Friday, April 17, 2015

The fallacy behind romance in novels

Michael W. Davis

Here’s two interesting tidbits. 96% of readers for the pure romance genre are female. Given 70% of fiction readers are women, means the ladies shape how most represent amore in our novels to please the ladies, to some degree, including me, but not totally. I’ve coauthored three novels with female authors and both of us realized that, as men and women, we approach the dance of lovers differently. That’s not a good or back thing, just different. In fact, the top reviews we received on our coauthored books specifically noted the realism of the dialog from both male and female POV.

So what’s the fallacy alluded to in the title? Not only “romance” genre stories deal with guy/girl relationships. Regardless of theme, whether SciFi, political thriller, murder mystery, fantasy, paranormal, whatever, not all, but most novels have a romance element. Here are a few iconic examples. Ever watch Blade Runner or Dune (two classic SciFi)? Both have strong elements of guy/girl relationships. How about the Jesse Stone mystery series by Parker? Of the five I familiar with, four have amore in the storyline. How about The Patriot and From Here to Eternity (War movies). Both have definite love elements.  In terms of political thrillers, both Three Nights of the Condor and No Way Out blend romance within their plot. Note that all those I picked had male authors and all have romantic elements. No, not all SciFi/Mystery/thrillers/etc. deal with relationships as a sub theme, but many do. And all these examples where created by male authors.

My point? It’s a misnomer to believer that only “romance” novels represents amore, nor that guys do not relate to the dance we men and women do in the name of intimacy. I write across genres including suspense, political thrillers, mysteries and SciFi and every book weaves love within the storyline. It is true that how the romantic elements are depicted will depend on the gender of the author, but guys are not clueless to the reader lure of having guy/girl relationships as part of their theme. You’d be shocked how often at signings, when readers asked about a book, and I respond, “That one is a romantic suspense that won the Rose Award for best RS of 2009” the ladies react, “Romance? You can’t write romance, you’re a guy.” Yes we can, and we do, just differently from the ladies, and that’s a good thing. Remember. Variance is the spice of life.


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

"Love makes the world go round..."

January Bain said...

Good idea, Mike, to have the same sex write the dialogue. Hugs, January