Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's Romance, People! Romance!

I divide the world into two types of people.

People who can laugh at themselves.

And people who can't.

What I have noticed, in all of my infinite wisdom, is that certain people (regardless of their job status, family background, or financial standing) are blow-hards. They take themselves way too seriously.

There are certain folks who should take themselves seriously.

The president of the United States should definitely take himself seriously. A cardiac surgeon who is about to perform a complex surgical procedure should take himself seriously. A social worker who makes decisions about abusive families should take herself seriously. People making life and death decisions, involved in nuclear physics, and FBI agents should take themselves seriously.

The romance biz....well, let me put it this way. Our genre includes such tropes as missing babies, Sheikhs, and forced seduction. The covers of our books have half-naked guys on the front, liberally slathered up with oil. Our fans have tattoos of fictitious vampires on their bums. In the great scheme of things, I don't think the romance industry ranks up there with medicine, the space program, or law enforcement.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think that the authors who create these books are incredibly hard-working and talented people. I have the utmost respect for my colleagues and all the agents and editors and publishers involved in making this industry successful. It is a very lucrative industry, and it supports a lot of workers. But we can't forget this is an entertainment field. Just like sports, film, and music. These are big business, big money makers, but entertainment nevertheless. Which is why I love actors/musicians/athletes who recognize the absurdity of what's going on around them, vs. the actors/musicians/athletes who buy into their own hype.

Sean Diddy can't laugh at himself. (Have you ever seen a photo of that guy smiling? Seriously?)

Johnny Depp can. And does. All the time.

I love folks in the romance industry who can make fun of themselves, have a good perspective on life, and realize that vampires aren't real.

And, I'm sort of fed up with the romance folks who think they're all bad-ass and "King of the World." For Christ's sake, we have Fabio on our book covers, people! Fabio!

This is a typical scenario at my house....My husband gets home from work and asks how my day was. I tell him I was working on a sexy scene in my WIP. I ask how his day was. He tells me a patient almost died on the table, and he saved his life.

My husband saves patients' lives. And maybe when those people are recovering, they'll read a romance novel for entertainment.

Gotta keep things in perspective.



Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Great post! And we all enjoy those oiled-down half naked cover models! Maybe not Fabio, but I'll take Paul Marron any day...

Jen at Red Hot Books

Penny Watson said...

Hi Jen! I like my cover models oily and decapitated...hee hee! No face, just a nice muscular torso, please. :^)

Sherri Browning Erwin said...

Diddy is Swag this week (and this week only). LOL. How can you not laugh at yourself if you're going to change your name to Swag for a week? Fabio always makes me think of the Johanna Lindsey books I used to sneak off my mom's shelves when I was 12. :)

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Oh baby, you are sooooo right! I think this is why I love LL Cool J - he's always smiling, seems to have a good time, and he can laugh at himself!

This is why I love the San Francisco Giants - they are hilarious when they make fun of themselves!

C'mon, life is so very short and it ain't all about me (the generic me).

You know who takes themselves seriously? The Taliban. Yup. The Taliban.

Penny Watson said...

hee hee heeeeee....Sherri, are you kidding me? What the hell? That guy keeps changing his name. And he never smiles. Ever. He is WAYYYYYY too serious for a dude who keeps changing his name.

I think it's sort of cool that Fabio is the poster boy for romance novel covers. It's so uncool it's cool. :^)

Penny Watson said...

Julia....yep, LL Cool J looks like a guy who can laugh at himself. He is a sweetheart. And adorable, too! (Hmm, wonder if I can find a picture of him with a beard!).

Lydia Storm said...

and with a name including the word "Diddy", I would think a sense of humor would be a prerequisite!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Lydia! I know! I wish I could change my name every week and get away with it. Sarah one week, Katie the next, Alessandra the next....