WHY I READ AND WRITE ROMANCE PART II

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“I’d like to bite that lip.” ― E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

I’ve been thinking about this post all week even before Part I of this story happened yesterday.  I’ve been biting my tongue as I read articles littered with both praise and criticism for 50 Shades of Grey. First, let me say, yes, I read the books.  But going into them, I had no idea what they were about other than being filled with sex.  At times, I tend to get wrapped up in my own world and forget to follow what the masses are doing.  And while a few people had mentioned them to me, no one fully explained what kind of story it was.  So when a colleague loaned them to me and I opened up that first page, I was completely clueless about what I was about to read.

Boy was I surprised!  My first experience with any kind of erotica novel, I became enthralled.  Now, before we go any further, I’d like to acknowledge the books issues.  Yes, there are some problems, but I’m not going to address them here, because that’s not what this post is about.  But, what irritates me with this whole situation, is those that blast the books/movie without reading them.  I’ve seen one author in particular who’s posted something negative more than once a day for the past week.  Really?  It bothers you that much, that you’d spend your time finding these articles to post?  And then she made a comment that she hadn’t read them and wouldn’t because they degrade woman and promote abuse.  Sorry, but that’s been a little over stated.  My advise, maybe she should read them so she can come up with a more original reason for her dislike.  It’s not only this author making these kinds of statements.  There are many …. MANY and almost every one of them have said they hadn’t and wouldn’t read the books.  Hmm … yes, I believe that gives them all the reason in the world to judge them.  Because judging something you haven’t experienced makes all kinds of sense to me?

Now you’re probably scratching your heads asking how 50 Shades of Grey and my story about Hatchet Man from yesterday have anything to do with why I like to read and write romance.  For those that say 50 Shades isn’t realistic, I say you’ve lived a sheltered life.  If you don’t believe there are people that f@#ked up in this world, then maybe you should come sit in my office for a day.

Now, I don’t typically talk about my day job.  Number one reason- I’ve signed so many confidentially agreements I’m sure I’ve agreed to all kinds of bodily torture if I did so, and secondly, eight hours of it a day is enough.  No, I’m not slipping up and telling you where I work.  But I will tell you that it’s not nearly as interesting as you’re probably thinking.  It’s a job, it pays the bills, but I’d like to think what I do, does help people.  With that being said, I will say that I work directly with the public from all walks of life.  And a few of them have walked some interesting journeys. I’ve heard a lot.  A lot!  And every time I think I’ve heard it all … nope!  Someone still surprises me.  Sexual escapades, devious acts, the low down on criminal activity – people like to talk. Sometimes I sit at my desk and think “why on earth would you tell someone this?”   Which brings me back to my story about Hatchet Man.  Ninety nine percent of the folks who land in my office aren’t there because everything is rosy in their life.  Somewhere along the line things went askew or didn’t pan out.  To say the environment can get hostile- um, yeah!  Not everyday, but we’ve had some instances that caused concern.  So, my apprehension with Hatchet Man was somewhat valid.

This past week, I was waiting on a meeting when a gentleman came into the room and sat down.  He immediately began telling me about his reasons for being there- none of which interested me, but since it was just the two of us, I couldn’t avert my attention elsewhere.  He talked and rambled. I shook my head, smiled and added the occasional “I see.”  Unhappy with someone, he explained a long story of a disagreement they’d had.  He then went on to apologize for his rambling and said he hadn’t been sleeping well because of this disruption in his life and that the only thing that brought him comfort was the image of beating the other mans head in with a baseball bat.  I got vivid details of exactly how this might go down.  I’m sure my eyes must have betrayed my horror, because he immediately added that he would never actually do something like that.  I know you’re thinking, he was upset and letting off steam and yeah, you’re probably right.  But it was at that exact moment that it hit me -this is why I read and write romance.  At the end of the day all I want is something to feel good.  A happily ever after, even if I have to make it up.

Back to Fifty Shades.  I’ve probably totally confused everyone with my post, because Fifty Shades has a lot of darkness in it and for the most part, there isn’t anything feel good about it.  So why would I enjoy reading about something so bleak?  And is Fifty Shades really a romance?  I’m glad you asked, because I believe it is.  If you look beyond the BDSM, there is a love story.  Like all relationships, it’s one that’s intense and difficult.  And one that requires give and take from both.  Sure, most of us have never been asked to be flogged by our partners, but that’s what makes this story unique.  The fact that the author took a circumstance not recognized as normal and turned it into a love story.  All romances deal with various shades of darkness.  It’s called conflict.  Some aren’t as black as others, but they all have it.  For me, what makes them enjoyable is the outcome.  The ending. The finding of love beyond all that yucky stuff.  I don’t mind ugliness, but ultimately I want love to conquer all. And that my friends is why I write and read romance.

Off to see the movie with my mom and sister tomorrow, but until then,

Laters, baby.

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7 thoughts on “WHY I READ AND WRITE ROMANCE PART II

  1. Hi, this is a post full of passion, you were really on a mission to say something out loud, and I hear you. I’m curious as to what you do for a living, but I think I understand your reasoning when it comes to why you’re choosing to write romance. I work as a critical care nurse and have witnessed some excruciating moments in my career, perhaps that’s why I don’t watch medical TV dramas, I simply can’t, it’s too close to home. I haven’t read 50 SoG, I tried a few times but never went beyond page 150, I did find the POV and the voice grating, and it just didn’t appeal to me. Having said that, I will be watching the movie, as I believe that it has distilled the love story to its purer form, which really is what have captured the attention of the reading public more than just the sensation. I also take my hat off to the author, although I might not be a fan of her writing, but writing about sex is not easy. And let’s face it, we all secretly dream to have her career and to sell as many books as she has done 🙂
    Emilia
    http://www.emilialeigh.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I typically don’t let things get to me. I’m not an offensive person and feel everyone has a right to their opinion. But when I kept hearing over and over the negativity from people who have never given it a chance, that gripes my tail! I understand the book isn’t for everyone and I’m okay with that. I’m perfectly fine with someone like yourself who tried it and then had valid reasons why you didn’t like it. There are books I know aren’t for me, but I don’t feel the need to trash them. And I think you’re right. We all would love to have a breakout like EL James and maybe some of their issues stem from not having that kind of success on their own projects.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

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  2. *Stands up and holds hand up. My name is Emma and I’ve read 50 Shades of Grey. Not only did I read it, I liked it, I enjoyed it, I read the next two books too. I’ve seen the talk about it, there were also protests in London at the premiere – but I like it and I don’t give a damn if anyone thinks I’m wrong to have liked it so much I made the lady at the supermarket go to the stockroom to check if the delivery had been yet and insist she open the box and GIVE ME 50 SHADES FREED NOW. Same as you, I’m not in the least bit ashamed.

    I think you tied your blog posts up together beautifully. I can see the connections and why you connected them. As you know, I LOVE romance books – the trashier the better and I read them for the same reason you do. I love this post. Enjoy the movie!! Me and Ricky are going to see it week after next. He surprised me with it – and he HATES that sort of thing, lol. Must be love!

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    1. I’m picturing you standing over some poor old lady while she tugs a box full of books out and then you snatching it from her hand and tearing it open because she’s going to slow! lol

      Luckily I had all three handed to me at once, so I was good. But now the Crossfire series. A friend lent me the first three and didn’t tell me it wasn’t a finished series. When I finished book 3, I was like a madwoman on the internet stalking Sylvia day wanting to know when the next one would be released. Well and then … you know how I feel about that one!

      Have fun at the movie. Kudo’s to Ricky for going. Can’t wait to see what your thoughts are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL!!! It’s okay – she was young and I think she was just as keen as I was!!! Sylvia Day’s books I just found the first one in the supermarket and, you know I feel the same way as you about the 4th! I’m really looking forward to seeng 50 shades – I cannot wait!!!! Thank you! 😀

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  3. I couldn’t have said it better myself, Dena. I’m so fed up with people giving their opinion on the books and the film when they haven’t even read them or have no intention of going to see it. I’ve read them and seen the film and it has always been my argument, like you, that it is a love story in the end and that’s what I like about it. As I have said to a few people when I could be bothered to explain to them, I think you’re protesting about it just a little bit too much 😉 I absolutely understand that it’s not for everyone but you don’t have to put someone down just because they do like it! So harrumph! Thank you for being so articulate about it 🙂

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  4. Thank you, Julie! I’m not sure where this whole “it promotes abuse” thing comes from. Does that mean Steven King novels promote murders? I feel like it’s being picked on simply because of the genre. Romance is the most profitable book genre and yet it seems like it’s still frowned upon. I’m a romance reader/ writer and proud of it. I have no desire to write anything else.

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