Janet here. When an acquaintance learns I’m a writer, she often assumes I pen children’s books, perhaps because I taught first grade. When I say I write inspirational historical romances I’ve gotten that look, then a flimsy smile. “Oh, you write those little books.”
I don’t think she’s referring to the size.
I hate to say this, but at one time I might have reacted the same way. Until a friend loaned me a LaVyrle Spencer novel, my very first romance, and I was hooked.
Romance novels matter to those who read them.
· I know because I’m a reader. A happy ending doesn’t make the story fluff, it makes it satisfying. Romance novels are as varied as their authors. Romances are emotion-packed, humor-laced and fast-paced and often deal with difficult issues readers face daily.
· Romance may not be literary or make Oprah’s book club but bottom line, they sell. Readers don’t put out hard cash over and over again without getting a return. The following stats are from the Romance Writers of America Web site:
Romance fiction: $1.37 billion in estimated revenue for 2008
Religion/inspirational: $800 million
Mystery: $668 million
Science fiction/fantasy: $551 million
Classic literary fiction: $446 million
· Readers say romance novels matter. Fan mail indicates romance novels uplift and entertain, even edify. I’ve been blessed to have readers tell me my books helped resolve a spiritual struggle, got them through a hospitalization or long hours caring for a chronically ill loved one.
Romance novels matter to those who write them.
Through writing the books I love to read, God has given me:
· Stimulating work. I get to create people.
· A release for my creativity.
· New friends, both writers and readers.
· A sense of who I am.
· Direction for my life.
Through writing, God is teaching me to persevere.
Our God-given talent may be raw and need simmering with practice but we dare not waste it. It may be tied to God’s purpose for our lives.
Through writing, God is teaching me to control my emotions.
The ups and downs of publishing can keep writers reeling. Writers must accept change and go with the punches. Rejections, less than stellar reviews, so-so sale figures can take writers from a place of gratitude to jealousy and even worry. Each day before I write, I pray God will give me the calmness, wisdom and ability to write the book He wants me to write and someone to read.
Through writing, God is teaching me to leave the outcome with Him.
Other than the words we put on the page and our efforts to promote, we can do little to control our success. All we can do is write the best books we know how. No small achievement.
I like to think that each of us is the hero of our story. The chapters, turning points and black moments aren’t always, or even often, under our control. Sometimes circumstances sock us hard. Or lift us up. Or flip us inside out. Sometimes we make a mess of it. Whatever we’re going through, it’s such a blessing to know we are not the final Author. God is editing our story as He hears and answers our prayers. Whatever the outcome of our situation, when our names are written in the Book of Life, we’re guaranteed Happily Ever After.
The way I like to end my books.
I’m giving away to one winner a copy of all three of my released books: The Substitute Bride, Courting the Doctor’s Daughter and Courting Miss Adelaide.
To enter, leave a comment about the reactions you’ve gotten to your romance writing. Or your perspective on the life of a writer. Or why you love to read or write romance novels.