough.

But what am I saying? I’ve completely overlooked the known fact that romance readers believe every syllable we publish. Of COURSE they fully believe every man alive should be a 6’5, ruggedly handsome, muscular bronze god. Of course they expect every man to plumb the depths of his deepest feelings and invite his studly friends home for a three-way romp to satisfy his woman’s fantasies. Before shifting into a werewolf and scurrying out the back door to howl at the moon. Naturally.

Thank God we have professional self-help mavens to pull us back from our unrealistic expectations and give us a nice punch of reality to the face. I was thisclose to divorcing my husband and posting a personal ad to find my own broodingly sexy vampire life-mate.

Whew. Close call. Thanks, coach.

39 comments:

alwayscoffee said...

Love this post beyond words.

I have nothing to add except a hearty AMEN. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go read a book. I hope I don't turn into the Madwoman in the Attic.

*snicker* ~Ali

Ruthie said...

"Plumb the depths of his deepest feelings" -- that wasn't at all where I thought you were going with "plumb the depths." It's that other kind of depth-plumbing I like in my romance novels. But sheesh, I'm bright enough not to divorce my husband over it.

Amber Skyze said...

Yeah, I didn't think you were going to use feelings and plumb in the same sentence! :)

Time to get back to my two hunky guys waiting in the bedroom.

Debra Glass said...

LMAO. I wonder why the romance writing field is unique in that non-romance readers speculate about the authors' sex lives. No one wonders aloud if Stephen King has ever offed anybody or even went mad in an alpine hotel. No one thinks JK Rowling has avada kadavred anybody but write a romance novel and people want to know where you hang the swing and how strong the eyebolt needs to be to hold a 180 pound man.

Debra Glass said...

I went to the article to read and then post a comment but guess what? Comments are closed. The article states that reading romances make women disgruntled with their husbands. What a crock! I don't think it's any coincidence that I got published after meeting and marrying my husband, a man who respects me, and who supports my goals and dreams.

ECPI Editors said...

OMG, you mean the reason I've never gotten married again is because I haven't found a psychic vampire who is into menages? That's what I love to read, so it must reflect the reality of my desires. Because obviously I, like all other women, cannot tell the difference between fiction and real life.

I sure better stop reading my favorite mystery series, or I'll be dissatisfied because I'm not a cozy cook/knitter who finds dead bodies - and meets hunky police detectives. Snort, too bad the local "real life" police here are more likely to be married, pudgy and uninteresting.

Raelene

Pauline said...

All I can say is it's because of these "dangerous, dangerous romance novels" that I am NOT the "Madwoman in the Attic" and I get down on my knees each and every day and give thanks to every single author who writes them! I worship you all.
'Nuff said.

Hannah Howell said...

Your article - a stingingly funny response to the woman's idiocy - made me laugh so hard I had to wait to comment 'cause I had to pee. TMI? I also wanted to comment since I've been married for 40 years, writing romances for 23, and reading romances for a lot longer. And - guess what - the DH is a 5'6" Englishman, skinny, and an engineer. Think I know reality from fantasy very well, thank you.

Lucy V Morgan said...

"Of COURSE they fully believe every man alive should be a 6’5”, ruggedly handsome, muscular bronze god. Of course they expect every man to plumb the depths of his deepest feelings and invite his studly friends home for a three-way romp to satisfy his woman’s fantasies."

Bah. Now I have to delete this bit from my Swingers.com profile [disgruntled pout]

Siobhan Muir / Meg Palevich said...

"My husband benefits from my reading habits" - oh wait, like you I was almost going to get a divorce based on my TBR pile because he isn't 6'5", doesn't have shoulders wider than a linebacker, and doesn't have manparts longer and thicker than my forearm! But I was saved by this post and have completely returned to my miserable state of being where fantasy is outside my realm of understanding. :[

Ranae Rose said...

It seems to me that when it comes to romance novels, people often either love them or hate them. (And most of the haters haven't even read them.) I'm a voracious romance reader and writer, but I've received some pretty nasty comments from people who look down on my beloved genre of choice. I don't let them and their negativity 'coach' (LOL) my life or reading/writing choices. While they're busy wrinkling their noses up on their high horses, I'm enjoying myself.

kellicollins said...

Lol! I made you pee, Hannah? Clearly my job here is done.

Kelli Collins (brushing her hands together and walking away smugly)

Ju Dimello said...

What's next?

Eating is addictive (God, I love food - I eat it morning, afternoon and in the night, everyday!!!), and sleeping is addictive (I can't function without sleeping daily!!)...

Should I give up on those too?

Charlene Roberts said...

*SNORT* For this "life coach" to come up with all of these points, I have to wonder if she's read a few of these "dangerous, dangerous", (not once but TWICE) romance novels."

"Plumb the depths"...I obviously had my mind in the gutter! :)

Excellent comeback!

Laurann Dohner said...

Kelli - I love you for this post. LOL!!! I read that article yesterday and laughed at it. Now I guess I should return to writing. So little time...so many minds to corrupt...LOL!!!

Belinda McBride said...

You did notice she's based in Bountiful, Utah. And she's not just a life coach, but an LDS life coach. The problem in Mormon marriages isn't the fact that the wife escapes through reading "raunchy" romance novels, its the expectation that the LDS wife must be the perfect homemaker, mommy, wife, breadwinner (while her hubby is in college or unemployed)be crafty, artistic and attend meetings...all while being pregnant with the next kid. I've seen it play out dozens of times. It ain't pretty. Of course she needs to escape!

Back in the dark ages, when I lived in Provo, Utah, a local FBI agent/Bishop gave a talk on crime prevention. He wryly noted that the BYU/Provo area is nicknamed "Happy Valley." There's a prison at one end, and a mental hospital at the other. And when I was there, the rest area between Provo and Salt Lake housed a robust male prostitution ring.

I think romance novels are a pretty harmless alternative to the local alternatives.

Bill Greer said...

My wife doesn't look at me like she expects me to be a 6’5”, ruggedly handsome, muscular bronze god.

6'3" maybe, but not 6'5"/

Anonymous said...

Sheesh! Thank you for clarifying what is wrong with me. I have been corrupted by hulking, sexy men with big man thingies while I wait for gorgoeus twins to love and rescue me from my deviant ways!!! And plumb the depths...feelings...LMAO!! Yeah, I definitely live in the gutter. :0)

Elece

Juniper Bell said...

I love you so hard right now, Kelli! Will you please be my life coach?

Harlie Reader said...

Loved it beyond words. The woman is clearly an idiot and I would also say repressed. Buy a toy for goddness sake!

Harlie Reader said...

One more thing...most women read for the fantasy and their men reap the benefits. Just saying...

the jo said...

What a great response to "her" blabbering stupidity...*grin* I read that in a romance novel once...hahaha
As my best guy friend would say...She, obviously, needs to get laid...
hahahahahahahahahaaa
I have been reading romance since 1969/1970 and I used to be embarrassed for people to see what I was reading, remember those floral book covers to hide the bodice-ripper pics...*grin* Now, I am pushing my 50s and I dont give a shite what people think about what I read....I proudly sit in the docs office with a m/m or m/f/m/m/m/m/m/m/m erotic romance book in hand....and I am leavin it at that....*grin*

Thanks Kelli! Great, great comeback to the Wicked Witch of the Western World....hahahahahaha

thanks,
jo

flchen1 said...

That was perfect, Kelli! Thanks for saying it so well! :D Now I'll go back to my reality, which I liven up with my reading! Yes, I'm pretty sure I know the difference--that laundry ain't doing itself! ;p

Karla said...

That article is so out-there, it's hard to believe it was written to be taken seriously.
There are so many quotable lines, but I particularly liked this one:
"If you love to read, just choose a different type of book. There are many interesting choices that do not include arousing scenes."
Because getting aroused would definitely be bad for one's marriage...

Sami Lee said...

OMG. This post rocked.

kellicollins said...

Bill, you're 6'11 and a half in my eyes. :)

Thanks for the great comments, everyone!

KittyKelly said...

Fkn love it!!! I wake up everyday next to my hubby and cry that because he didn't turn into a 6'5" vampire/kitty shifter overnight. I'm still not sure how I make it through the day to be honest. THank you for your support during this difficult time in my life...

KittyKelly

Lorraine said...

Yeah, let's face it, a little romance and fantasy make for a boring life. LOL Great article, Kelli! Needed a good laugh.

Ann Bruce said...

KK,

I'm disappointed in you. Your muscular bronze god also needs to either have made his multi-billion-dollar fortune before the age of 30 or be a Navy SEAL (Army Rangers and regular military need not apply). Bonus points for achieving both.

AB

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner said...

Thanks for posting, Kelli. This article caused major hilarity on Twitter a couple of days ago, hash tag #romancekills. I laughed til the tears streamed.

Paisley Smith said...

This blog post has inspired a Mormon menage. M/f/f/f/f/f The fs will kick out the m by the end of the story. :-) Great blog, Kelli!

Cathryn Cade said...

Thanks for the chuckles! You ladies rock. And Kimberly Whosit-Whatsit needs to get a life. Ick, ick, ick!

I loved all the women from her church who responded adamantly that reading romances gave them great ideas to try with their husbands.

best,
Cathryn

Anonymous said...

I'm a writer of romance, and I was almost ready to leave my husband for a hot younger guy...

But then I'm weird anyway.

Thank God for anonymous posting.

Katalina Leon said...

Hey Mr. Tambourine man, midnight runner, boot legger Sally! I just read Ms Sayers-Giles article and I loved it!
Dear lord, I hope every word of it is true.
Are doctors really seeing more women who are "clinically addicted to romance novels"?
That's certainly good news for our industry.
I was frustrated Sayer-Giles didn't mention how a pervert like myself could gain access to this glassy-eyed, dissatisfied with realty, romance-jonsing community?
Do they meet in back alleys and exchange paperback novels? Do they huddle together in dank "Kindle" dens pouring over their lurid Vampire menage? In their desperation to get high on love do they practice the unsavory act of eBook sharing? (gasp!)
I'd love to know so I could contribute to their downward spiral.
Maybe I'll just cruise the hood and see who's twitching for a hot hit of Alpha male...
The first taste of Alpha M is free but after that-I own you baby.
XXOO Kat

Marie Rose Dufour said...

I had to take a break from the menage with two 6'4" aliens that keep me locked in the bedroom because they would absolutely die without seeing and partaking in my lush body to read this article. Wait! What are you saying? He's the 5'6", portly, Portuguese man that I've been married to for sixteen years? Oh well, I must get back to writing and reading erotic! I am an addict, you know. Post was great.

Sean F said...

Well, Kelli my only thought that I could muster is this:

Shit, I should ask my college to return my money and burn my BA in English degree. I shall never write again if my writing will cause modern women to turn into flappers.

You made a great argument and thank you for standing up for us who believe in eroticism.

Gwen Hankins said...

Great posts, LMAO, Kat your post made me snortle my diet cola all over my keyboard. You all are so great! Aliens and menage ... got to love you all! Wait... *knaw finger nails, sweat beading on my forehead*.... am I being corrupted? *BRB laughing so hard got to go pee*

Anonymous said...

Damn it all. I divorced a 6'4" guy with an oversized man thingy. Trouble is, he was twig thin and farted like a cheap Italian scooter. I thought it only fair to trade him in for a newer, younger model but then I've been hopelessly corruped by my obsessive compulsion for guys with spray on tans. Shame on me.

iqbrite said...

Of course romance novels could also something to learn from. It's not all negative. This post makes me laugh.

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