Amber Skye Forbes

Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes

My Least Favorite Genre

Licensed for CC use

Licensed for CC use

My dislike for the romance genre at first seems odd. After all, I wrote a paranormal romance whose plot hinges on that romance. Well, let me explain. First off, the rest of the books in the trilogy won’t have any romance. I was never interested in trying to cash in on the paranormal romance genre. In fact, I’m so disinterested that while When Stars Die is a paranormal romance, I turned that romance aspect on its head. Unfortunately you won’t see that until the end, but I decided to do something different with it because the paranormal romance genre has me burned out in general (unless your romance is unconventional, like it was in Shannon Thompson’s Minutes Before Sunset, but you don’t find that a whole lot).

Another facet of this romance thing is I don’t like pure romance novels. I do like romance as a sub-plot because it can complicate things, but pure romance novels I find dull and cheesy. I mean, some of the taglines authors use to lure readers into their romance books are so cheesy, like ‘wrangle into my heart’ if it’s a romance about a cowboy. I’m pretty sure you readers have seen a fair amount. I also HATE the covers of romance novels with a passion. I get these books are trying to attract women, but I’ve always hated books with over sexualized characters because your average person doesn’t look that way. Of course, I suppose romance is trying to play into some serious fantasies.

But back to the dull portion. I guess I find pure romance so dull because romance is something all of us experience in one form or another. I don’t want to read a book that reminds me of my messy turbulent relationships, and since I’m engaged, I don’t need a fantasy to escape into when I can just escape into another book where I know this stuff will likely never happen but still has relatable characters nonetheless–and where the romance sub-plot can really screw up the main plot but the main plot isn’t overshadowed by the romance. I care more about the romance as a sub-plot than a main plot because so much more seems to be happening that can tear it apart. It’s just not interesting to me when the main plot is a love triangle, or a jealous ex-lover, or she has two to choose from. That’s just all very, very boring, and while there are myriads of ways an author can go about creating a romance plot, I haven’t read a book where the outcome is unpredictable–and while I’ve only read a few, those few were enough to turn me away from the romance genre forever.

Romance just may not appeal to me because I don’t have a fairytale view. My relationship with my fiancé was very turbulent in the beginning, and I learned early on just how much work it would take to maintain it. It’s worth it, but it’s certainly no happily-ever-after, and romance books primarily play upon that. Everything is all great at the end, but you wonder what it’s like a few years from then or even a few months. I’m not cynical about romance, but I certainly harbor no more puppy love. But I can see how it’d appeal to others, like those who are looking for their Mr./Ms. Right, or those just so easily swayed by romance, or those looking for hope, or those who are romantics in general.

It just isn’t for me. Romance isn’t targeted for people like me, and that’s okay. It’s thriving on its own, and while I will never read another romance novel again and may never write romance again, there are plenty of other books out there for people like me.

As a side note, don’t forge to enter my double book give away here. You must be following me to be considered and must comment in the linked post to be entered. This will go until Saturday 9 PM.

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5 comments on “My Least Favorite Genre

  1. L. Marie
    May 13, 2013

    I totally get you. I used to read romance books by the cart load when I was a teen. I like a bit of romance in a book, but I like the focus to be on the adventure the characters take. I might read a romance book if the premise appeals to me. But that might be once in a few years though. I bought a romance book and felt sheepish taking it up to the counter, thanks to the bodice ripping and the Fabio locks and pecs on the hero.

    • amberskyef
      May 13, 2013

      It’s the covers that turn me off the most. They all look the same to me. Ick.

  2. Diana Springer
    May 13, 2013

    I understand your perspective. I personally like to write YA contemporary romance with suspense. Something has to be happening besides the usual girl meets boy-hates-boy-falls for boy premise. Pure romance does come over as gimmicky but the overall premise is the same – happily ever after. As with paranormal/fantasy novels, the reader suspends reality to escape into the world created by the author. As for the covers the image of the breathless woman with her legs wrapped around her man is a bit overkill. Having said this, I prefer an illustrated Charlaine Harris cover any day to one with blood stained lips… The reader likes what the reader likes.

  3. soul3ck
    May 13, 2013

    The issue about covers – why DO they look the same? Do the publishing companies decide on those? About romance as a genre – well, I love reading them as long as there’s a solid plot and is well-written. My personal favorite is Nora Roberts; others don’t seem to catch my attention as much. It’s quite funny how, despite the difference in our opinion on the genre, we all agree they need to do something about the covers! 😀

  4. Pingback: The Beauty of Romance as a Sub-genre |

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