Friday, July 4, 2008

The Real Meaning of Romance Novels

From the Arizona Daily Star obituary for aspiring romance author Barbara Lantz ( This says some very important things that most of the non-romance-reading public does not understand.

"Barbara Lantz was a romance writer.

Not the bodice-ripping, Fabio-loving, heroine-in-need-of-rescue type of romance writer. Turns out the slender pulp paperbacks with swooning women and muscular men on their covers were more the fantasy of the men who published them than the women who wrote them.
Lantz wrote sweet, believable American tales about capable women who, in the course of their lives' adventures, met honorable men worthy of their love.
"She was such a romance fan," Reed said. "The stories are designed these days to be empowering to women. The basic tenet of a romance (novel) is, you have a happily-ever-after ending."
It was Lantz's love for her husband and sons that motivated her to write about romance.
"I think she believed very strongly that romance is the literature of the family. Love within families and among families is really what ties our society together at a very fundamental level, and I think she recognized that," Caudill said.

Members of the Saguaro Romance Writers agree the genre has gotten a bad rap over the years, mostly due to silly marketing ploys and cheesy book covers. In reality, they say, romance is a respected, well-read and lucrative genre.
"It's the most feminist of all literature because it's the only form of literature where women are guaranteed to win and come out with an emotionally satisfying finish," Caudill said. "

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