On a different note to my post from the other day:
Articles like these just keep on appearing, sadly because they still need to be written!
Even I am guilty of having once used nasty, inaccurate, derisive terms to describe romance writing. Especially having been raised in Australia, and having lived in Britain for years, (both are places where until recently Chick Lit was the thing and romance was considered a dirty little secret), it took me time to come to terms with the books I actually enjoyed reading.
Kristan Higgins is a great writer, and also a great defender of the romance genre:
Instead of defending romance books to those who’ve never read one, I’d like to say this instead: grow up. The categorical dismissal of the most-read genre in the world reveals ignorance, not intellectual superiority. This is a billion-dollar industry, and it’s not built on vapidity and cliché. It exists and thrives because romance authors offer readers an emotional experience that mirrors an elemental desire in life: to find a constant and loving companion; to become our best selves; to forgive our mistakes of the past and learn from them…
…There are some very poorly written romances out there, it’s true, just as there are lackluster mysteries, self-indulgent literary works, and rambling memoirs. But most romance novels depict women and men who believe in their strength and convictions, who are willing to learn from their mistakes, and who take on issues and conflicts that stand in the way of a better life. Heroines are not rescued by a hero; instead, they save themselves. A typical female protagonist is not incomplete until marriage. Her journey is not about getting to the altar—it’s about growing as a person so that she can create a full life for herself, and yes, find happiness with a decent, kind partner who deserves her and whom she deserves.