Thursday, June 26, 2008

Please welcome author...Gina Ardito

What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love

A couple of decades ago, The Police had a hit song with When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around. I don't know about everyone else, but with all that's going on these days: soaring gas prices, global warming, endless war, I sometimes feel the world is running down. So how do I make the best of what's still around?

I reach for a romance novel. Now, contrary to popular belief, I don't read romance because I'm some desperate housewife who believes that someday her white knight will pop off the Ajax bottle and whisk me away to a land of endless sex, wine, and chocolate. Though the idea does hold some appeal...

...Where was I? Oh, yeah, right. Romance novels amid the world's turmoil.

I've never understood the derision the genre creates in non-readers. There are plenty of things I don't enjoy that others do. The Three Stooges come to mind. But I don't automatically consider Stooge fans so out of touch with reality, they believe it's perfectly acceptable behavior to smack their friends on the heads with a ball-peen hammer.

Some of the greatest stories and legends in the world have a romance at the core. Ditto the most popular movies, theatrical productions, and songs. Yet the snark level is much lower in those versions of media. So why is romance acceptable in every other forum except printed on pages?

Is the cover art to blame? Then how do you explain advertisers using clinches and bare skin to sell everything from cars to cologne to sports drinks? We still buy the products, don't we?

Maybe it's the love scenes. After all, no one makes love, right? Okay, scratch that.

What could the naysayers know the rest of us don't?

Is it so totally unbelievable that two people might meet, overcome an obstacle or two, and become a united couple after the experience? God, I hope not. Because I think I've just described how most of us came into existence.

Reality check: In real life, I've never seen men who fight crime dressed as bats or spiders. Last I heard, no planes have gone down on a deserted island, stranding dozens of passengers (or just one passenger who likes to talk to a volleyball.) There has never been a dragon, an alien invasion, or a zombie. Except in our imaginations. And the advertisements on the back of comic books do not accurately depict the sea people you can buy and grow in your own sea-quarium.

But love? Love is what makes us people rather than humans. Love is what binds us one to another. Love is our creation, our ultimate gift, our hope, our future. Nowhere is love depicted better than in the wide spectrum of romance novels. And when the world starts running down, it's the best of what's still around.

Naysayers, take notice.

Fall in love...with your laugh!
A LITTLE SLICE OF HEAVEN available 6/27/08

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Disclaimer (because we don't have a choice): The views expressed by the guest blogger do not necessarily reflect those of The Deadly Vixens.

10 deadly screams:

Audrey M said...

Hi Gina, when you were talking about the derisive comments that the romance genre earsn, who would not have been referring the MSNBC poll they just finished? Where they call romance books "bodice rippers", would you? For those knuckleheads to continue to disreguard this category of fiction to be a legitimate one is foolhardy and backwards of them. This industry generates millions of dollars each year, and continues to grow. Now that I have vented, enjoy your week and have a glorious day.

Sierra Wolfe said...

Great post Gina! I'm with you. I can't understand why romance novels get such a bad rap. Have they not heard the latest lyrics on the radio? Hello.

What does upset me, is the poll by MSNBC that Audrey mentioned. How can a large corporation like MSNBC not acknowledge the huge business that is romance novels? It seems no matter how many strides we make to dispute such narrow minds, we never seem to get past the ignorance that runs rampant.

Hopefully, soon they will realize how ridiculous their claims are and what a large business it is that we represent.

Thanks for being our guest today! We're so please to have you with us.

macbeaner said...

I read romance novels as an escape, but I think my biggest problem is the time lines in a lot of them. Girl meets guy, girl hates guy and within a week, girl is in bed with the guy...

But other than that, sometimes they're very enjoyable :) I like happily ever after stories.

Pheebles said...

Great post. It seems like a lot of discussion of romance books is going on everywhere lately. That can only be a good thing, though, because the more it is talked about, the more people might be curious to check out a book or two. ;)

ShelbyReed said...

This blog entry is so good, I might just print it off and pin it to the bulletin board by my computer.

Thanks for putting into such concise and lovely words how most romance writers feel about their genre. You make me even more proud to be one.

Judith Leger said...

Oh, you touched upon a topic close to my heart and anger. I can't tell you how many times people smirk or snicker when I tell them I write romance. It's like I've dropped several levels in their opinion of me. AND all the snide comments about me writing sex books.

It's gotten to the point where I just shake my head and walk away. They don't want to understand and no amount of talking or explaining will change their point of view.

I believe I am amid one of the most versatile, talented, well rounded bunch of authors out there. We lead the publishing world by a huge gap, the sales and demand show that in black and white. So, thumbing my nose, take that you people who don't even try to look on us kindly!

Hugs, Gina! Great post from an equally great author!


Ana Aragon said...

Hallelujah, Gina!

I have a t-shirt I purchased at RWA National Convention last year that says, "Smart Women Read Romance...I Write It!"

I wear that t-shirt at least once a week and I'm proud to wear it, too (I get a few wierd looks, but I also get lots of "thumbs up" or questions about my writing.)

It's important that we writers of romance go out of our way to promote the genre--reading romance is good for your health! I've even hooked my "male" pharmacist, who asks me every month when I pick up my medication, "When is your next book coming out? I can't wait!"

Great posting, Gina...can't wait to read A Little Slice of Heaven!

Ana Aragón

Wendy Ely said...

Hi Gina,

I can't wait to read your book. By reading your blog, I like the way you write. I would enjoy your book!

Wendy Ely

Gracen Miller said...

Hi, Gina! Thanks so much for blogging with us today! Sorry I haven't commented before now, I'm writing this from my wifi connection at my son's karate school because a lightening storm hit my internet and telephone lines last night.

I too do not understand why folks are so negative toward romance novels.

Have a great weekend.

kimmyl said...

Love the blog and post.