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.