Monday, August 29, 2005

Oprah! Escape to Romance!

I recently joined the ranks of self-published authors and in so doing, took on not only the tasks of publishing, but of marketing and promotion for my novel as well. Several friends and family members have joked that all I needed to do was have my novel get picked into "Oprah's Book Club". I assured everyone that my light-hearted, humorous historical romance was not the type of book Oprah was looking for.
And then I wondered...has Oprah ever selected a book that didn't have deeper themes and darker emotions? Has she ever picked a pure romance? Has she ever even read a romance, and did she enjoy it?
Despite the huge fan base for romance novels of all sorts, the genre has been denigrated by critics and readers alike, plenty of which, I am certain, have never read even a single romance novel. I would suggest to Oprah that she open a discussion on the topic of escapist enjoyment to be found in romance novels. There is a romance novel for anyone and everyone searching for one. My brother has read (and enjoyed them). My husband has read my own romance novel through several stages of revision and raved about it each and every time. Supportive family members and friends all bought my book as soon as it was released, and even those who do not normally read romance novels all told me how much they had enjoyed it.

Why the stigma? What is so wrong with a happy ending or even a giggle? Can’t a book just be admired, loved, applauded because it lured you in, put a smile on your face, and kept you enthralled through 400 pages? Life is serious enough without insisting that all worthy reading materials be serious-minded too.

Come on, Oprah. Relax, lighten-up, live a little through a romance.

P.S. I, of course, would be happy to appear on the show as an author of romance living the American Dream.

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