The authors of Liquid Silver Books bring you spine tingling romantic suspense, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, nail biting paranormal adventure, time travel to unknown worlds, hot alpha males, and so much more. With the flick of a wrist, a twist of the brain, and months of blood, sweat, and tears, they give you romances to treasure for years to come. Liquid Silver Books is pleased to present …
Spotlight on Authors
… for the Sexy
Sooner or later, it’s going to happen. People discover you’re a writer and ask the question. “What do you write?” And you, sweet innocent that you are, answer brightly, “I write romance.” Be prepared for the awkward silence, the sidelong glance, even the sneering lift at the corner of the upper lip … and then the dreaded follow-up, “Romance? But why?”
“But why,” indeed. The thing is, though my answer is simple, it leaves me feeling like I’ve admitted to looking at Playboy, not for the articles, but for the centerfold. (Which I do … but I digress.) The truth is I write romance for the same reason I read it—for the sexy.
Please note the all-important “y” at the end of the word. Whoever said, “Sex sells,” missed the mark by that single letter. I contend it’s not the sex, per se, with its Tab A inserted into Slot B mechanics, but the sexy—so full of promise and possibility—which has built nations … as well as brought them down.
Whoa, whoa. Whoa! You say. Are we still talking about romance novels? Yes … and no. We’re talking, in large part, about female sexuality, a topic capable of giving the strongest men the vapors and reducing the most sophisticated women to titter. Not to mention tempting romance authors to complicate the ultimate purpose of the genre, from the sweetest love story to the edgiest erotica—the mass market stimulation of that omnipotent human sex organ, the brain.
The prospect of crafting a provocative story with the power to set readers’ gray matter aquiver brings me to my computer each morning with a grin of anticipation. Curiously, despite our sex obsessed culture, the sexy in romance is too often overlooked or maligned. But without it, couldn’t readers get what they were looking for from any of the genres romance writers cross into as a matter of course? It is precisely because our mysteries and gothic horror stories and action adventures come with abs and lingerie that the industry generates over a billion dollars a year. A billion dollars!
Isn’t it time we embrace, as in muscled chest to burgeoning breasts, the very thing that sets us apart? Time to admit to reading and writing these books because of the sexy way they make us feel and the permission they give us to think and fantasize about and, even (gasp), want sex. We can’t hide our books under the blankets and between the leather covers of our e-readers and expect other people not to ask, “Romance? But why?”
No buts about it, I chose to write romance. Chose it because the opportunity to challenge and stimulate my readers challenges and stimulates me. So, why do I write it? For that one simple word and all it implies, both straightforward and complex. I write romance for the sexy.
Why Does Romance Live Forever?
Romance is the largest book genre on the planet when measured by public consumption. As in colossal-huge, as in more than 20 percent of a market where the next “big” categories languish in the 6th and 7th percentiles. Romance sells into the billions of dollars each year while its lesser brethren deal in the pedestrian millions. We readers seem to love ourselves a love story.
But why? Romance is also the most saturated in terms of offerings – a quick search on Amazon yielded 1,005,777 titles, which is about the number of new books coming out each year across all genres worldwide. And let’s ask the obvious question: after you’ve read eight or nine dozen of these stories, what about them is new or fresh? Who doesn’t know-but-know the heroine’s impossible circumstances will be resolved and the main characters will at some point cozy up? Who can’t count on the HEA as a sure thing? No one, that’s who, yet we’re still riveted. How come?
Critics of the genre have put forth the same rote, dismissive evals for decades… and at this point we have to surmise their criticisms have to do with something other than the actual stories, since discerning readers still choose to read romance novels in droves. Non-discerners are present too, just as they are in all genres; romance’s contingent just looks bigger because… well, it IS bigger. The whole romance pie is bigger.
But I believe romance’s image has more to do with pedigree than its sprawling, amorphous body of work. Its base – its massive, multi-faceted base – is messy, encompassing sweet inspirational and Regency and paranormal and BDSM erotica, subject matters so disparate they probably shouldn’t qualify as a collective. The category includes more readers from more corners of the earth than Croesus had coins, meaning we romancers can’t make any intellectual or ideological claims to purity. We don’t have it. I wrote a humorous piece on this very subject a few years ago, and take a peek if you seek justification for your own reading proclivities.
Writer Jenny Trout also offered a compelling perspective in a recent Huffington Post article, one all of us writing romance should take a moment to ingest. I don’t disagree with her, and if we were having coffee, I like to think we would laugh over the absurd marketing characterizations we writers of the genre get to work under. I mean, targeting “women age 22 to 55” is kind of like hunting “wildlife” in Africa. No disrespect here, but are you looking to bag a crocodile or a gazelle, ‘cause there’s kind of a big difference…
Beyond acknowledging the context in which we write and read, however, we should probably set aside questions of literary integrity and market impact – and let’s be honest: we’re going to anyway. Seriously. These issues, while interesting, change nothing, not our stories, not our drive to write them. They don’t change the appeal of love and intimacy in our narratives; and they sure as hell don’t have any sway when it comes to convincing readers away.
My publisher, Liquid Silver Books, participated in a Kobo event a couple of weeks ago wherein several of us talked about what draws us to romance, and my colleague Susan Vaughn contributed a spot-on response in my opinion. She said any story able to engage another human being is intellectually stimulating, suggested a good romance read draws you into thinking about all kinds of things, including humanity and your own place in it. “It makes you evaluate who you are and what you need and want. It’s like giving your brain a badly needed hug,” she argued.
She’s right. And since romance is universal no matter which yardstick you use for measuring, we really do need to put these questions of salience on the shelf. Now off I go to work on that 1,005,778th title…
Why do writers write? Like Stephen King said, it's not for the money, and it's definitely not for the fame. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't turn down a fat paycheck, but I started writing because it felt like something I was meant to do. I hesitated for years before I finally took the plunge and tried writing a book. There were so many excuses...not enough time...not enough talent...or ooh look, there's something shiny!
The years passed and every so often, my need to write outweighed my reasons not to. I'll admit it. I wrote fanfiction. I got my feet wet and I enjoyed the feedback. That still wasn't enough. I wrote a few pieces of satire and that wasn't enough either. My biggest obstacle was me. That inner voice that said, "You just aren't good enough to write something as big as a book."
I love books and to my credit, I think I've read thousands of them. As for romance novels, my addiction to them started when I was thirteen years old and the school librarian wanted to get rid of a bag of Harlequins. It was a treasure trove! I sat on my bunk bed and read the lot of them. As an introverted kid, the stories took me to places and introduced me to people "characters" that were interesting, funny, dramatic, and, of course, sexy. My books were my friends. They still are.
One fateful night, my muse kicked my inner doubt's ass and I woke up wanting/needing to write a book. My hand flew across my spiral bound notebook with story ideas, characters, and dialogue. Some were good, some were bad, some were downright awful, but my new mission in life was to write my own romance novel. By the way, let me tell you why I will never give another writer a bad review. Writing a book is hard and if you take the initiative to try it, you have my complete and utter respect. Simple words, but true nonetheless. Holy Hell, how did people do it?
Could I do it? Turns out, yes I could, and I did. After many rejections from publishers (those sting no matter how many you get) I finally got a yes. You only need one yes to get your foot in the door. So here I am, a year after wracking my brain, pouring my heart out, and driving my husband crazy with reading revisions to him ad nauseum.
I write romance because I want my readers to feel the same sense of happiness I feel when a love story can take you away from it all. You can live vicariously through the characters’ struggles, immerse yourself in a new place, smile, laugh, cry and come out of it knowing there is always a happy ending.
Without the stacks of money and the overnight fame, was it worth it? Damn straight it was! Why? Because I'm a writer! Through feedback, I've learned that people have read my love stories and enjoyed them. They've laughed at the funny parts, got teary eyed over the sappy parts, and fanned themselves over the steamy parts. That's all I ever wanted.
But, hey, don't get me wrong, buying my books will put a smile on my face too! :)
Find out more about the authors of Liquid Silver Books
Visit our author Bios and Books page!
She wasn’t prepared for him… Resplendent Ruin, Resplendence Book 1 by Bella J
A quirky foodie and a perfectionist chef creat fireworks in the kitchen… Fire In the Kitchen by Donna Allen
Can love flourish when the only common ground feels like quicksand? Shore to Please, Gulf Shore Book 3 by Annette Mardis
Catch her, kill her, or kiss her? So many choices, so little time. But Carter Jamison has to decide one way or the other what to do about Sabrina Rutledge…Lovin’ the Odds, Gambling on Love Book 2 by Vicky Burkholder
Of all the pubs in all the world, he had to walk into hers…Play It Again, Dan by Tess Delacour
Romance that's the perfect mix of sweet and spicy…Madison Falls Series by Susan Behon
Lust, Laughter, and Happily Ever After…Swept Away by Susan V. Vaughn
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