Romance Fiction: It's just for Women

Well, I might beg to differ. Sure it's an industry that is mainly for and by women and I appreciate that. But there are men who write romance fiction. Some write alone under pseudonyms, some under pseudonyms with their wives, and others - like Bob Mayer - who collaborates with Jennifer Crusie writing Romantic Adventure, writes under his own name.

Also, NPR had a great essay two weeks ago by Jack Murnighan, the author of Beowulf on the Beach, in which he confessed his love of romance novels as part of their Guilty Pleasures series. He talked about hiding the books in his briefcase and reading them during faculty meetings but also being surprised to find out that women had some of the same fantasies that men had and that this had been a great surprise to him when he first started reading romance.

Personally, I realize that one of the reasons that romance fiction has difficulty being taken seriously is because men aren't involved as writers and readers. Sometimes that bothers me a little because it seems unfair to the women who are working their fingers and hearts out to produce some great books. But then again, this is also an industry that was built around women writers who sat and wrote their novels while their kids were napping. There's something very impowering and fantastic about that and it's a wonderful story to share with our sons and daughters even if stories of women breaking into the business like that now are few and far between.


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