Friday, March 21, 2008

You Write What?

When I announced that I’d written a book, friends and acquaintances celebrated with me. As soon as I uttered the words “romance novel” some of their hearty congratulations turned to patronizing amusement. “Oh how cute,” one murmured, as if my book was a third grade essay I’d proudly presented to the world. Was it my imagination, or did they begin to speak slower and louder? To them, romance writing isn’t real writing – not at all. And when I heard the words “highbrow” and “lowbrow” from another aspiring author, I knew I was in the presence of a snob who believed that skill and storyline were mutually exclusive.
Speaking of snobs, I have to ‘fess up. Until the late 90s I had never read a romance novel. The covers turned me off. Instead of bodice-rippers, I referred to them as back-breakers. In those days, more often than not, the heroine’s entire body was bent back by 100 pounds of hair and an adoring glance into the eyes of a hero with a nearly-shirtless, Masters of the Universe chest.
But when I was presented with a box of Arabesque classics, I was hooked. Nobody was getting beat up or strung out. And on a week when everything that could go wrong did just that, escape into a love story was as soothing as a cup of hot tea or a glass of Pinot Gris. So when I picked up the pen, romance was the genre in which I chose to write. For some, knowledge that the hero and heroine will be together at story’s end is a turn-off. To me, what makes a great story is the journey they take from the beginning to the happily ever after end. Besides, who hasn’t experienced that magic moment when all is well with love? A romance novel leaves the reader with a sweet taste on the tongue; the next step on that journey is up to the imagination.

5 comments:

Yasmin said...

A romance novel leaves the reader with a sweet taste on the tongue; the next step on that journey is up to the imagination.

Nice and I love this blog!

Niambi Brown Davis said...

Thanks, Yas!

JayMom said...

Hi Niambi

Great blog and I can't wait to get your new book and add it to my many romance books. It might be sad to say but if it weren't for romance and mainstream books my reading would be almost nil but this is my entertainment that keep me sane and as long as the AA authors continue to write and put them romance novels out I will continue to support them. Just my two cents worth.

Tina

Niambi Brown Davis said...

H, Tina: Thanks for your support and for your comments. I know what you mean about keeping you sane - that's how I felt when I immersed myself in a good romance after a long stressful week. I hope you find that same enjoyment in From Dusk to Dawn.
Niambi

Anonymous said...

I just love this post! How dare they? LOL

Although I did start reading romance novels when the Arabesque books came out. I immediately got a subscription. I must admit I was not so impressed. I was still a literary snob who preferred the classics...Ann Petry, Nella Larsen, Toni Cade Bambara, Pauli Marshall, Jamaica Kincaid, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston; need I go on? LOL

But then I found books by Evelyn Palfrey, Sheila Williams, Dee Savoy, Darlene Johnson and Gwynne Forester. I saw a new dimension in AA literature with these authors. Mature, suspense romance stories by good writers drew me in.

And now I sit here waiting with baited breath for Amazon to send my pre-release copy of your book. LOL

Everything must change!

Idrissa