In the Huffington Post today, Joanne Rendell posted about the conference held at Princeton University exploring the Romance Novel and American Culture. Check it out at The Huffington Post
I attended this conference, pleased to see a serious examination of the romance genre and its subgenres. Romance is a broad and encompassing category with a big tent that holds readers from all walks of life--including, as was demonstrated, serious, literary based academics. As an author of contemporary and historical western romances (and co-founder of www.lovewesternromances.com), the romance genre also encompasses sub-categories that might have difficulty finding a readership without those anticipated romantic elements that unite the genre and assures an optimistic ending.
Inspirationals, urban fantasies, sci-fi, mysteries, suspense, latin, eastern, medieval, turn-of the century, comtemporary, paranormal, world war II, regency, victorian--the list is only limited by the imagination. It is a rich tapestry of writing where the conflict and struggle inherent in finding love is played out against a varied backdrop that adds unique elements to the story. Romance encompasses not only love, but betrayal, risks, danger, hope,dreams and yes, sexual tension. All the emotions inherent in the human experience.
And as I told my husband when I first began to read romance--it brings me back to those heady days when I first discovered I was in love with him. What more could you ask of any genre?